Page 1 of 1 [ 13 posts ] 

Sedaka
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,568
Location: In the recesses of my mind

28 Jul 2010, 1:53 pm

I get really stressed out at work.

I'm a grad student in a lab and each summer, we get highschool/undergrad volunteers that help out with various projects in our lab. This summer alone, I have 5 (FIVE!! !!) kids that I am responsible for managing on a daily basis. (Imagine a bunch of baby birds screaming for food all day....)

Most of my few friends in the lab know about my AS but it's not something that easily comes across the the perpetual influx of new people (these kids) to our lab.

I get so stressed out during the summer. I've had enough experience TA biology labs ect that I'm generally used to interacting with people in a non-predictable way...

But these kids can be so annoying because they can't do anything independently. I am always having to listen to (figure out) whatever little thing is apparently in their way...

I think I have come across snappy or at least very austere in more than a few encounters. This has even happened when interacting with volunteers from a neighboring lab... (I SERIOUSLY don't know how, but of ALL the people that work in my lab, people always seem to gravitate towards ME when looking for some sort of executive help).

I just get so frustrated because I feel that my boundaries of courtesies are falling short. I don't know how to keep up with all these demands... Don't even mention how I feel about my success in getting my OWN stuff done.

I am a more mild case of AS but with these conditions, I feel my shortcomings are being exposed... to no avail cause it's not like most (NT) people are even aware of the indicators (or that there could even be anything underway at all). Even my friends have no help to offer, cause they (the ones in charge of their own kids) feel a similar stress. I just think they are better at handling it... They certainly seem to have a better rapport with the volunteer students.

I just feel bad cause I worry that I am just coming across as some uninviting annoyed person. Which I am, but when I can't even control how my tone of voice is... I just wish I could filter things better. I try to, but I just inevitably fail.

I have no time to myself at all during the day. Our lab is small, so there's nowhere to run.

I just feel like I'm running low and there's no real help... not even in people understanding that I might have problems of my own, outside of helping them solve every one of theirs. I'm just barely normal enough I guess that people perceive my responses to be intentional.

And no, my advisor is of no help. He's decided to run his lab this way and so I HAVE to deal with these kids. Yes, he knows about my AS, but honestly I don't think he identifies with me cause he has a nephew dx'ed as AS, but this kid sounds considerably more low functioning and so because this is the ONE person he knows with AS, I feel he discredits me on a lot of things.

I am just utterly running on fumes.

:S


_________________
Neuroscience PhD student

got free science papers?

www.pubmed.gov
www.sciencedirect.com
http://highwire.stanford.edu/lists/freeart.dtl


Willard
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Age: 60
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,030

28 Jul 2010, 2:02 pm

:bounce: I don't know how you survive a job like that. Makes me twitchy just thinking about it. I'd be a wreck in no time. :shaking:



DonDud
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2010
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 184
Location: North Carolina

28 Jul 2010, 2:08 pm

Sounds frustrating. Hopefully just writing it out makes you feel better. My job doesn't require me to interact with too many people, and I get along pretty well with the people I have to interact with the most. When there are people who make me uncomfortable, I'm usually able to get through with them out quickly enough before I just can't stand it. And the nature of my job kind of lets me "hide" behind my equipment, even when lots of people are around.

I hope you're able to operate on more comfortable terms during the non-summer months.



bee33
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,249

28 Jul 2010, 2:23 pm

I there any way that you can write out a very specific schedule of tasks for them to accomplish, with instructions that you can write up ahead of time, and then let them know they are expected to learn to work independently and to figure out obstacles on their own, or by asking one of their peers, and only come to you if they have tried everything else?

I used to be a teacher and it was always a challenge and a goal to get the students to be able to work on their own and learn to solve problems without needing babysitting.

Putting pressure on yourself to try to be "nicer" is only going to lead to more stress for you, unfortunately.



Sedaka
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,568
Location: In the recesses of my mind

28 Jul 2010, 2:34 pm

It's just a wee bit ironical because our lab studies cognitive development (we apply for many autism research grants) and yet I feel like I am operating from left field STILL.


_________________
Neuroscience PhD student

got free science papers?

www.pubmed.gov
www.sciencedirect.com
http://highwire.stanford.edu/lists/freeart.dtl


marshall
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,000
Location: Turkey

28 Jul 2010, 2:42 pm

I used to do math/science tutoring and it seemed like there was always one or two regular students who would come and ask me for help on every single homework problem without even attempting on their own. What was especially annoying was when they would become visibly impatient when I decided to teach them the general method/approach so they could solve the problems on their own, rather than me basically doing each problem for them.



