The Spineless Bastard Strikes AGAIN!

I really hate work now. Its been building up for months, but now I dread walking into the lab every morning.

The department I work for has lost its two senior scientists to other universities. (There seems to be a mass exodus from this U., many departments are losing their “headline” researchers.) The building we’re in is a joint effort between the U and a Private Non-Profit organization. Since our department is not associated with the PNP, and in jeopardy, their head research honcho – the Spineless Bastard - has been giving us crap. He wants us out of “his” building.

A post-doc I work with, S., and I had to go through intensive financial training because the Spineless asshole is known to make charges to other researchers’ grants. Since the U doesn’t monitor this sort of activity (but doesn’t want it to happen :confused: :mad: ), S. and I are in the fucked-up position of having to watch our money and report the misbehavior of a higher-up when it happens.

Last month, we moved to a floor in the building that is supposed to belong to the U. The Bastard is now bitching that we took equipment. It was our fucking stuff! We own it! When the senior researchers left, they signed it over to the rest of the department. It is UNIVERSITY PROPERTY. You can’t get your tit-grabbing, secretary groping, money-stealing hands on it. Fuck off and DIE!

If academia can’t be civilized, what hope is there for anywhere else?! :frowning:

Hee, hee. Assholes abound. I’m venting - this is very frustrating because I can’t do anything.

What drives me up a wall is that the U had a financial scandal, a sex scandal involving the football team, to much attention paid to an egotistical blow-hard and this low-life is flying under the radar.

Realistically: I hope karma bites this man in the ass hard. Fantasy: I win the lottery, go to the press and tell them everything.

Mouse Maven, I wish you didn’t have to deal with this Spinelss Bastard.

Can you get any support from the U? I’m not talking about having them actually supporting your department and jobs, but going to their HR/Legal people and asking them if there’s anything you can do about the harassment you and your co-worker are dealing with? I may be being naive, here, but I’d have hoped that a University would be rather quick off the mark with policing workplace harassment.
On preview: Brain Glutton, are you being ironic? Because if you’re not - well, the stories my parents tell of academia, and the general reputation I’ve heard since, imply that petty, backstabbing and scorched earth-style office politics abound there.

Ever read Moo, by Jane Smiley? Don’t get mad–get even. Write a novel. Put all of this down on paper, change the names to protect the innocent, and fire it off to Random House.


Sadly, no. The Bastard is the head of research for the private non-profit section of this building. He has a say over what happens here, but is not a U. employee. Technically, the head of our department is still on as an U. employee until the end of April, but he is in Canada starting his new job and isn’t keeping track of all of this.

This department is orphaned. We lost our administrative support and I have been trying to take up the slack. Funding is tight - nothing unusual there. My boss is despondent and it thinking about quitting research. The Spineless Bastard makes leaving look like a good idea to many talented people.

Which is obviously his goal. :mad:

If it were more than a week past the Virginia Tech shootings I’d suggest making a playlist for work, featuring Harry Chapin’s Sniper. As it is, I don’t think that’s a wise thing to do.


Not a bit ironic. Academia, by its nature, should be more civilized than any other sector of society, including the churches. That it isn’t is very depressing and discouraging.

Why don’t you do that anyway? What would happen to you if you did?

Take all this to your Dean. Deans carry a mighty big stick and they have access to University lawyers. I’m sure if you tell him specifically that SB is trying to steal (well, let’s say, appropriate) University property, your Dean will be happy to swing into action.

So make an appointment with the Dean of your college, detail the items in question and other ways SB is encroaching and let them fight it out.

sigh Our grad student was talking to a tech that works for the Bastard’s lab. According to him, the tech said,“We couldn’t wait for you guys to move so we could take over the space.” :rolleyes:

One of our PI’s is fighting with Bastard over a computer. Its supposed to go to Canada for the old Department Head to use, there is important information on it. The Spineless Bastard had IT take out of our lab without telling us. Emails back and forth.

I’m just going to stay in my corner and hope this all settles out soon. Politics is a fucking pain.

Lose my job, never be able to work in research again. . . The list goes on. Its a small community, assine behavior is tolerated because the intellect/skills attached are hard to come by.

Also, who would believe me? I’m a research assistant, just a step above the janitorial staff. No higher education, no “name”, nothing that gives me any sort of authority or clout.

I’m ripping my hair out because I fill out and keep the property paperwork. All morning I have been making copies, explaining the rules and handing the information over to the researchers. They take this, fight with the Big Wigs, my job is on the line and I never see who is basically accusing me of theft.

You have documentation that the equipment belongs to the university, don’t you? (Of course you do, you’re smart.) Then let him have it, sort of. Find a bunch of junk that looks like what the equipment would look like if you smashed it to bits, box it all up and give it to him. When he raises hell about you giving him broken gear, whip out the documentation showing that he wanted university property and explain that you trying to be “helpful” by giving him gear you thought that he could repair and use, without getting him in trouble for taking university property.

If it weren’t illegal, I’d say tell him when no witnesses were around that he could have the gear, then after it was picked up, report it stolen.

Boy howdy, do I wish I could do this!:smiley: I have a whole pile of broken, old and useless stuff that has to go. The idea of handing it over to the Spineless One - instead of having to go through the steps of disposing of it - is giggle-inducing.

I was very anal about the equipment documentation. The U requires documents for things that are over a certain dollar amount, everything below that amount it doesn’t track. I have paperwork on everything and submitted copies to the U materials management office.

Calling the police is tempting, but the Bastard’s secretary already told us,“When we couldn’t find the equipment, we considered calling campus security.” :mad: (Ya didn’t look to hard. It was were we moved to, a floor down.)

Today, I’m at home. Mouse_Spouse broke his toe last night :frowning: , so we’re both tired and grumpy. Al least its keeping me out of the weather and I’ll have a chance to catch up on some on-line training and reading.

I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your posts about your lab over the months (years?), and I am so grateful that my lab experience had none of the stress that you’ve got. It’s amazing what a few jerks in high places can do to the atmosphere of a place.