Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Brief PI Rant

Dear PI:

Communication is much more effective when it is a two-way street. You complain that we don't keep you informed about what we're doing, and that we need to show you more intermediate data. Well, how do you propose we do that? Emails are largely unread, Dropbox is doing diddly-squat and we meet once a month for 30 minutes during which you often get fixated on one detail of something trivial (like, say, my font choice on a purely internal document). Do you want daily telegrams? Smoke signals? Voicemail? I'm running out of ways to convey information to you. Finding you in person doesn't work, and since you are teaching a grad class this semester, you don't have set office hours I can use to ambush you.

Furthermore, quit getting mad that we don't always communicate with other group members about things we had no idea they were even doing. There are 2 postdocs and 7 graduate students and 2 undergrads working on 12 different projects. It's a good day when I remember everything I'm supposed to be working on, let alone what everyone else is doing.

We're not going to be offended that you have to travel for presentations and review panels and whatnot, but please, at least tell us when you aren't going to be around so we don't waste time looking for you?

The people you allegedly advise/supervise


  1. I totally feel you. I was supposed to meet with my PI at 9:30 this morning. He came in at 10:15 just to tell that he would be back at 1:00 and that we could meet then. So I rescheduled my experiments to be done at 1:00 only to see my PI run in just in time for labmeeting at 2:00. After labmeeting I had to do something in the lab so we scheduled to meet at 3:20. Then he told me that he had to leave at 3:40, so I had a good 20 minutes to discuss a month worth of data.... And during labmeeting he told us again that he wanted us to show him more raw data. Yeah right.

    1. Having spent the last week beating my head against the wrong set of VIs because everyone told Eli that it was the right set only, out of despair to find that it was the wrong one, allow the bunny to point out that communication is a two way street.