Dealing with the bullshit
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06-04-2015, 10:01 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2015 10:44 AM by TheBeardedDude.)
Dealing with the bullshit
I have been a member of the forum for 4 years (as a matter of fact, it was 4 years about a week ago), but I have been a lot less active in the last 2. Part of the reason for that were forum issues and part were the bleeding-over of personal bullshit into my daily activities. I feel like it might be helpful to vent somewhere and to share how things are on the up and up too.

First off, I'll say I have been seeing a therapist to talk with and started an anti-depressant more recently. Having someone to talk to that is outside of the situations has been very helpful.

One consistent thorn in my side over the last few years were the in-laws, particularly my father-in-law (who some of you may remember is an anti-vac, super conservative, YEC). Happily, I haven't had any real contact with him or about him in over a year. The only interaction I have directly had with him in that timeframe was at a family reunion, where I just kind of kept my distance and my comments short. I realized that he came across as a sort of insecure teenager who was so desperate for attention and so desperate to have his opinions respected and asked for that he would interject himself into any conversation, regardless of what he did or didn't know about the topic at hand. Realizing this about him has made him easier to deal with, by realizing it is best to not deal with him. Happily, his veil of bullshit has gotten thinner and thinner for everyone else too, not that he is particularly hard to read. For instance, my wife also doesn't interact with him in any real sense either, and I have also been happy to see her and my sister-in-law be combative with him on facebook (although he blocked me long ago and apparently recently deactivated his account because "he was tired or people taking what he said too seriously"). He is no longer getting the benefit of the doubt that his ignorant, misogynistic, racist, or otherwise bigoted quips are anything other than his true colors shining through.

He has actually been the least of my worries for a while. About a year and a half ago, I began to have problems with a colleague of mine (I won't start at the very beginning, primarily because I let most of that bullshit go as it happened). The problems made me realize that this colleague (we'll call her Tara) was not only untrustworthy, but also somewhat unstable. In any event, I began talking with my advisor to begin the process of me taking my qualifying exams, and he remarked that he wanted Tara to do hers first. I understood why, which is because she had been there 4 years at that point and would have raised hell if she thought I were making progress faster than her (also worth noting that one normally takes these exams after ~2 years in the program, so she was way behind). So, I agreed to hold off and even try and help Tara get her exams scheduled. This is where things take a nose-dive.

I set up a weekly reading and discussion with Tara for the summer. We would meet 3 days a week and discuss multiple papers each day relevant to our study areas. I suggested we set a goal for the end of the summer, I was trying to lead her to setting the goal of doing her exams. Her goal was immediately to "get this over with so she could go visit her friend in Alaska in July." So, you can see how seriously she was taking this. In any event, I needed to get her moving forward so I could too, so I trudged on. Our first meeting was uneventful, but I began to realize that the she was very ignorant on the topic she was supposed to have been working on for the last 4 years. Our second meeting did not go so well. We began discussing the papers (and by "we" I mean me, because she still didn't know much of anything about the information) and then she derailed the conversation onto generic gossip and bullshit. I tried to deflect the topic and get it back on course, then she got mad, real mad. She began yelling and cussing at me and accusing me of saying things I didn't say or implying things I didn't imply (this centered around her telling me I was "victim blaming" and telling her to "fuck off"). That pretty well ended that meeting and she didn't show up the next day. I made sure to document this to my advisor and continued to agree to meet with her. The next week would end up being our only full week of meetings, and they too were uneventful with her having no real clue what was going on. Then, on week 3, I went into her office for another discussion and she was making the sounds a 10 year old might make when they are sad to try and get attention and made some comment about a fight with her mother on the phone, I promptly ignored this and started talking about the paper because the last off-topic conversation did not end so well. Tara got up, closed the door to her office (she and I were the only ones in there) and sat back down and I could hear her starting some sort of muffled cry/whimpering. This was not comfortable and it was even more problematic because with a closed door in a largely vacant building (it was middle of the summer on a college campus), I had no witnesses. She made a comment about "needing a minute" so I told her that was fine and to come get me when she was ready, and then I walked out and back to my office. This was the last time Tara and I had ever spoken because she never came and got me and just left, but it would prove to only be the beginning of her bullshit.

