If We Were Having Coffee….

2015-02-14 14.51.37

If we were having coffee, I’d want to get all caught up on the happenings in your life since I missed last week. I’d explain that I was away, in Toronto, for a long-ish weekend. I had planned to still participate in the Weekend Coffee Share, but time got away from me. It seems to be doing that a lot lately. A slippery thing, time.

If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a Happy Valentines Day! I know there are several Valentines Day grinches out there…yes, Happy Valentines Day to you too. Don’t worry, I’m not going to shove how wonderful Valentines Day is down your throat. I’m not an advocate for Valentines Day, but I don’t hate it either. With days designated for the celebration of everything from your nationality to crunchy peanut butter, you can’t go without a day for love. Love is something that should be celebrated, but not on one specific day once a year. It should be celebrated everyday. If you love someone, you should show them as often as you can. That, I am an advocate for.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask if you had any big plans for today? Hubby and I are staying home today. We both have a lot of work and chores and such to catch up on. Hubby made Finish pancakes this morning for breakfast. He doesn’t make them often, so that is my Valentines Day treat. I call them Finish pancakes, but they are really called lettues. They are thin, like crepes, but are more buttery in texture. They are good both hot and cold. We usually spread jam or Nutella on them and roll them up. Yum! We have some left over, would you like to try?


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you work is really stressing me out. I got the stomach flu…again, so I haven’t even been in. Being ill never stops the phone though. So firstly, we’re working on a new grant application. This one is only available to Quebec researchers working on Age-related Macular Degeneration. We applied last year and didn’t get it, so this year we have to be more cutting edge. The boss lady described a vague idea for the grant that she and a collaborator have been talking about. I don’t really know what to think about it because it is already part of my dissertation! If she applies for a grant with it, does that mean it is no longer my idea? Does that mean I can’t use it towards my Ph.D.? That would be really bad because this part was one of the more simple experiments I had planned out. I called her yesterday to discuss it, but she didn’t pick up. I hope I am jumping to conclusions here. As a person, I can’t imagine her doing that to me, but I have to be certain. I don’t want to sound like a b*tch fighting over intellectual property, but I have to make sure she remembers it was my idea and I’ve been presenting it as part of my dissertation plan.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you the second reason work is stressing me out is the new Ph.D. student. He started last September. I thought he was an angel sent to help relieve my work load. As the only Ph.D. student in the lab, I was running everything which was wayyy too much for me. Having someone to share the load would have been awesome. Then I found out he was only going to be in town part of the year, doh! He is in his 40s and works for a low vision organization in the USA. His job is sending him here (with full salary I might add) to get a Ph.D. in order to fill a promotion when he gets back. Sweet deal right? Anyway, I’ll spare you the long story but, the problem is he can’t handle it and the boss lady is going to ask him to withdraw himself from the program. This doesn’t really affect me at all, but the boss lady has been really upset and stressed about the whole thing. I feel awful for her. She has to tell him to leave without crushing his confidence, but making sure that he understands what went wrong and why he’s not cut out for this. Can you imagine how difficult that would be? This is someone she has known for years and has to continue working with in the future. Even worse, I don’t think he knows what is coming either. In fact, I’m not sure where his brain is at the moment. The way he is handling the situation has left all parties involved (and me) scratching our heads. The boss lady is going to make it look like it was his decision to leave to help him save face going back to work in the US, but I don’t envy his position at all. *sigh*

If we were having coffee, I’d say it’s time to stop worrying about work. It is Saturday after all. It’s time to do something fun…not laundry! Maybe I’ll try to catch up on my art journaling. Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend. Eat some chocolate! Catch you next week!

(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. trentpmcd
    Feb 14, 2015 @ 15:18:18

    Interesting work worries – None of them are for yourself! Well, except for the unmentioned fact that your work load will increase. I think it’s great you have empathy for both the “boss lady” and PhD student (soon to be ex-PhD student?) and I can see why you don’t envy either of them in this! I know it’s easier said than done, but I would say you can feel for the people involved and help them if you can, but since you have no control you should try to feel less stress. Now go work on your art journal as you eat chocolate!


    • somberscribbler
      Feb 14, 2015 @ 15:30:08

      The boss lady often calls to unload, so I listen. I hope it helps. I don’t really think I should know as much as I do about the situation, but talking is how she copes, so I just play dumb. I’ve reached out to the other guy, but he hasn’t returned any of emails or calls since the new year. Things should be resolved by the end of Monday. I’ll think I’ll lay low until then.
      I love your advice, I think I will do just that!


      • trentpmcd
        Feb 14, 2015 @ 15:36:07

        It’s good you can help the boss lady unload, but when you take the weight off of her you’re not supposed to keep it.

        Actually, my advice sounds good to me too – I think I’ll go get some chocolate and do my version of art journal – play the piano for a while.

  2. Gene'O
    Feb 14, 2015 @ 16:26:54

    That is a lot of stress to be having! Trent is right. Working on your art journal will likely you you some good šŸ™‚

    And thank you for that comment on my post today. That was very encouraging.


  3. Corina
    Feb 14, 2015 @ 20:19:08

    It’s good to see you back this weekend! Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too! What a nice treat your husband made for you. It sounds delicious.

    The thing that comes to mind with Boss Lady unloading on you is that sometimes people say too much to “underlings” and then when they realize it, their attitude changes toward that person, and not for the better. That and the fact that there is no one for you to unload on…except us, that is.

    Have a good week and and enjoy the rest of Valentine’s Day! See you next time.


  4. K. Renae P.
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 11:10:21

    Sounds like you have a lot going on at work. I do think you need to talk to your Boss Lady and adviser (not sure what you call the person over your dissertation) about your concerns.

    I know you have no control over the situation with the person who will probably be asked to go home but not being a good fit is a possible consequence. It stinks, but if that is the best decision (which it sounds like it may be), then that’s the way it is. Everybody can’t get their Pd.D. Hopefully you will get a new colleague who can actually bring it and assist you.

    Enjoyed your coffee talk.


    • somberscribbler
      Feb 15, 2015 @ 18:26:35

      Thanks for stopping by for coffee!
      The boss lady and my adviser are the same person. I spoke to her today and she said everything was fine. If they use my idea for the grant, it can still be used for my dissertation since it was my idea. Phew!!
      I hope you are right! it would be so nice to have a new colleague to share the workload!


  5. Mental Mama
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 18:15:42

    Work is stressful for me, too. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better physically though, I hope that helps. Your pancakes sound amazing! Mom made a Nutella pie for dessert last night and it was quite good. I’d be happy to get the recipe from her if you’re interested.


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