Sedaka
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,568
Location: In the recesses of my mind

28 Jul 2010, 2:52 pm

I was a pro at introducing particular students to the index of their text book when I TA'ed.


_________________
Neuroscience PhD student

got free science papers?

www.pubmed.gov
www.sciencedirect.com
http://highwire.stanford.edu/lists/freeart.dtl


StuartN
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Age: 55
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,570

28 Jul 2010, 4:15 pm

Sedaka wrote:
(I SERIOUSLY don't know how, but of ALL the people that work in my lab, people always seem to gravitate towards ME when looking for some sort of executive help).


I always got the sticky end of the stick too when I was in a research environment, with all the summer placement students to manage. Some people are comfortable with the RTFM approach, but I think it is rude and unhelpful, so perhaps that is what they gravitate towards.

I always tried to encourage students to develop enquiry methods - like how to frame a question before seeking help, how to use the contents and index pages, where the library is (!) and which staff are actually employed for the sole purpose of answering some types of question (payroll, references, journal search). It seems most students do not have the basic skills for self-sufficient learning, as opposed to passively receiving teaching.

In the end I just planned ahead my own goals for summer students, tutored the ones enthusiastic to achieve my goals and coasted the others. They know why they are there and do not have to be hand-fed.



marshall
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Apr 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,000
Location: Turkey

28 Jul 2010, 4:18 pm

Sedaka wrote:
I was a pro at introducing particular students to the index of their text book when I TA'ed.

Did you have to TA an intro (101) class for non-science majors? It's funny how the professor teaching the class doesn't even realize how little most of the students know. Like you can't expect them to know how to deal with metric units and conversions. So the TA has to explain everything. Of course it's pretty easy to google stuff like that these days, but some don't even think of that.



CockneyRebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jul 2004
Age: 44
Gender: Male
Posts: 103,343
Location: Hanging out with my fellow Sweet Peas at Stalag 13

28 Jul 2010, 4:24 pm

If I had a job like yours, I'd probably be in the loony bin, right now. It drives me cray to have to explain things to only one person.


_________________
Schultz

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=26&start=645


Sedaka
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,568
Location: In the recesses of my mind

28 Jul 2010, 5:02 pm

marshall wrote:
Sedaka wrote:
I was a pro at introducing particular students to the index of their text book when I TA'ed.

Did you have to TA an intro (101) class for non-science majors? It's funny how the professor teaching the class doesn't even realize how little most of the students know. Like you can't expect them to know how to deal with metric units and conversions. So the TA has to explain everything. Of course it's pretty easy to google stuff like that these days, but some don't even think of that.


Ya, I've TA'd for those classes and those are the kids I'm kind of referring to. I figured it'd be a good skill for them to have anyway. To be fair, a lot of them were interested in biology and could have enough sense to try finding stuff in their book at least before asking questions.

I have a friend who was TAing the other semester and he said one of his kids that never even bought the text book for their biology class actually got a B in the course thanks to wiki.


_________________
Neuroscience PhD student

got free science papers?

www.pubmed.gov
www.sciencedirect.com
http://highwire.stanford.edu/lists/freeart.dtl


Todesking
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Apr 2010
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,088
Location: Depew NY

29 Jul 2010, 12:41 am

At my old job they had me train a lot of new people on how to operate a cnc lathes safely. I am really nervous around those machines so I was always aware of the many ways they could hurt you. I also searched out potential malfunctions and damage towards the part due to the machine scratching or denting a part.

My co-workers had a yard stick that they had marked the exact measurement of how close you could stand next to me before I would yell at them. They would give the yard stick to the guy and tell him if I get too pissed off how close they are they might be able to get a lucky shot woth yard stick slowing me down when I chase them. :lol:


_________________
There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die -Hunter S. Thompson


zen_mistress
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Age: 42
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,320

29 Jul 2010, 1:13 am

I had a job like that once. It was so annoying, the constant interruptions to show her stuff and then she couldnt find things on her own... gahhh...


_________________
"Caravan is the name of my history, and my life an extraordinary adventure."
~ Amin Maalouf

Taking a break.