As it turns out, she has been causing problems or manufacturing conflict for years as an excuse for not getting her work done. That summer, her last 2 enemies were completely gone, so she needed a new one and she clearly set her sights on me, I don't think this was done consciously but still. By the end of the summer/beginning of the fall semester, I had decided to adopt the strategy of simply avoiding Tara. This was because she had begun sending emails to our advisor insuinaiuing that I had done something to her or that I had instigated some sort of conflict. I decided it would be best to simply not interact with her at all. As it turned out, she didn't like that strategy either and then started to go to our advisor, the head of the department, and various officials within the university saying that I was bullying her, creating a hostile work environment for her, and turning all of the new grad students against her. I might reiterate that I didn't interact with her or about her to any of the new grad students, but this did not stop her delusional mind from thinking it. As it turned out, she was also trying to contact individuals in the geology community at large about me by sending out emails. I don't know the exact contents of these emails, but I know the things she said to people on campus and this was troubling. In any event, I spent too much of my time in various offices last semester mediating this problem only to eventually have them tell Tara to leave me the fuck alone, because none of her claims panned-out and she had to admit that I had not done anything to her (I believe her exact phrasing was something like "I didn't mean to imply he had actually done any of these things, but that he might").

All of this was engineered bullshit to help her delay taking her exams. Any excuse she could use to not take them was seen as to her benefit. By removing her only source of personal conflict, they hoped to speed the process of her taking her exams. They underestimated her though. She clearly didn't know the material, so she kept trying to find new ways to avoid it. Like, going to grad students in a different department to try and find out how their qualifying exams were done and then demanding that hers be done that way (not going to happen). She kept having health issues arise, then she had a problem with her teaching assistant assignment for the spring semester. Her response to the latter was to threaten suicide to our advisor (the cops were called). Needless to say, I still didn't feel safe and had them change the locks on my office door. Eventually, the grad school stepped in and said she had a month to take the exams or they would kick her out. Surprise, surprise, her exams got scheduled then.

So, 2 months ago, she took the written portion and a week or two later, she took the oral portion. Now, because of the way things had been going, I just assumed that they would pass her (note, I didn't say she would pass but that her committee would pass her) and that she would continue to be a problem for the department (for instance, her bullshit over her teaching assignment screwed 3 other TA's and an instructor in order to accommodate her). But, she failed and they failed her. Now, typically that would be the end of it and she would be gone, but they gave her a retake for a month later, I still assumed that they would pass her. Well, that exam happened last week and they did indeed fail her again, finalizing the fact that she was done in the program.

So, in the last week, a major source of stress and bullshit in my life has found herself out and forced to move back to the pit of hell she came from, and the icing on the cake is that I even found out that my student research grant was funded. I had to trudge through a year of bullshit, but (like Andy Dufresne) I came out the other end smelling like a rose.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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06-04-2015, 10:16 AM (This post was last modified: 06-04-2015 10:39 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Dealing with the bullshit
(06-04-2015 10:01 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I have been a member of the forum for 4 years (as a matter of fact, it was 4 years about a week ago), but I have been a lot less active in the last 2. Part of the reason for that were forum issues and part were the bleeding-over of personal bullshit into my daily activities. I feel like it might be helpful to vent somewhere and to share how things are on the up and up too.

First off, I'll say I have been seeing a therapist to talk with and started an anti-depressant more recently. Having someone to talk to that is outside of the situations has been very helpful.

One consistent thorn in my side over the last few years were the in-laws, particularly my father-in-law (who some of you may remember is an anti-vac, super conservative, YEC). Happily, I haven't had any real contact with him or about him in over a year. The only interaction I have directly had with him in that timeframe was at a family reunion, where I just kind of kept my distance and my comments short. I realized that he came across as a sort of insecure teenager who was so desperate for attention and so desperate to have his opinions respected and asked for that he would interject himself into any conversation, regardless of what he did or didn't know about the topic at hand. Realizing this about him has made him easier to deal with, by realizing it is best to not deal with him. Happily, his veil of bullshit has gotten thinner and thinner for everyone else too, not that he is particularly hard to read. For instance, my wife also doesn't interact with him in any real sense either, and I have also been happy to see her and my sister-in-law be combative with him on facebook (although he blocked me long ago and apparently recently deactivated his account because "he was tired or people taking what he said too seriously"). He is no longer getting the benefit of the doubt that his ignorant, misogynistic, racist, or otherwise bigoted quips are anything other than his true colors shining through.

