Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An open letter...

An open letter to my frantic collaborator...

I did not realize that writing a, say two-line e-mail, giving a status update on the current project was that difficult.  I am not asking for an in-depth, detailed analysis of the latest super-cool new data, just a quick note so I know that (a) you are getting my e-mail(s) (b) my e-mail(s) has(have) reminded you that I still haven't gotten the new data and (c) you are still actually living and breathing and making some sort of progress.  Far be it from me, a lowly post-doc, to expect a response from you, all revered and venerated 2nd-year professor, and I grovel at your feet to be asking for you for such acknowledgment that you have received my unimportant e-mail.  I cry your pardon as I remind you that two years ago you were in my shoes, in fact you had trained me before ascending to the higher levels of the ivory tower from where you now look down on me as nothing more than a minor nuisance. 

Please remember that, in all truthfulness, one of the few reasons you currently hold an assistant professorship and I am a lowly post-doc is that you are four years older than me and started this whole game sooner.  While I appreciate any scrap of data, attention or praise you throw my way, please refrain from coloring all your statements with derogatory terms and statements directed at me and my boss, who I might add was kind enough to put you as a co-PI on his really big grant which supports the work on the project for which I am begging you send the data from.

If you can find the time in your incredibly busy schedule (what with all the students and exams-the whole 3 of them-you have to mark) and general professorship-like duties, could you just send me an e-mail saying the "data is on its way" or something along those lines so when Big Boss man asks me about it, I (and you) don't look like a bumbling idiot.

The more I hear, the less I am liking you.  After this grant is over, I don't think we will be collaborating again.  How such a silly thing can put such a damper on a former friendship.  But you, dear sir, put that huge divide between us.   

No love-


Venkat said...

The whole thing reads like a special comment from Keith Olberman..."You, sir, of all the people..."

But seriously, I have a theory that people sometimes wantedly delay responding to some emails to convey (their view) that they are busy and that this is low on their priority list - whether they are really busy or not.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

I don't think you made it quite clear enough how magnificent you consider the frantic collaborator.

Dr. Zeek said...

Hmmm, and here I thought I was being subtle.