Warren Gallin wgallin at
Tue Apr 15 09:36:27 EST 1997

In Article <a-schmi-1404972340080001 at>,
a-schmi at (aloisia t schmid) wrote:
>This is a bizarre posting---I'll admit it at the outset.  But I have had a
>really rotten day and more to come in the very near future and I can't
>help but seek solid advice from this group.  Two problems really:
>I am having to go to a meeting for the first time where I am not
>presenting something (for a long list of reasons---some of them being my
>own fault!) and feel so embarrassed about that.  What is the appropriate
>and least self-deprecating thing to say to people when they ask why you
>aren't presenting? 

Not everyone who goes to a meeting is presenting.  If you don't have
something ready to present, it would be crazy to try to force the issue.  I
find that going to a meeting and just reading, listening and talking to
people can be both restful and invigorating.  If someone asks why I'm not
presenting I simply say that I had nothing ready yet.  I don't think it
should be that big a deal for you.

>And maybe this is more to the point.  When you all are feeling really low
>and really down in the dumps, because maybe you haven't produced as much
>as you feel you should have or because you are having to deal with surly
>creeps....(and I mean surly creeps beyond all comprehension!)....  What
>are the ways you all talk yourself back into being positive and up-beat
>and motivated to keep on working?

The best advice that I ever got for this was that when things are going
badly, put in a basic 8 hour day, keep things moving in the lab, and
otherwise relax and take it easy.  When things start working in the lab, the
creep effect will largely disappear and you'll feel so good that you'll do a
ton of work because it got interesting and exciting again.  So far that has
worked for me.

Everyone has dry spells, and they fell awful because you want to be getting
new results, figuring out new ideas and that isn't happening.  That will
often/usually pass if you just keep up a constant low level pressure on
Mother Nature.

Warren Gallin
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Alberta
Edmonton,  Alberta     T6G 2E9
wgallin at

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