He has actually been the least of my worries for a while. About a year and a half ago, I began to have problems with a colleague of mine (I won't start at the very beginning, primarily because I let most of that bullshit go as it happened). The problems made me realize that this colleague (we'll call her Tara) was not only untrustworthy, but also somewhat unstable. In any event, I began talking with my advisor to begin the process of me taking my qualifying exams, and he remarked that he wanted Tara to do hers first. I understood why, which is because she had been there 4 years at that point and would have raised hell if she thought I were making progress faster than her (also worth noting that one normally takes these exams after ~2 years in the program, so she was way behind). So, I agreed to hold off and even try and help Tara get her exams scheduled. This is where things take a nose-dive.

I set up a weekly reading and discussion with Tara for the summer. We would meet 3 days a week and discuss multiple papers each day relevant to our study areas. I suggested we set a goal for the end of the summer, I was trying to lead her to setting the goal of doing her exams. Her goal was immediately to "get this over with so she could go visit her friend in Alaska in July." So, you can see how seriously she was taking this. In any event, I needed to get her moving forward so I could too, so I trudged on. Our first meeting was uneventful, but I began to realize that the she was very ignorant on the topic she was supposed to have been working on for the last 4 years. Our second meeting did not go so well. We began discussing the papers (and by "we" I mean me, because she still didn't know much of anything about the information) and then she derailed the conversation onto generic gossip and bullshit. I tried to deflect the topic and get it back on course, then she got mad, real mad. She began yelling and cussing at me and accusing me of saying things I didn't say or implying things I didn't imply (this centered around her telling me I was "victim blaming" and telling her to "fuck off"). That pretty well ended that meeting and she didn't show up the next day. I made sure to document this to my advisor and continued to agree to meet with her. The next week would end up being our only full week of meetings, and they too were uneventful with her having no real clue what was going on. Then, on week 3, I went into her office for another discussion and she was making the sounds a 10 year old might make when they are sad to try and get attention and made some comment about a fight with her mother on the phone, I promptly ignored this and started talking about the paper because the last off-topic conversation did not end so well. Tara got up, closed the door to her office (she and I were the only ones in there) and sat back down and I could hear her starting some sort of muffled cry/whimpering. This was not comfortable and it was even more problematic because with a closed door in a largely vacant building (it was middle of the summer on a college campus), I had no witnesses. She made a comment about "needing a minute" so I told her that was fine and to come get me when she was ready, and then I walked out and back to my office. This was the last time Tara and I had ever spoken because she never came and got me and just left, but it would prove to only be the beginning of her bullshit.

As it turns out, she has been causing problems or manufacturing conflict for years as an excuse for not getting her work done. That summer, her last 2 enemies were completely gone, so she needed a new one and she clearly set her sights on me, I don't think this was done consciously but still. By the end of the summer/beginning of the fall semester, I had decided to adopt the strategy of simply avoiding Tara. This was because she had begun sending emails to our advisor insuinaiuing that I had done something to her or that I had instigated some sort of conflict. I decided it would be best to simply not interact with her at all. As it turned out, she didn't like that strategy either and then started to go to our advisor, the head of the department, and various officials within the university saying that I was bullying her, creating a hostile work environment for her, and turning all of the new grad students against her. I might reiterate that I didn't interact with her or about her to any of the new grad students, but this did not stop her delusional mind from thinking it. As it turned out, she was also trying to contact individuals in the geology community at large about me by sending out emails. I don't know the exact contents of these emails, but I know the things she said to people on campus and this was troubling. In any event, I spent too much of my time in various offices last semester mediating this problem only to eventually have them tell Jayme to leave me the fuck alone, because none of her claims panned-out and she had to admit that I had not done anything to her (I believe her exact phrasing was something like "I didn't mean to imply he had actually done any of these things, but that he might").

All of this was engineered bullshit to help her delay taking her exams. Any excuse she could use to not take them was seen as to her benefit. By removing her only source of personal conflict, they hoped to speed the process of her taking her exams. They underestimated her though. She clearly didn't know the material, so she kept trying to find new ways to avoid it. Like, going to grad students in a different department to try and find out how their qualifying exams were done and then demanding that hers be done that way (not going to happen). She kept having health issues arise, then she had a problem with her teaching assistant assignment for the spring semester. Her response to the latter was to threaten suicide to our advisor (the cops were called). Needless to say, I still didn't feel safe and had them change the locks on my office door. Eventually, the grad school stepped in and said she had a month to take the exams or they would kick her out. Surprise, surprise, her exams got scheduled then.

