Saturday, January 05, 2008

Regarding My Goodness

"I am such a good person!" I announced to Ken as I returned to my office from lunch. He looked up and smiled and I grinned back at him while hanging my coat on the rack.

"Want to be even better?" He asked.

"I don't know." I said happily. "I'm already pretty wonderful. But what do you need and how long will it take? I have a meeting in 20 minutes."

He noted that he met a prospective student for lunch - which is why he turned down my invitation to go with Dawn and Marlie - and said student was interested in the school where I did my graduate work. As we walked briskly across campus to find this guy, Ken asked why I was so pleased with myself.

"You know I've been worried about Marlie." I began and he nodded. Ken and I are well enough acquainted that he's familiar with the way I fret. "I know she needs help and I like her and very much want her to do well, but I don't know the information she needs. So I decided to introduce her to Dawn. That was risky and I wasn't at all sure it would work. After all, how many people quit a job because their boss is evil then want to work with their replacement? So I explained and apologized and tried to make her feel sorry for me and Marlie and whoever else I could think of. Then I offered to buy lunch for both of them so we could all talk. The plan, of course, was to get Dawn to help Marlie with all this stuff I don't know."

"And it worked?" Ken asked, knowing Dawn to be rather aggressive and protective of her time.

"It did!" I reported happily and with some lingering surprise and enormous relief. "I think it's a combination of Dawn being really content with her current work - she's doing quite well now - and Marlie being such a sweetheart that you can't help but want to help her after you talk to her. So I left them in the labs. Dawn was giving her a tour and introducing her to everyone and setting up training and filling out forms. It's all moving forward and now Marlie will get to do work and I'm so relieved it all worked out!"

"That was really nice of Dawn." Ken noted, holding a door open for me as we finally reached the department.

"Seriously." I agreed. "So I stopped to talk to Boss when I got back and told him what happened. Then I gently suggested he send a thank you email to Dawn because she really is doing a tremendous amount for Marlie when she didn't have to. He said he'd find some way to thank her and I trust the reward will be suitable. So it works out for everyone!"

"Except you." Ken pointed out. "You had to buy lunch."

"Money well spent." I waved my hand. "If only I could solve more problems for $30. Plus, now I get to feel all good about myself."

"You're an angel." He said, laughing.

"I agree completely." I smiled widely in return.

We failed to find the student, but Ken got his phone number from one of the professors and I called him later that evening while I waited for Friend to finish up so we could have dinner. We spoke and I offered what information I knew, wished him luck on choosing a graduate program and gave him my phone number should he have any questions.

"Thanks for calling." He said before we said good night. "It's really more than you had to do and I appreciate it."

I demurred, of course, but I didn't tell him I was working to shine my halo and add some sparkle to my angel wings.

Between my walk across campus with Ken and my call to this student while I sat in Friend's lab, I was in a meeting with the Penguin, et al., for upwards of 2 hours to discuss paper revisions. The four of us - me, Penguin, Dr. Icing and Penguin Jr. - went through each point for five reviewers. It was eight pages of comments, some easily fixed, some repeated enough to worry about how the text was arranged and others carefully rebutted.

"You need to make that a separate paragraph." I said of one point. "Everyone's missing it so it must be buried somewhere."

"Don't say 'arbitrary.'" I offered later. "I like 'pragmatic' for something that was done simply because it seemed to work."

I felt like a major player in the process, which was rather lovely since all three men are rather brilliant. They listened when I discussed my points and took notes on what I said. They nodded over the spreadsheets and graphs I made over break and Penguin asked me to send him copies to be included as supplementary data. I learned more about what they did and how they did it and even as I wondered at how much time this was taking, I felt rather useful and grown up sitting around their pretty conference table, making notes and showing results.

I woke this morning with the whole bed to myself, Chienne having abandoned me with joy to sleep with her most favorite of friends in the office. I knew I missed Friend, but hadn't realized quite how much until I battled the urge to hug her when came to let me in her building after dark. I didn't, of course. I would have received some odd look for the gesture, but I was happy to be around her again. (Not as happy as my dog, but really. That much love for a single human being is hard to achieve.) Pleased with life in general this morning, I took a shower and started laundry and loaded the dishwasher. Then I gasped with a realization.

I had misunderstood a critical point about the major analysis of Penguin's paper. That mistake was put in my field-specific Rejected Paper as a flaw. It turns out that they did the work differently - and much better - than I thought. I can take out the admission of this flaw and replace it with a glowing explanation of why this thing was done the way it was! So I revised my paper a bit more and realized I'd corrected a point that was the major criticism. I have new hope of getting published in my journal of choice!

My goodness has been rewarded. And now, in all likelihood, we shall return to normal.

5 comments:

Wayfarer Scientista said...

yay! I'm so glad things worked out and to hear such good news!

Oanh said...

No! More goodness! All well deserved. And so well told.

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Sweet! Almost makes one believe in karma! ;)

doc-in-training said...

Hi angel. :) Glad to know it works out.

Want to update you with what's happening at the office (ref: Office Drama: MD vs PhD). I didn't talk to junior MS and senior MS in the past week at all. In fact, for a couple of times, I was deliberately mean to them. Obviously, I'm still upset, and I just can't seem to be friendly to these people again. However, I've just realized that I would have given these people more to talk about and resulting in more stabbing. So despite not deserving it in any way or form, I've decided to be the kindest person to senior MS and junior MS starting next week... for everyone to see... or whatever. *I* deserve it. What do you think, angel? Have a good weekend.

TitleTroubles said...

Hmm. Well, you could have hugged me. Given that I'd just spent the day with my coworkers, though, I probably would have jumped a little in surprise. Then, yes, I would likely have given you an odd look. But I would think you'd be used to that by now.

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