So, I did this paper with a woman in my program (we’re both grad students). It was a good paper; we presented it at a big conference, and the written version will be a chapter in a book. Pretty cool, right? Well, we had some rough patches, partly because of a misunderstanding on my part, and bat-shit craziness on hers. She must control everything, but she wants it to be a 50-50 enterprise. So, that means I do a shit ton of work that she throws out, then complains that I don’t work hard enough. Whatever. That paper is done, turned in; outta sight, outta mind.
There’s one small problem, though. Before our working relationship went to shit, we were both asked to write a paper for an online journal that does fun, lit-review type papers. It was a big honor to be asked, especially because we’re still grad students and all. Neither of us wanted to give up the paper, so we decided to give it another try.
It started out pretty bad, when I got an email from her informing me that I have to “win back” her respect, and to do this I should make the bibliography that we’d be working off of. I roll my eyes, pretend not to notice, figure it’s her lack of social skills, and make the most kick-ass bibliography in the history of bibliographies.
And things went well for a few months as we avoided each other. Then we met a few times, and it was awkward but we were both so excited about what we were writing about that things were okay. Woo hoo and all that.
Fast forward to last week. We’re getting close to the deadline, passing drafts back and forth. The first draft, she had written our names down with hers first. I was a little pissed about that (mostly because that’s what she did the last time, which was part of my misunderstanding). But, whatever, nothing’s set in stone, right? So I switch the order, writing a note to the effect of “Hey, we’re doing two papers, there’s two of us, two ways to order our names, so why don’t we do it this way this time?” Now, maybe I’m the one with poor social skills, but it really didn’t seem like a huge problem. Nothing’s set in stone, right? Well, I get a email from her the day before she leaves for a conference saying that she is “very upset” about the order change, and that she “talked to people” and we can’t “move forward until we’ve sorted this out.” Wha–? What the–? Fuck! So, she’s been on strike for a week, holding the draft hostage (though that hasn’t stopped me from doing some work on it), and we’re talking tomorrow. I’d seriously rather drink Drano than have this little talk with her, but, whatever, we’re both adults and there’s no way I’m going to let it be her name first again.
Oh, but there’s more. That conference she went to? She presented a poster with another student. They used a bunch of the data that I and our undergraduate research assistants gathered for the original paper she and I wrote. That’s not a big deal, such borrowing happens a lot in our field. The same data can be analyzed in different ways, all of which advance the science. But, you see, it’s common courtesy to acknowledge where you got your data. She and her coauthor did not. So not cool. So very not cool. This is on top of all the media whoring (interviews in newspapers and on the local NPR station) she’s done using our work but never giving me credit. Classy.