Protocol: How To Disappoint Your PI Remotely

Kaplan, J., Crooks, T. et al

While working from home has its challenges, grad student know that it’s important that your supervisor remain as dismayed with their progress as possible for a more seamless WFH. Here are some ways to let down your PI from afar!

Have spotty WiFi

First and foremost, be sure your WiFi signal is spotty at best. A po- -r in- net n-n-nection… will… ge…t any virtual communication off to a d-d-d-d-d-dis-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-appointing start.

Avoid setting hard deadlines

When sending updates, avoid using hard deadlines like “next Friday” or “by the the first,” which your supervisor can put in their calendar. Vague, open ended statements are key to ensuring you retain little to no commitment. When asked, say you’ll have data “soon” or “by the end of the month” (no one explicitly said which month).

Send corrupted files 

When your PI demands results can’t open them, act confused and above all else, deny any knowledge of the issue.

Blame quarantine

Need the results from that experiment a few months ago? Damn! It’s in your lab notebook and tragically you left it back in the lab.

Background noise

Ensure your significant other is working on loud but “important” tasks in the background. For extra credit, give your dogs something to bark at for hours on end.

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About Author

Justin Kaplan

Justin Kaplan is a writer and recovering researcher based in Boston. His words have appeared in The Atlantic, WBUR—Boston's NPR News Station, and academic journals you've probably never heard of. Justin is also editor-in-chief of The Boston Accent, a wicked serious satire publication.

Taylor Crooks

Taylor Crooks is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota studying microbiology and why microbes just always have to fuck everything up in our bodies.

About Justin Kaplan 16 Articles
Justin Kaplan is a writer and recovering researcher based in Boston. His words have appeared in The Atlantic, WBUR—Boston's NPR News Station, and academic journals you've probably never heard of. Justin is also editor-in-chief of The Boston Accent, a wicked serious satire publication.