So, 2 months ago, she took the written portion and a week or two later, she took the oral portion. Now, because of the way things had been going, I just assumed that they would pass her (note, I didn't say she would pass but that her committee would pass her) and that she would continue to be a problem for the department (for instance, her bullshit over her teaching assignment screwed 3 other TA's and an instructor in order to accommodate her). But, she failed and they failed her. Now, typically that would be the end of it and she would be gone, but they gave her a retake for a month later, I still assumed that they would pass her. Well, that exam happened last week and they did indeed fail her again, finalizing the fact that she was done in the program.

So, in the last week, a major source of stress and bullshit in my life has found herself out and forced to move back to the pit of hell she came from, and the icing on the cake is that I even found out that my student research grant was funded. I had to trudge through a year of bullshit, but (like Andy Dufresne) I came out the other end smelling like a rose.

Sounds like you are light years beyond her. One of the "problems" with academia, (in my opinion), is that since people have SO much invested in their specialties and baliwicks, they forget to look at the "big picture" and live in a broader "real world". The only way I can survive is to have multiple interests and activities, so I am forced to remember all the politics just evaporate as totally inconsequential at some (soon) future date. Sounds like you're doing pretty good to me. Smile

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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08-04-2015, 12:51 PM
RE: Dealing with the bullshit
All I can say is WTF, and glad she's gone! o.o
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08-04-2015, 12:53 PM
RE: Dealing with the bullshit
(08-04-2015 12:51 PM)Philanthropic Misanthrope Wrote:  All I can say is WTF, and glad she's gone! o.o

me too....me too

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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08-04-2015, 01:26 PM
RE: Dealing with the bullshit
(06-04-2015 10:01 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I have been a member of the forum for 4 years (as a matter of fact, it was 4 years about a week ago), but I have been a lot less active in the last 2. Part of the reason for that were forum issues and part were the bleeding-over of personal bullshit into my daily activities. I feel like it might be helpful to vent somewhere and to share how things are on the up and up too.

First off, I'll say I have been seeing a therapist to talk with and started an anti-depressant more recently. Having someone to talk to that is outside of the situations has been very helpful.

One consistent thorn in my side over the last few years were the in-laws, particularly my father-in-law (who some of you may remember is an anti-vac, super conservative, YEC). Happily, I haven't had any real contact with him or about him in over a year. The only interaction I have directly had with him in that timeframe was at a family reunion, where I just kind of kept my distance and my comments short. I realized that he came across as a sort of insecure teenager who was so desperate for attention and so desperate to have his opinions respected and asked for that he would interject himself into any conversation, regardless of what he did or didn't know about the topic at hand. Realizing this about him has made him easier to deal with, by realizing it is best to not deal with him. Happily, his veil of bullshit has gotten thinner and thinner for everyone else too, not that he is particularly hard to read. For instance, my wife also doesn't interact with him in any real sense either, and I have also been happy to see her and my sister-in-law be combative with him on facebook (although he blocked me long ago and apparently recently deactivated his account because "he was tired or people taking what he said too seriously"). He is no longer getting the benefit of the doubt that his ignorant, misogynistic, racist, or otherwise bigoted quips are anything other than his true colors shining through.

He has actually been the least of my worries for a while. About a year and a half ago, I began to have problems with a colleague of mine (I won't start at the very beginning, primarily because I let most of that bullshit go as it happened). The problems made me realize that this colleague (we'll call her Tara) was not only untrustworthy, but also somewhat unstable. In any event, I began talking with my advisor to begin the process of me taking my qualifying exams, and he remarked that he wanted Tara to do hers first. I understood why, which is because she had been there 4 years at that point and would have raised hell if she thought I were making progress faster than her (also worth noting that one normally takes these exams after ~2 years in the program, so she was way behind). So, I agreed to hold off and even try and help Tara get her exams scheduled. This is where things take a nose-dive.

