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Long hours, families

Julia Frugoli jfrugoli at bio.tamu.edu
Fri Apr 21 18:09:17 EST 2000

Linnea wrote:

>Where this "families trump everything else" leads to problems is when,
>for example, I have tickets to the symphony but am told that I have to
>chose between doing that and using the evaporator after 5:00 P.M. that
>night because Joe has to use it before then so that he can pick up his
>kids at daycare. In other words, his priorities must become MINE. His
>choice has affected my life. He is allowed to live his AS HE CHOSES at
>my expense. The symphony may not be such a big deal to him, but it is to
>ME, especially since my best friend was playing a solo that night.  I
>did feel the need to go support her.

I'm not so sure this is a "families take the trump" problem as just plain
bad lab management.  IMHO, anytime one person's reasons takes precedence, it
smacks of not fair.  Some reasons in my world that would make me adjust my
schedule, despite the fairness aspect: the results being needed for a job
presentation/grant proposal/talk tomorrow-and even then I can see problems
(why did this person plan so poorly?).  Yes, Joe can ask you if he can use
the evaporator, but if you've signed up, then you have the right to say no. 
Since Joe didn't plan, he can use it tomorrow, or find some way to salvage
his experiment.  Kids aren't a trump card-besides, many people have them. 
There's a big difference in my mind between taking someone's gel down
because they had to go pick up their sick child at school (an unexpected
emergency) and letting them disrupt your schedule because they have to leave
at 5 (a planned, regular occurrence).  What if two people with kids have
conflicts?  Then who uses the equipment? Most of the places I've worked,
signing up ahead of time resolves equipment woes, and if you sign first,
it's yours.  Linnea, who told you you had to give up the slot?  Joe or your
boss?  To me it's two different issues.  I wouldn't feel badly about saying
no-Joe's poor planning shouldn't be your problem.

My 2 cents

Julia Frugoli
Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology
Texas A&M University
Norman E.Borlaug Center for Southern Crop Improvement 
2123 TAMUS
College Station, TX 77843
phone 979-862-3495
FAX 979-862-4790

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