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2006-10-31 - 5:34 p.m.

wanting to cry...

I am sitting at work about to end another day of accomplishing very little, and just feeling exceedingly frustrated. I'm sitting in yet another office that looks like a construction site, piled with boxes.

The furniture doesn't fit the way I need it to fit, and I'm stuck in here moving everything around on my own. I have very few office neighbors - I've been placed on a hallway with one other scientist who does nothing related to what I do. All the other offices are either vacant or intended for visiting scientists (i.e., they remain vacant most of the time). My entire department and the other department with whom I would interact are in another building.

My labs are a shambles - a pile of furniture that I need to rearrange for myself - or rather put in a request to get someone to help me move it - a request that I'm told will take five weeks to fill. What, exactly, am I doing here? The fishbowl was uncomfortable, impractical, and inappropriate. But at least I saw people, and people related to my science. Now I'm in a building with administrators and empty offices. This is really pointless.

I have gotten NOWHERE with my equipment orders, because I am stuck in this horribly bureaucratic cycle of getting quotes for equipment so that I can get the approval to get the money that has already been approved. It is ridiculous, and is going to cost me a year. Again, WHY am I here? I begin to understand why it is so difficult to attract scientists into this system, if (a) they are normally given a pittance for startup (b) the average funding level is an equal pittance, and (c) any time they ARE given any funded, they are tortured for a year before anything comes of it. So my penance for getting an award is that I lose a year of my career to jumping through ridiculous hoops.

What certainly has not helped my mood was getting the reviews of my job proposal from last year. All of the reviews were fairly positive. Two of the reviews stated that I was overqualified for this position. All three reviews expressed the concern of how I would integrate into this department which is different from any I've experienced before, a fear of my own - a fear that is intensified by this sense that I'm being isolated and held back by this process of simply trying to get set up.

The third review had a comment that infuriates me. "She's done well up to this point, but who can predict if she'll keep doing well." The implicit jab behind this statement is "I don't think she has what it takes to succeed, in spite of her record." This type of comment sets me off completely. It is so useless. How can you judge a person on what is yet to come? I thought the purpose of looking at a record is to judge based on prior achievement. If you cannot predict the future, then aren't you supposed to judge based on their prior work, or at least give a CONCRETE REASON why you think that someone will not succeed?

Anyway, it is Halloween - our landlords are a bit fixated on the holiday. In fact, it seems that the whole area (country?) is fascinated with it. Several people have told me that it is the second largest holiday in Canada, a fact that I still find astounding (and difficult to believe...). Well, I hope that I am not being too disrespectful. I just am having a hard time at the moment, and I leave tomorrow for the States, and still have to prepare my talk and pack my suitcase. Sigh.

It will get better. It has to. The thing is, this is the third time I've come to my new office. And this is the third time I've felt on the verge of tears. I wish it would get better soon.

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