Sunday, August 17, 2008

Aftermath of this postdoc

My postdoc advisor keeps writing to me to ask me to perform various secretarial tasks --- not terribly time-consuming, but a total of 45 minutes that I don't feel like I have as I prepare to move and start a new postdoc that I am trying to be extremely conscientious about. I told him that I was surprised to continue getting requests for secretarial, to which he replied that he was surprised at my response, since he doesn't feel that I have put in as much time as I was paid for this year, though he admits he could be wrong.

I don't know how to reply to this, or if I should. It seems to me that it's water under the bridge, though I am tempted to say a few things:

1. He cut my salary in half when he hired an administrator to do these secretarial tasks, and yet continued to give me these secretarial tasks.

2. I am not a secretary. If he thinks I owe him research work, that's a reasonable issue to discuss. Discussing how many emails I have to send and lists to compile is not reasonable, and really weren't reasonable tasks for me in the first place.

Both points are reasonable, and I could tell him both of those. The third point that is of course in the back of my mind is that he lost me the second he cut my salary in half and made the first few months of my employment be 70% secretarial tasks.

But really I just want to avoid the whole issue. It was a mistake to accept the job. My term of employment ended, and I no longer have affiliation with that university. And if he thinks that I owe him something, he should have raised this issue when he was actually paying me.

That's a little overly strict, but I am concerned about maintaining boundaries so that I can succeed in my up-coming position.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My old PhD advisor is a horrible person. He still brings up that he paid my salary for the last year of my Ph.D., and that was years ago. Some people are just bitter, unreasonable poor advisors. They will always think you owe them something and haven't the slightest clue that it is supposed to go both ways.