I set up a weekly reading and discussion with Tara for the summer. We would meet 3 days a week and discuss multiple papers each day relevant to our study areas. I suggested we set a goal for the end of the summer, I was trying to lead her to setting the goal of doing her exams. Her goal was immediately to "get this over with so she could go visit her friend in Alaska in July." So, you can see how seriously she was taking this. In any event, I needed to get her moving forward so I could too, so I trudged on. Our first meeting was uneventful, but I began to realize that the she was very ignorant on the topic she was supposed to have been working on for the last 4 years. Our second meeting did not go so well. We began discussing the papers (and by "we" I mean me, because she still didn't know much of anything about the information) and then she derailed the conversation onto generic gossip and bullshit. I tried to deflect the topic and get it back on course, then she got mad, real mad. She began yelling and cussing at me and accusing me of saying things I didn't say or implying things I didn't imply (this centered around her telling me I was "victim blaming" and telling her to "fuck off"). That pretty well ended that meeting and she didn't show up the next day. I made sure to document this to my advisor and continued to agree to meet with her. The next week would end up being our only full week of meetings, and they too were uneventful with her having no real clue what was going on. Then, on week 3, I went into her office for another discussion and she was making the sounds a 10 year old might make when they are sad to try and get attention and made some comment about a fight with her mother on the phone, I promptly ignored this and started talking about the paper because the last off-topic conversation did not end so well. Tara got up, closed the door to her office (she and I were the only ones in there) and sat back down and I could hear her starting some sort of muffled cry/whimpering. This was not comfortable and it was even more problematic because with a closed door in a largely vacant building (it was middle of the summer on a college campus), I had no witnesses. She made a comment about "needing a minute" so I told her that was fine and to come get me when she was ready, and then I walked out and back to my office. This was the last time Tara and I had ever spoken because she never came and got me and just left, but it would prove to only be the beginning of her bullshit.

As it turns out, she has been causing problems or manufacturing conflict for years as an excuse for not getting her work done. That summer, her last 2 enemies were completely gone, so she needed a new one and she clearly set her sights on me, I don't think this was done consciously but still. By the end of the summer/beginning of the fall semester, I had decided to adopt the strategy of simply avoiding Tara. This was because she had begun sending emails to our advisor insuinaiuing that I had done something to her or that I had instigated some sort of conflict. I decided it would be best to simply not interact with her at all. As it turned out, she didn't like that strategy either and then started to go to our advisor, the head of the department, and various officials within the university saying that I was bullying her, creating a hostile work environment for her, and turning all of the new grad students against her. I might reiterate that I didn't interact with her or about her to any of the new grad students, but this did not stop her delusional mind from thinking it. As it turned out, she was also trying to contact individuals in the geology community at large about me by sending out emails. I don't know the exact contents of these emails, but I know the things she said to people on campus and this was troubling. In any event, I spent too much of my time in various offices last semester mediating this problem only to eventually have them tell Tara to leave me the fuck alone, because none of her claims panned-out and she had to admit that I had not done anything to her (I believe her exact phrasing was something like "I didn't mean to imply he had actually done any of these things, but that he might").

All of this was engineered bullshit to help her delay taking her exams. Any excuse she could use to not take them was seen as to her benefit. By removing her only source of personal conflict, they hoped to speed the process of her taking her exams. They underestimated her though. She clearly didn't know the material, so she kept trying to find new ways to avoid it. Like, going to grad students in a different department to try and find out how their qualifying exams were done and then demanding that hers be done that way (not going to happen). She kept having health issues arise, then she had a problem with her teaching assistant assignment for the spring semester. Her response to the latter was to threaten suicide to our advisor (the cops were called). Needless to say, I still didn't feel safe and had them change the locks on my office door. Eventually, the grad school stepped in and said she had a month to take the exams or they would kick her out. Surprise, surprise, her exams got scheduled then.

So, 2 months ago, she took the written portion and a week or two later, she took the oral portion. Now, because of the way things had been going, I just assumed that they would pass her (note, I didn't say she would pass but that her committee would pass her) and that she would continue to be a problem for the department (for instance, her bullshit over her teaching assignment screwed 3 other TA's and an instructor in order to accommodate her). But, she failed and they failed her. Now, typically that would be the end of it and she would be gone, but they gave her a retake for a month later, I still assumed that they would pass her. Well, that exam happened last week and they did indeed fail her again, finalizing the fact that she was done in the program.

