An Open Letter
0 comment Friday, June 6, 2014 |
Dear Office Mate,A few things:If you are going to bring a guest to the lab with you for an entire week, and that person has no professional business in our lab, and during that week your guest will be occupying our *shared* office, it is generally courteous to inquire of the other person(s) with whom you share said office whether they mind. You know, out of respect for the fact that it is also *their* office and that accommodating another person in an already cramped space might be a teeny bit inconvenient for them, and might possibly disrupt the work that they are here to do. (For the record, when asked in the above manner whether it is OK with me for your guest to come to work with you, and spend some of that time in our shared office, the answer is yes, it's fine. However, I don't feel quite so charitable when I am informed, rather than asked, whether this will be OK.)As per #1, your guest is a potential disruption and inconvenience in my working space. Which means that requesting demanding that I go to further inconvenience by disrupting my workspace is really over the top. No, I am not going to "tidy my desk" to accommodate your guest. I have two stacks of papers on it: one for papers I need to read, and one for papers that I have read but intend to revisit. Your guest will not be using my desk during his or her visit, so there is no reason that the relative tidiness of my desk should be an issue. Also, as for the "clothes" under my desk. I keep a gym bag under my desk. I have (washed, never unwashed) gym clothes in it. But there is no reason that you should know that there are clothes of any sort in it, unless you have taken the liberty of snooping. I am sure you're aware that this is completely unacceptable behavior.Finally, I do science. For a living. Doing science is what puts a roof over my head. Ergo, I am a professional scientist. I have a desk. It looks the way it looks, with a couple of stacks of paper on top and a gym bag underneath. It is my desk. It belongs to me, a professional scientist. Ergo, this is what a professional scientist's desk looks like. So when you ask me to make my desk look "more professional" for when your guest (who I have not invited) comes to our shared office, I'm not really sure what you mean. I'm a professional scientist; this is what my professional scientist desk looks like.Please go suck an egg.Uncharitably yours,AA