Good Bye, Dr. MRI

I found out today that Dr. Paul Lauterbur died this past week. Dr. Lauterbur was a professor in the UI College of Medicine since 1985 and won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2003. His claim to fame? Figuring out how to vibrate all the hydrogen atoms in your body in unison so they can be used to make images. The end result? The Magnetic Resonance Image, formerly known as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, since it's the nucleus of the atoms which does the work. However, given the panic that the word "nuclear" (or "nucular" if you're President Bush) causes among the general public, the technology was renamed.

Shortly after Dr. Lauterbur won the Nobel Prize, he gave a talk at the Krannert Center on campus. He was successfully able to explain highly technical things to a rather non-technical audience. By all accounts he was a charming and gracious person and always encouraging of his students and those he mentored.

Crabbiness Erupts!
Well, there was a bit of unhappiness in the midst of the three days of training I'm attending. One of the organizing staff got crabby when nobody responded to a request for questionnaires. Mind you, the request was given in the context of "send something if you want the group to look at it", not in the context of it being required. End result? Only one person sent anything. If I had a questionnaire other than what is in the actual foodborne outbreak manual we *all* have, I would have sent something, but I don't. Later I spoke with my boss who agreed that we probably don't have anything and wasn't at all upset we had sent nothing in.

When I asked grumpy staff person for some missing, yet vital, information with which to do my job, I was told that the information had been sent out multiple times before and would not be sent again. I asked if it had been sent since I started my job in August or since the other two new staff started in July. The reply was that it was "out there" and I'd have to find it. Apparently I am responsible for information sent to my predecessor before I was ever hired. I'm not sure when my predecessor left the state, but I've gone through his files and haven't found the aforementioned missing information.

I don't mind people being grumpy. I can deal with that. I don't mind being told that I'm doing things wrong. I greatly dislike being told I'm doing things wrong but NOT being allowed to know how to do them right. I also dislike being grumped at about not doing what I'm supposed to do when people refuse to tell me what they want from me. I am more than happy to give you 110% and provide you with whatever deliverable you want, but you need to tell me what it is that you want. If you do not provide me with some guidance, particularly when asked for said guidance, you'll have to accept what you get and quit bitching about not getting what you wanted. I am not a mind reader. My psychic module does not work. That skill was absolutely not a part of this job requirement, nor is it currently part of my job description. I really hope this individual is just having a horrible week and their evil twin will be kidnapped soon.

Actually I was very good. I said "Thank you for your assistance. I will try to find some other source for the information." and left it at that. I also managed to NOT stomp my feet, grind my teeth or yell. I think I have even managed to get my blood pressure down to a reasonable level. We'll see how tomorrow goes.


Patricia said…
ck! Yes! Insane coworkers like that need an adjustment. Ever heard of "soylent green?"
Morenna said…
Oddly enough, Soylent Green came up in the very next post, before I read your comment! :o)

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