Got an email from my old boss

Three years ago, Dr. G gave me a big break. He hired me as a research assistant even though I didn’t have a BS yet. (I was an animal care tech with two years experience and had been going to school part-time.) I was thrilled.

Over the years, I learned a lot by working with Dr. G and his staff: PCR, Western Blotting, flow cytometry, etc. Also, over this period of time Dr. G and I had our differences. The pathology images I made of the mice we worked with were used in several poster presentations and a couple of journal drafts. I was never listed as an author on these projects because I lacked a degree. Ordering supplies and keeping track of our budget was my responsibilty; these are the duties of a lab manager but I was never given the title or the pay. (Another “sorry you don’t have a BS” moment.) Managing our colony of mice was another thing I did. Since the academic fellows and the other phd did not like to do the “grunt work”, I harvested tissues and blood for their experiments.

Last September, Dr. G and I had a disaggrement about an experiment. I’ll won’t go into details, but I thought the project was poorly thought out and cruel. Dr. G went ahead with the experiment, I refused to assist and started to look for another job.

In October, I found a new with another lab and I gave my notice. On the day I was supposed to start with the new lab, Dr. G called my boss-to-be if I could work with him another week because there was “to much for everybody to learn.” I was pissed that Dr. G cheated my out of a week’s pay at a much high rate. :mad:

To day I got an email from Dr. G. He needs my signature on some forms for an antibody his lab developed - I was listed on the protocol.

Well, going to give my autograph is going to be awkward as hell for me.


He needs your signature - that doesn’t mean you’re under any obligation to give it to him (it doesn’t mean you’re not either, of course - you probably know that already). You certainly don’t have to go out of your way to do anything for him. Have him drop the papers of with the receptionist at your new employer and tell him you’ll take care of them when you have time.

MM–I am confused. Did Old Boss Dr. G only now want to give you acknowledgement as a contributing “author” because you now have the BS degree that you were going to school part-time for or because you are now employed elsewhere? It is slightly unclear.

IMHO, that one action by Dr. G totally erased any obligations you may have owed him. Without your permission, he contacted your new boss to delay your start date because he couldn’t organize a turnover of duties in the time available? You should have told him to screw and showed up as planned at your new job.

From your summary, it sounds like your “big break” was really Dr. G taking advantage of you - paying you less than someone with a degree for the same duties, leaving your name off papers, and giving you all the grunt work? He was probably thrilled to find you.

My suggestion - tell him he can hire you as a consultant, at a rate of 3x your current salary, 4 hour minimum charge, payable in advance, and then you’ll sign the forms he needs.

He called your new job? In what world is it OK? Why couldn’t you go to your new boss and intercede? WTF is this? How did he even get the new bosses number

I’d make it 5 days minimum! The guy’s a jerk

I’m sorry, I got so mad that I didn’t even answer the OP. I suggest one of two things:

  1. Either bring up the old situation and point out he lost you the higher pay. Ask him to pay the differential. I highly, highly doubt he do this.
  2. If you really just want to get him out of your life (understandable) then do what Enginerd says:

I still have no BS (the degree, that is. I have plenty of the other kind :smiley: ). Dr. G isn’t contacting me about an authorship :frowning: (Come to think of it. He does have a paper coming out soon. It’ll have some of my work in it. If there is any way to link to it, I’ll do it.) Back when I was working with Dr. G, he developed a product that is going to be licensed to him and the University. I was listed on the protocol for this product’s creation, so I just emailed Dr. G that I will sign the papers if I get a percentage of any royalties from this product.

I work in Pediatric research, its a small world. My old boss knew my current boss-Dr. P - and asked him. My co-worker, Rob, told Dr. P “What the fuck were you thinking? We need this person here now!” (I didn’t find out untill later, a nice boost for the ol’ ego. :cool: )