Some people may not know, or may not fully realize, that graduate students are all very emotionally and psychologically fragile. So, a few tips to keep your graduate student on the correct side of the sanity line:
1) For the love of GOD stop playing that elevator music. I get that you like that subtle, light background music when you are working. But if you leave your desk turn that shit off. Better yet- get headphones!
That barely there elevator music does not sooth the savage beast, it makes the beast question if it really did just hear violins in the background playing ominious music. That makes the beast question its sanity. And the beast has a tenuious hold on its sanity as it is, and the feeling of sanity slipping away to some concerto is not a good way to go silently into that good night. Get head phones. Please…please….dear God….please.
2) Cease and desist all incessant chattering. I am sorry that you either a) can’t stand the sound of silence or b) love the sound of your own voice. But sometimes I need silence to think. Pure, unadulterated silence. Sweet, sweet uninterrupted silence. You chattering like a chimpmunk across the lab (and the never ending elevator music) do not aid in my thinking process. So please, could you just hush for awhile? Not saying you have to be quiet all the time, but when the lunch hour is the only time I get to think without you yammering in the background then you talk too much!
3) Do your job right! I know. Science is hard. And as an undergraduate dishwasher your life is terribly dull. But if you wash all the ink off the pippetts, and I can’t read the numbers, that makes my job even harder. And my job is hard enough. Or if you don’t stay ontop of inventory and you don’t realize that we are out of something we needed two weeks ago, again my job becomes harder. I realize the job of a gopher is not glamerous, and will not win you a Nobel anytime soon. But when I order something, and ask you to go get it, and you don’t…again. These things make my job harder.
I know. Jobs are hard. And doing them right is even harder! But unless you want me lashing out unfairly and losing my sanity at you, it would be advised you try. Try HARD. that or bring chocolate.
4) Stop incessantly calling at lunch time!!! People are at lunch! No one is here, except me, seeking quiet from the incessant yammerings! And I am not actually just a secretary! My job is NOT to answer phones. And if I tell you so and so is not here, they will likely not be here in 5 minutes! Really? People eat lunch! I understand if it is 2pm,but from noon-1 please, stop calling. I need the quiet!
5) Always feed the graduate student. Candy, fresh fruits and veggies, something we don’t have to make. Anything really. Nothing soothes the savage beast like a cookie. And turning off that damn NPR. And you sushing. And you doing your job.
But a cookie or two will makes up for a good bit.