I’d like some advice on this one. I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing. I’ve got a former student who is a strong and good researcher. This person (I’m trying to keep gender out of it) has a great CV, lots of good pubs, including 1 glamour-ish one. They’re doing a postdoc in a really great lab, learned new skills, mentored undergrads, works harder than three other people combined, etc. They’re getting many interviews for good jobs. What’s the problem? This person is a royal pain in the ass. High maintenance.Prima Donna. Gets asked back for a second interview and makes unrealistic demands for seed money, for space, for time-specifics. Once, about the time they left my lab, we had a talk about this. It degenerated quickly, and was pointless. Since then, I’ve just backed off. It’s easy to send a relatively neutral letter – here are the good things, period. Call if you want more information. I’ve had a few calls, in which I have been more forthcoming. I’m not inclined to get more involved, and re-open communication. Its been three years of looking for a job, I’ve sent about 30-40 letters, lots of interviews and nothing. But, as a mentor, should I write a letter to the trainee and say “look the reason you don’t have a job is that you are basically an asshole and everyone in the field knows it” (except with nicer words)? Or let sleeping dogs sleep?
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