i’m going for village idiot here

Idiots are fun. No wonder every village wants one.
—Dr. Gregory House, “House, MD: Forever”

Yep. I must be hanging out with my husband too much because he’s rubbing off on me in all the wrong ways. Unconsciously even to me, I’m trying to make myself known as the village idiot in the lab. I just can’t seem to get anything right when it comes to these collaborators that I’m working with on a clinical study (the one that I had to get to lab early for on Monday). And these missteps are really making me feel like an idiot. And if I feel like an idiot, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that the other people involved are thinking the same. And I don’t take well to being thought of as dumb because I am anything but. I’ve just been a little off balance lately and everybody has off days, right? Why do mine just happen to fall on all the days when somebody is actually watching?

So first, there was the whole find-a-room-that-we-can-use-to-do-our-studies
thing. One of the collaborators had said he was going to take care of it.
And he didn’t. Then when I asked him about it months later, he pawned the task off on me and gave me the name of some nurse to contact. So much for promises. If I had known he wasn’t going to follow through, I would have done something myself sooner, before the other collaborators started questioning me about it, making me feel, oh I don’t know, incompetent?

Then I contacted the nurse who responded by telling me that she would get back to me. And get back to me she never did. Then it was the summer of the in-laws and sprained ankle, so I didn’t follow up with the whole situation as well as I should have. So our collaborator’s grad student took up the task and contacted someone else about the room and got it squared away immediately. Thanks a lot. So I had the wrong person. No wonder I got nowhere. So that was my first foray into idiothood.

Then, there was this Monday, when we had our first patients. I very much didn’t want to look like an idiot again, so I made sure to scope out the building where our study was going to take place the day before (even though it was Sunday and I had no reason whatsoever to drive all the way out there) to make sure there would be parking since I would be transporting equipment over and would really be screwed if I got there to find no parking. So Monday morning, I wake up early, get to the lab half an hour early, pack up our equipment and drive over to the building by the appointed time of 8:30. Got nervous about the parking because everyone else parked there had a different permit from mine, but decided that I had no time to waste and that I would rather live with a parking ticket than looking like an idiot again. So I got out of the car and walked into the building only to realize that I was in the wrong building. How did I know? Well, the room I was supposed to go to was 3xxx and the building I went to only had numbers in the 3xx. By now it was 8:40, but I had no choice but to drive back to the lab and find the other grad student’s phone number to call her to ask which building I was supposed to be in. She, of course, thought I was an idiot for not knowing. So that’s strike two. I didn’t get there until 8:50, and of course, there was no parking at all around that building for staff/employees, leaving me no choice but to park in a patient-parking-only designated space and hope that I didn’t get a ticket.

Thankfully I was able to find the room with little trouble, but our first subject had been there since 8:10 and I felt really bad about being late. At least I didn’t do anything idiotic while working with the subjects. And I didn’t get a ticket either. So I thought the idiocy was over.

That is, until today, when something possessed me to email the other grad student to ask for the subjects’ codes and information. Keep in mind that I was not having a good day today—too much in-law drama. I really should have just put it off. But I was trying really hard to not procrastinate, to be productive, to take the initiative. Well, of course, she responds to tell me that we’re not supposed to send patient information over the internet, not very nicely either. I knew that!!! That’s why I asked for the codes. And I responded to try to tell her that. But she just turned it around into a huge idiotfest by telling me that I could have asked her mentor for the information since he’s just down the hall. Well, I’m sorry, but I thought he was like my mentor and has his grad students keep all of his data!

I just want to crawl into a hole and not come out. Or scream at the top of my lungs that I’m not an idiot, goshdarnit! But what would any of that do? The sad fact is that the environment that I’ve been in for the last two+ years has made me dull. Quite dull. I’ve turned *shudder* mediocre. I’ve turned into a sand person. And I can’t stand that I let that happen. But it’s so hard for me to break myself free from what I’ve become even though I despise it with every fiber of my being. I can see why sand people like to keep their heads in the sand. It’s just too much work otherwise. Well, sand person I will be no more! As of today, uh wait, Monday since it’s the weekend, I will pull myself out of this rut that I’m stuck in. I will not be lazy. I will start studying for my quals. I will schedule those experiments I’ve been putting off. I will analyze the data that I’ve left to pile up for months now. I will not be an idiot anymore. I will be me.

But please kick me if I start falling into old habits.

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