Thursday, July 3, 2008

Social games

I am at the periphery of two different sets of interpersonal conflicts that (potentially) impact my graduate career. The first one is in Herb's lab, which I'm not going to write about now. The other involves Sam.

Slowly I am figuring out that Sam is unpopular (for reasons I don't understand) with some of the people who work at Nyota. While I was in Ukenzagapia I contacted some of these people for advice or resources because I figure it is in my best interest to establish relationships with these people by myself. One person specifically asked if Sam was my supervisor (he isn't) and told me to contact MapLady. Now I need to find a way to tactfully handle an offer from her.

MapLady said that I could use her maps of Nyota if she had second authorship rights on publications. First of all, this is a somewhat vague request. Does that mean she wants to be second author on everything I publish from Nyota? I'm not comfortable agreeing to that no matter how good her maps are because there are several other people who would be more involved than her in my actual project (eg. the Ukenzagapian collaborator, Ukenzagapian Masters students). Does anyone know if this is a typical agreement to make?

Secondly, when I got home Sam gave me lots of maps. He said that he has been pressured to use MapLady's maps but doesn't see why when he has his own. So now I have maps and don't need them from MapLady, but I'm hesitant to tell her that I got them from Sam because apparently their maps are in some kind of competition. I would like to be on friendly terms with this woman because our interests do overlap and it would be silly to start making enemies. How do I say thanks but no thanks without burning a bridge?

1 comment:

Silver Fox said...

Are these maps "hers" in the sense that the maps have her own information on them, like her own geologic mapping? In that case, since she isn't your advisor or on your graduate committee, it seems like it would be better to use Sam's maps, and not be beholden to this woman for some unknown period of time. [If the maps don't involve any of her own original work, I don't see why she should be asking for authorship at all.]

So maybe you will just have to tell her thanks for the offer, but you have already made other arrangements (and you don't at all have to specify what they are).

If she persists in wanting to know where you got the maps, maybe you can say your advisor arranged for you to have them, without being more specific than that.

I hope that helps!