I won’t claim that the subsequently mentioned fuckery is a degree of fuckery that every graduate student or postdoc is necessarily guilty of, but it’s one that I see frequently and it chaps my ass in a spectacular way.
I think that it is important to have undergraduates in the lab. It gives them an opportunity to experience *actual* science, as opposed to their canned laboratory activities, and it’s good for more senior trainee scientists (graduate students and postdocs) to have the experience of mentoring someone more junior. But, sometimes these more senior trainees can be real dicks about it.
It really irritates me when I hear one of these folks comment about not having the time/it being an inconvenience/ to mentor their assigned trainees, or mention that something would being easier if they did it themselves, or talk about how much their trainee doesn’t know, or refer to them as minions as thought they shouldn’t have training goals. Sometimes these more senior trainees get all Lord of the Flies in their shit and try to establish pecking orders where their status in the world is defined by their superiority to these younger students. The incredible irony of it is that their expectations for how they should be treated are completely different. They expect their mentor to be available “for 5 minutes…real quick..now.” They expect their career trajectory to be nurtured and attended to and to receive an ever-loving amount of patience for the progress of “their work”. At least here, I know that these students aren’t subjected to the kind of “use up and spit out” lab style that others talk about where success of the PI is predicated on burning through some grad students and postdocs without regard for their needs. So, I don’t know where it comes from.
That’s why when I see this little bit of insidiousness, the hammer must come down.