So, in the last week, a major source of stress and bullshit in my life has found herself out and forced to move back to the pit of hell she came from, and the icing on the cake is that I even found out that my student research grant was funded. I had to trudge through a year of bullshit, but (like Andy Dufresne) I came out the other end smelling like a rose.

Dude! Wow. Hug Sorry you went through all that but I'm thoroughly glad the story had a "Hollywood" ending. I was seriously fearful they had passed the conniving witch.

Heart


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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08-04-2015, 01:28 PM
RE: Dealing with the bullshit
(08-04-2015 01:26 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(06-04-2015 10:01 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I have been a member of the forum for 4 years (as a matter of fact, it was 4 years about a week ago), but I have been a lot less active in the last 2. Part of the reason for that were forum issues and part were the bleeding-over of personal bullshit into my daily activities. I feel like it might be helpful to vent somewhere and to share how things are on the up and up too.

First off, I'll say I have been seeing a therapist to talk with and started an anti-depressant more recently. Having someone to talk to that is outside of the situations has been very helpful.

One consistent thorn in my side over the last few years were the in-laws, particularly my father-in-law (who some of you may remember is an anti-vac, super conservative, YEC). Happily, I haven't had any real contact with him or about him in over a year. The only interaction I have directly had with him in that timeframe was at a family reunion, where I just kind of kept my distance and my comments short. I realized that he came across as a sort of insecure teenager who was so desperate for attention and so desperate to have his opinions respected and asked for that he would interject himself into any conversation, regardless of what he did or didn't know about the topic at hand. Realizing this about him has made him easier to deal with, by realizing it is best to not deal with him. Happily, his veil of bullshit has gotten thinner and thinner for everyone else too, not that he is particularly hard to read. For instance, my wife also doesn't interact with him in any real sense either, and I have also been happy to see her and my sister-in-law be combative with him on facebook (although he blocked me long ago and apparently recently deactivated his account because "he was tired or people taking what he said too seriously"). He is no longer getting the benefit of the doubt that his ignorant, misogynistic, racist, or otherwise bigoted quips are anything other than his true colors shining through.

He has actually been the least of my worries for a while. About a year and a half ago, I began to have problems with a colleague of mine (I won't start at the very beginning, primarily because I let most of that bullshit go as it happened). The problems made me realize that this colleague (we'll call her Tara) was not only untrustworthy, but also somewhat unstable. In any event, I began talking with my advisor to begin the process of me taking my qualifying exams, and he remarked that he wanted Tara to do hers first. I understood why, which is because she had been there 4 years at that point and would have raised hell if she thought I were making progress faster than her (also worth noting that one normally takes these exams after ~2 years in the program, so she was way behind). So, I agreed to hold off and even try and help Tara get her exams scheduled. This is where things take a nose-dive.

I set up a weekly reading and discussion with Tara for the summer. We would meet 3 days a week and discuss multiple papers each day relevant to our study areas. I suggested we set a goal for the end of the summer, I was trying to lead her to setting the goal of doing her exams. Her goal was immediately to "get this over with so she could go visit her friend in Alaska in July." So, you can see how seriously she was taking this. In any event, I needed to get her moving forward so I could too, so I trudged on. Our first meeting was uneventful, but I began to realize that the she was very ignorant on the topic she was supposed to have been working on for the last 4 years. Our second meeting did not go so well. We began discussing the papers (and by "we" I mean me, because she still didn't know much of anything about the information) and then she derailed the conversation onto generic gossip and bullshit. I tried to deflect the topic and get it back on course, then she got mad, real mad. She began yelling and cussing at me and accusing me of saying things I didn't say or implying things I didn't imply (this centered around her telling me I was "victim blaming" and telling her to "fuck off"). That pretty well ended that meeting and she didn't show up the next day. I made sure to document this to my advisor and continued to agree to meet with her. The next week would end up being our only full week of meetings, and they too were uneventful with her having no real clue what was going on. Then, on week 3, I went into her office for another discussion and she was making the sounds a 10 year old might make when they are sad to try and get attention and made some comment about a fight with her mother on the phone, I promptly ignored this and started talking about the paper because the last off-topic conversation did not end so well. Tara got up, closed the door to her office (she and I were the only ones in there) and sat back down and I could hear her starting some sort of muffled cry/whimpering. This was not comfortable and it was even more problematic because with a closed door in a largely vacant building (it was middle of the summer on a college campus), I had no witnesses. She made a comment about "needing a minute" so I told her that was fine and to come get me when she was ready, and then I walked out and back to my office. This was the last time Tara and I had ever spoken because she never came and got me and just left, but it would prove to only be the beginning of her bullshit.

