Thursday, July 10, 2008

Personality Profiles

I have worked with many different personalities over the years. Keep in mind, I can only comment on my short career - so "over the years" is really 10 years, but I still think I can comment on a fair number of personalities from a wide range of countries.

I have never had a conflict with anyone - at least not a conflict that has interfered with research. I acknowledge that you can't be friends with everyone, but I have been able to have working relationships with everyone - do the getting coffee thing, helping with research project questions, etc. In fact, I published papers with almost everyone in my PhD group. (The one exception was a person who was working on a completely unrelated project). I'm only going into to all of this detail to try to set the stage for what is currently going on.

About three years ago, I started collaborating with a fellow professor on a project. It is going great - and has produced many papers. The project's data is taken in my lab. He recently (8 months ago) got a grad student who he has put on the project. I worked with her to bring her up to speed, and she was making pretty good progress. For the first three months, she and I got along decently. At this point I was starting to interview for faculty jobs. Then "something happened". I still don't know what. I have tried to find out. The other professor has tried to find out. The result of "what happened":

- She doesn't talk to me. - I can say hi, and she will refuse to respond.
- If I enter a room that she is in, she leaves.
- She doesn't return my emails.
- Meetings called with other professors and myself - she won't attend.

The end result of this behavior - I'm getting extremely annoyed, but I don't really have any recourse. I've never really been confronted with behavior of this magnitude and since I don't know what happened to instigate it, I don't really know what to do to correct it.

And since I'm going to be working with more people, I'm now slightly paranoid that what ever happened, could happen again (since I don't know what it was), and this whole cycle could just repeat.

This whole experience is just very exhausting. Maybe I should just take a psychology class.

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