Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Alone on the ocean in a dinghy with one oar and no working compass nor map

I mean, a little dinghy where someone neglected to bring a GPS or any fancy stuff (nor a sextant) but rather a regular (sea) map and a compass. However, it's now been obvious that the compass is broken and the map is faulty (reefs not marked out, nor correct sounds and islands).

Even if I saw the sun and could take some bearing on it, it's hard to know which direction to go when you don't know where you start from and (in the middle of the ocean, no land anywhere in sight). And with only one oar, you'd better be careful on how to make it work so you aren't only going in a circle (never done that, duh).

I need a new navigation system, pronto. I'm tempted to break the oar into two smaller ones, but being a bit clumsy I guess that could end real bad (one oar is, after all, better than no oar).

And yeah, I am not sure what I would do if one of those luxurious yacht show up; my dinghy might be small and non-flashy, but it is mine. There is something to say about that, I guess. Maybe a long rope to allow towing so I can still have an option, and not get thrown off in the middle of the ocean sans dinghy? That would indeed be worse. (always try and find the worse situation, at least you are not in that right now...)

Oh, I think I see a leak. Better rephrase that whole story; "in a leaky dinghy taking in water in the middle of the ocean".

How splendid.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

adapting the Gordian knot approach

I think I will really try to adapt to the "Gordian knot" approach. The more I think about it, the more it is clear that there is something to be said about some of these things.... no more "why?" or "maybe they did because of...". Just simple; solve the problem as lying before you, and don't worry about loose ends.*

I'm the first to say that I am prone to take on the 'Sherlock approach' (i.e. proper deduction) and try and deduct from certain observations... However, I'm probably not as observant, nor impartial/unemotional, as Sherlock and therefore my deductions are more likely to be off and slightly wrong. Not to mention that sometimes even Sherlock made things a bit too complicated. Most often, I have realised, people aren't that complicated - they "just do" things.... without that much thought behind (avoiding a difficult situation, emotional outburst, just not liking it... no real thought there, merely instinct and being slightly cowardy maybe?)

No, there is something to be said about "looking at the situation and not trying to explain, rationalize or deduct anything but take it at face value". It is what it is, and you make your action after that. No more, no less.

No more Diplomacy moves (strategy game based on knowing when to stab your ally in order to concer the whole of Europe). No more pseudo-psychology studies. Just, I see B and therefore I will do C. (One could be tempted to start asking "why did B come up at all" but see, that is the thing I will start trying to avoid. According to my sources, the "why" is a entangled web that in the end, might not make you much more happy anyway... the situation is there and the action needs to be taken. "Why" is a sub-important thing.)

I will say though, that avoiding asking the "why", and tumble down that road, is without doubt going to be my main obstacle. After all, I love trying to make sense.... and usually need the why in order to understand what happened. But as it's been said before: some actions don't make sense, and even if they do - that's not the problem. The problem is what happened and what you will do in response". And for that, you probably don't need to know "why it happened in the first place" for many occasions.

Focus on the action, not the feeling?! Yeah, I might need some luck there.

*so witty in the morning

Monday, September 20, 2010

loosing the faith

I'm about to give up. The last couple of months, as well as last night's*, experience is pointing me towards a sort of unsettling thought. That maybe it's never going to be about what people tell you in "truth". Or honesty at all. Maybe you just need to ignore what they say but rather just go for other angles and what you see? (And that is what you get.)

I've been at these cross road before. (Anyone who's read this blog earlier know that I have wandered down the path before and pondering why I bother listening to people and what they say, when it is really all about what they do. Like you tell children; "they don't do what you say, but what you do". And then of course, I would be silly not to repeat it "actions speak louder than words".)

I guess I'm mainly tired of being played like the fool - or acting the fool believing what's said (the lies) when all is pointing towards something not being said but I stay the course since they stated something different?

My main problem probably, as always, is that I am too logical and too rational. I do a "cost vs benefit" ration on most of my behaviour and others'. (Probably why I tend not to lie since most of the times the benefit isn't worth it. Of course, that is because I feel bad when I hurt due to the lies of others, assuming others might do the same, and tend to think gangrene is worse than a clear amputation, if you know what I am referring to?)

My main problem then, is that when people do things to others, as well as to me, I tend to try and explain it. Logical. And rational. And I have a starting point of looking at "what do the gain" and, probably more important, "what does the easiest way out mean"... and easiest in my opinion would mean "less messy" and "least explanation to others".

In a simple example, at a work place; if you are working in a closed space - say a BSL3 suite - and you are using the (almost to) last equipment and you get out of there and know that someone is going in there the next day. What would you do? (You don't want to do much work...) Would you go back into the suite with all the stuff you know would be needed when the next person goes in there? Would you tell the person you know going in there what they'd need to make their work? Or, as a middle ground, would you tell someone (maybe someone who is in charge of the suite) that "these things are missing and need to be replaced?". Or would you do nothing at all?

I'm the first to say that the first would be a "sucker thing" to do, above what you might need to do. (in this example, I'm not saying I would do that... maybe put the things needed into the air lock so it's obvious for the next person to bring it in with them. Telling them since I know they are going in there - no brainer.) But, the second or third example would be in line of what I would call "needed to do in order to do a good job and being a group member"...

Although, if you do the last option... at least be a decent enough person to not assume that anyone would do anything different to you (if you were the person going into the suite). Let's just go with "do to others what you expect them to do to you", since for a rational person it at least makes sense (and I would think that is not a super-Christian thing to do... but maybe I am wrong?). Or, "actions speak louder than words" but in my opinions you don't get to bitch about it if you were to enter that suite and find out that what ever you needed in order to to your job is not there. See, as a rational and logical person (as myself) this behavour doesn't make sense.

