Posted by: thediygeochemist | April 14, 2011

Gossip! PLEASE!!!

I love both of the people I’ve done research with, but they couldn’t be more different. SL is big (tall and wide–though not fat), dark, extroverted, and a terrible gossip. Dr. Hand-Waver is tiny (short and not-at-all-wide), fair, introverted, and not chatty, at all.

When I was working for SL I was always really embarrassed because he talked about me to other professors. ALL THE TIME. When I started working for Dr. Hand-Waver I was relieved that she didn’t do that. Until recently, that is.

After I filed for divorce it was hard to talk about my situation, but I had to tell a bunch of people. My family. My clergyperson. A few close friends. And, of course, my advisor.

Since it was so hard to talk about what was going on, I was kind of hoping that the few people I told would tell other people who would tell other people who would…you get the picture. And in some cases, this worked. WoeGirl told my other labmates, for example, as well as her advisor, Dr. J.

I figured between Dr. Hand-Waver and Dr. J the rest of the department was pretty well covered–if they each mentioned it to one person who mentioned it another person, pretty soon all the profs would know, right? This would save me the embarrassment of, say, having to explain the gory details when I have to ask for an extension on my assignment. (I am assuming that if the prof knew the basics, I could get away with saying, ‘I have to be at mediation that day’ and he wouldn’t pry for details.) But nooooo, neither Dr. J nor Dr. HW said anything to anyone.

And so I am telling people one by one, when it comes up in conversation and when I think I can emotionally handle it. (Last week one of the profs asked me if my husband took me out to dinner to celebrate passing my seminar. I was not in a mood to say anything about it that day and so I let it slide.)

What this means is that I end up having to tell people at very inconvenient times. Like the other day, when I was very frustrated after a conversation with UnlikelyDad, I was walking down the hall when Dr. Catalyst pulled me aside to find out what was wrong. So I told him about my situation, and ended up crying in the middle of the hallway. Yay.

This would be a lot easier if people would just start gossiping. Then Dr. PokerFace could think to himself, “Gee, UnlikelyGrad isn’t sniffling in my class because it’s achingly dull. It’s just her situation getting to her.” And so on and so forth. Makes me wish I were back working for SL again.

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