the airing of grievances

let’s start with the most basic: my lab sucks. alright, i like most people in my lab (despite their lack of work effort) however i don’t feel safe in my lab. due to an accumulated assortment of issues involving our postdoc sexually harassing three women and physically assaulting two lab technicians.

following said incidents, my PI said he would “take care of it”. part of which included telling two prominent people within the department. in a conversation over dinner the other day, i made a small joke about the incidents to one of these PI’s. who stared at me blankly. what’s unfolded is that nothing has been done – ever – by my PI regarding our postdoc.



its bad.

i have a meeting next week to discuss with some PI’s in the department about why i don’t feel safe in the lab. because apparently our lab’s level of dysfunction goes beyond what’s acceptable, and requires action.

*deep sigh of relief*

my other grievance is also work centered: our department (at a state-funded university, mind you) sponsors several christmas events, ranging from a secret santa (a week-long extravaganza involving the exchange of cheap gifts) to a christmas party that involves massive amounts of alcohol.

i’m not a christian, and i choose not to celebrate christmas at work. and every year i respectfully decline invitations to participate in christmas festivities within the department. i’m not out there saying these activities should be canceled or eliminated – if people want to celebrate christmas, that’s fine by me. wrong or right, it’s a federal holiday – and i’m not about to go around actively discouraging people’s participation.

but the thing that is hopping up and down on my very last nerve is the level of harassment i’ve received by not only my co-workers, but other people in the department, for declining to be involved with such activities. its gotten to the point that i hear on an hourly basis about how i am a “scrooge” a “grinch” a “spoilsport” and a “bitch” for not participating in a department-sponsored christmas.

(let me highlight, again, that i do not actively discourage others from participating in the holiday! all i said when asked was “i do not celebrate christmas, and will not be participating. i appreciate your respect for my decision”).

and yet the comments continue. and it makes me want to commit atrocious acts of violence out of the sheer frustration of dealing with other people’s stupidity. all i’m asking for is respect for my decision to not participate.

if i were a muslim, and harassing people for not celebrating one of my holidays, legal action would most likely be taken. so why is christmas this big exception?



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2 responses to “the airing of grievances

  1. astonishing that your PI hasn’t taken action. seems something is going to get done… best to stay vigilant.

    regarding the holiday stuff? that’s pretty awful… i just avoid the events and activities. never giving excuses, never actually RSVPing or not, i just am a ‘no show’… my sneaky way around being called ‘grinchy’…

  2. oh, the eyes are peeled! i won’t get my hopes up that something will actually get done – but i’m beside myself with anger that my PI told me to keep my mouth shut so he could take care of things, when his idea of “doing something” was to sweep it all under the rug.

    i like the no show idea! i may have to try that next year 😉

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