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So, so true

I’ve had all of these perspectives in my career, so I can tell you that they’re mostly right…except for the one about how professors see themselves. You should just substitute the postdoc:postdoc image for the professor:professor one.

Also, I worked my way through college as an undergraduate technician. Even with my lowly status, I really did see all the undergrads/grads/postdocs as spoiled children who were there only to screw up my lab and my precious experimental animals. Especially when they’d leave a pile of gore and blood and dead animal parts scattered all over the surgery, and expected me to clean it all up.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. Lord Shplanington, Not A Frenchman says

    It may not be prudent to tell your students that you see them as either OH LAWDY SO SEXY or slaves.

    I mean yeah, it’s probably true, but you’re not supposed to say it.

  2. llewelly says

    PZ:

    Especially when they’d leave a pile of gore and blood and dead animal parts scattered all over the surgery, and expected me to clean it all up.

    Actually, that mess was made by the Hideous Thing which ate them, and then escaped without you noticing. It still lurks in the hills outside of town, waiting patiently for innocent passers by …

  3. says

    That’s a good point. That one is probably also wrong: professors see undergrads as little kids. Every year when the new crop of freshmen come in, we’re all secretly aghast at how damned young they are.

  4. Carlie says

    That’s a good point. That one is probably also wrong: professors see undergrads as little kids. Every year when the new crop of freshmen come in, we’re all secretly aghast at how damned young they are.

    That’s exactly what I was thinking – ew, they’re little, not old sexy people!

  5. Moggie says

    So, Scrooge McDuck is prone to saying things like “how do I google my internet?” and being baffled by printers?

  6. Tabby Lavalamp says

    I’m confused. Why do technicians see themselves as ultra-conservative, very religious, homophobic whackjobs who write for WorldNutDaily and support getting the Wholly Babble into public schools?

    Or maybe I’m missing something..

  7. DataJack says

    Also, Chuck Norris was at the Southpoint when we were at TAM. I didn’t see him, but I heard he walked with a body guard.

  8. Sastra says

    Especially when they’d leave a pile of gore and blood and dead animal parts scattered all over the surgery, and expected me to clean it all up.

    Maybe those were sacrificial offerings. Not a bad idea to get on the good side of the techies.

    If they were too messy, you should have constructed an altar as a helpful hint.

  9. SteveM says

    re 11:

    I’m confused. Why do technicians see themselves as ultra-conservative, very religious, homophobic whackjobs who write for WorldNutDaily and support getting the Wholly Babble into public schools?

    Or maybe I’m missing something..

    Your missing seeing him as the character he played on TV: McGuyver. Oh wait(!) that was Richard Dean Anderson (not this guy), who could solve any technical problem with little more than a paperclip and bubblegum. Sorry for that, but McGuyver makes more sense to me as the Technician’s view of other technicians.

  10. Psych-Oh says

    I am with SteveM about McGuyver. I could fix an EEG pen and replace faulty electrodes blindfolded (well, almost). I thought I was pretty stinkin’ cool.

  11. Karen says

    The “how technician sees himself” is so damned true in my department! Our tech is a super-conservative, who works among a bunch of liberal professors and mostly liberal students without saying a word (but he does listen to Rush Limbaugh in his own lab). OTOH, he’s personally the antithesis of the archtype Rethug: personable, kind, and patient. He also has an amazing capability for hacking together lab tools out of the pittance that our department has for lab equipment. (We’re primarily a teaching school; what few grants we do get go toward supporting MS student work. At best, they might pay for some work done at another school’s lab. None trickle down to our own labs.)

  12. Blueaussi says

    Sastra@18 “Maybe those were sacrificial offerings. Not a bad idea to get on the good side of the techies.

    If they were too messy, you should have constructed an altar as a helpful hint.”

    Oh!

    I am *so* going to do that the next time someone leaves me a mess in the necropsy room!

  13. Kirian says

    There is no doubt the person who wrote this was a technician. Though when I was a tech, I saw the postdocs in a generally better light than that; maybe my postdocs actually knew what they were doing. :)

  14. Kichae says

    So, am I the only one who finds the idea of being looked upon as Scrooge McDuck some day a dream come true? Regardless of the money bin, even.

    If I ever make it to professor, I’m getting the McDuck outfit tailored for me.

  15. says

    PZ: Every year when the new crop of freshmen come in, we’re all secretly aghast at how damned young they are.

    The teaching profession has long since discovered the secret of eternal youth. Unfortunately, the eternal youth is for your students, not for you.

  16. Rey Fox says

    It may not be prudent to tell your students that you see them as either OH LAWDY SO SEXY or slaves.

    No biggie. Just don’t stand, don’t stand so, don’t stand so close to them.

  17. Ctenotrish says

    He appears to be unstable, and certainly is alarming. I too hope he gets the professional help he needs …

  18. Love says

    What it all boils down to is a three-dimensional “How X thinks (Y thinks of Z)”. Maybe more dimensions?

  19. Classical Cipher says

    I don’t know what’s happening in the “how undergrads see PhD students” square, but I always saw PhD students as they allegedly see themselves… Living with several of them probably helped that impression a little. Everything else seems right in that row, as far as I can tell :) But erm yeah, I’d guess we probably didn’t seem as sexy to most professors as this chart would like us to think, since I’m only a year out from undergrad and I already can’t look at the (traditional) undergrads without worrying about how very little and young they all are. Can’t imagine they will become sexy sexy grownups with greater distance…

  20. DLC says

    Once upon a time DLC worked as a lab tech. and yes, students were entirely annoying children who blew stuff up and expected me to fix it. Oh, and some of them managed to electrocute/cut/burn/poison themselves while doing it.

  21. dropkickpa says

    Postdocs last, what, 6 months to *maybe* 2 years in a lab, techs seeing them as children is very appropriate! I often hear techs here bemoan the influx of new “baby postdocs” and all the babysitting they’ll have to do for the next 6 months until they’re somewhat capable of functioning independently.

  22. David Utidjian says

    Techie here. I think the way we view ourselves is a bit more than McGyver. McGyver is a bogus hack. I was thinking more along the lines of Jonathan Goldsmith of Dos Equis “most interesting man in the world.” ad campaign.

    “The police often question him just because they find him interesting,” “His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body,” “His blood smells like cologne.”

    The last is sometimes true… with the stuff we have to work with. ;-)

    http://michiganacting.com/acting/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/dos-equis-man.png

  23. MarkusR says

    I’m in Electrical Engineering and we don’t really have technicians. Heck, we barely have labs. It’s more like BYOT&E hobby time.