And to be annoyed and hurt if you were called on this behaviour? And lie about why/what happened? (I didn't do that!) Yeah... you got it.. In my limited rational book, that doesn't make sense since it is... more foolish that being played.

Did I mention that I am currently out of patience and being the nice girl (or doctor... or human) when other people are trying to fuck me over? Yeah...

And here I thought I was trying to save my soul (or personality) and being the good person, even if it cost me some slaps in the face... but once you start thinking kicking me when it looks like I am falling, it's no game. There are limits to my foolishness and niceness. However, I really hope that I can keep coming back to the "not looking at people as if they are lies pieces of dirt who wants to get ahead no matter what". But I'm starting to really questioning why it's worth it? Maybe I should just look out for me, all the time and not care anything about others? After all, there are a lot of people in the world like that...

(I just feel like that means I am giving up on the good in people... It's maybe about a grey scale? I've never been good with mixing black and white that much - apart from in clothing, of course.)

*election night in Sweden. People get the government the deserve and want... right? ehh... we're in deep trouble now.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

choices and re-evaluation

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a "pondering time" for yours truly. Partly unbloggable things, partly things that are right on target to blog about. I've mentioned a few times that I find it interesting (if not down right hard) to re-evaluate your dreams and hopes when what you thought were your dreams turn out not to be the right ones... the TT track is one example. Realizing that you might not be as bad as you sort of thought (hey, never said I was on target with my self assessment) and redefining the goals might be good for you, but it is also hard.

At least if you are anything like me, who doesn't do change that well. Or I guess, in honesty, that I do changes fairly well - it's the uncertainty prior to the decision I am particularly having problems with. The time in limbo, when it is unclear what will happen and what to prepare for.

Anyhow, the last couple of weeks I have received two emails that made my mid boggle a bit. And then there were some things at work that made my mind almost explode. Let's start with the emails, since I have gotten to think about them. They are both similar, not "real job offers" but rather "hey, I remember you and we have an opening at this place and we thought of you and wanted to ask if you wanted to have your CV moved into 'the short track pile into HR with a special recommendation' since you have expertise we need and want". To say my ego feels stroked would be correct.

Main "problem"? That both these jobs are in a very different place than I currently reside. And both of them have been in major US cities with international big corporations/governmental ties, i.e. BIG cities.

For the first one, I wrote a very kind and flattered reply stating that at this time, it's not the right move but very happy you kept me in your thoughts. The second one is the one making things a tad bit more complicated. It would be a nice job (more into my field of expertise as well). Let me rephrase that, it'd be a really interesting and great job on the career ladder... but I am not really interested in moving where it is. Not really, but that could be just a flux right now.

I've mentioned some time ago that my main problem for turning offers down is that I have a problem realizing that there might be new offers around the corner and I don't need to move quickly and take that job right away. Especially since it is not my dream job, although a good one, and I currently have a job that fits my career ladder move/what-have-you.

Of course, unbloggable things make these decisions less clear cut. And making my mind a bit muddled, as in "why I should make the decision" or "base the decision on". I've always been a firm believer in "moving towards" rather than "moving away". It might lead to the same decision in the end, but they are vastly different inside. And I am tired of moving for right now. Or maybe I'm just tired in general?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

that is Doctor "Girl-with-panties-in-a-twist" to you

Sometimes, just sometimes, I get so blasted tired of people. Certain people that is.

I mean, I know that I look sort of young and especially since there is no ring on the finger, nor kids in the family, and that I smile and giggle sometimes. But seriously, I need to go back to the more morose and "dressed up woman" rotiune in order to get some things that others get automatically.

I don't like flaunting my title. Especially not to people I work with, and who work for, me and personally I have a problem asking an older woman who cleans my office to call me "Dr LastName" when I call her her first name, and then she can call me "chall" (first name) and we are chatting away. It just doesn't sit right with me to ask someone (especially) older and nice to go with Title. So, we're in the clear.

It's other people who doesn't necessarily get that. You know the meetings when all the male doctors are referred to as "Dr X" and "Dr K" and then it goes to "chall", P and R - and you can see some notes from the meeting and see this. And when (if) you call it, some people will start mumbling "oh, she really thinks that's needed. Such a girl behaviour, getting her panties in a twist about something like that". Well, you know what? If the shoe fits.... and I worked darned hard for that title, therefore go with "Dr Panties-in-a-twist" if that makes it easier?!

And the funniest part - once it is out that I have this title  - it automatically makes me older and that gives me some more respect since apparently I am not "fresh out of high school"... (since that is something added onto the "experience account" and therefore gives me more respect... Dr G had something to say about this in a blog post a week ago but I won't go into that now).

Me? I always get surprised that the other part of the equation (the part I use to think matters more than anything almost) is forgotten and not taken into account. I moved across the bleeping world! You think that would count for something in the "experience" account and maybe indicate that I am not as young as they might think?

Ah well, now it is weekend and I will go do what Americans do best - shopping ;) And probably be called Maam all the time, which I sort of like since that is all women over 19 here in the Southern city I live in, and not the more "younger" Miss... (as I go on the West Coast when I was there on vacation last year).

Note: Part of this confusion or reluctance of being called "Dr Last Name" would be that in my country of origin, we are great fans of "first name" basis and not "paying too much attention to titles since we are, after all, equal"... this cultural difference (title calling in general) might be one of the biggest things I've tried to adapt to in post-doc city). I'm trying at least.

Ms Chall, PhD ;)