As it turns out, she has been causing problems or manufacturing conflict for years as an excuse for not getting her work done. That summer, her last 2 enemies were completely gone, so she needed a new one and she clearly set her sights on me, I don't think this was done consciously but still. By the end of the summer/beginning of the fall semester, I had decided to adopt the strategy of simply avoiding Tara. This was because she had begun sending emails to our advisor insuinaiuing that I had done something to her or that I had instigated some sort of conflict. I decided it would be best to simply not interact with her at all. As it turned out, she didn't like that strategy either and then started to go to our advisor, the head of the department, and various officials within the university saying that I was bullying her, creating a hostile work environment for her, and turning all of the new grad students against her. I might reiterate that I didn't interact with her or about her to any of the new grad students, but this did not stop her delusional mind from thinking it. As it turned out, she was also trying to contact individuals in the geology community at large about me by sending out emails. I don't know the exact contents of these emails, but I know the things she said to people on campus and this was troubling. In any event, I spent too much of my time in various offices last semester mediating this problem only to eventually have them tell Tara to leave me the fuck alone, because none of her claims panned-out and she had to admit that I had not done anything to her (I believe her exact phrasing was something like "I didn't mean to imply he had actually done any of these things, but that he might").

All of this was engineered bullshit to help her delay taking her exams. Any excuse she could use to not take them was seen as to her benefit. By removing her only source of personal conflict, they hoped to speed the process of her taking her exams. They underestimated her though. She clearly didn't know the material, so she kept trying to find new ways to avoid it. Like, going to grad students in a different department to try and find out how their qualifying exams were done and then demanding that hers be done that way (not going to happen). She kept having health issues arise, then she had a problem with her teaching assistant assignment for the spring semester. Her response to the latter was to threaten suicide to our advisor (the cops were called). Needless to say, I still didn't feel safe and had them change the locks on my office door. Eventually, the grad school stepped in and said she had a month to take the exams or they would kick her out. Surprise, surprise, her exams got scheduled then.

So, 2 months ago, she took the written portion and a week or two later, she took the oral portion. Now, because of the way things had been going, I just assumed that they would pass her (note, I didn't say she would pass but that her committee would pass her) and that she would continue to be a problem for the department (for instance, her bullshit over her teaching assignment screwed 3 other TA's and an instructor in order to accommodate her). But, she failed and they failed her. Now, typically that would be the end of it and she would be gone, but they gave her a retake for a month later, I still assumed that they would pass her. Well, that exam happened last week and they did indeed fail her again, finalizing the fact that she was done in the program.

So, in the last week, a major source of stress and bullshit in my life has found herself out and forced to move back to the pit of hell she came from, and the icing on the cake is that I even found out that my student research grant was funded. I had to trudge through a year of bullshit, but (like Andy Dufresne) I came out the other end smelling like a rose.

Dude! Wow. Hug Sorry you went through all that but I'm thoroughly glad the story had a "Hollywood" ending. I was seriously fearful they had passed the conniving witch.

Heart

I had convinced myself that they would pass her because that was the path of least resistance and I thought my advisor had convinced himself he'd get some work out of her. But he came to his senses and realized that she would never produce anything worth a shit.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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08-04-2015, 01:51 PM
RE: Dealing with the bullshit
(08-04-2015 01:28 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(08-04-2015 01:26 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Dude! Wow. Hug Sorry you went through all that but I'm thoroughly glad the story had a "Hollywood" ending. I was seriously fearful they had passed the conniving witch.

Heart

I had convinced myself that they would pass her because that was the path of least resistance and I thought my advisor had convinced himself he'd get some work out of her. But he came to his senses and realized that she would never produce anything worth a shit.

I should also say I'm glad your better at coping with your father in law and others in your family are equally hip to avoiding him as well. He sounds simply toxic.

Also, really glad you are in therapy -- so many people ignore their issues hoping they'll just go away. Helping you work through whatever issues you have, accept and cope with them should be what therapy is about. It's hard work, but the payoff can be wonderful.

Another Hug


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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