Potential Laboratory Sabotage

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I got into the new lab!  This lab is even more tailor made for me than the last lab.  If anything I am annoyingly tenacious, so that definitely helped me through the application process. I wanted to post this update because so many people in this thread helped me through one of the darkest times in my career.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Also, to those that private messaged me expressing that they were having similar experiences, please trust your gut.  If your gut says "run", run. There will always be other opportunities out there.  If I had stayed in that lab my work would have been subpar and the stress would have taken years off of my life.  Now, I am onto better and brighter things.   

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I know it’s a bit late, but I just came across this thread and it brought back memories of the nightmare I suffered when doing my PhD (chemistry) at a prestigious UK university.  To cut a long story very short, simple preparations of my starting material kept going wrong, I was ridiculed and humiliated by my supervisor’s assistant, and driven to despair and the verge of nervous breakdown.  It took me months to realise that somebody might be sabotaging them, months more to realise it was the assistant who was doing it.  My supervisor was dismissive, even blaming me for causing him “trouble”, and reminded me I had no evidence.  I went to the departmental head of security, told him I thought my work was being sabotaged, whereupon he promptly named the assistant!  Apparently he had been after the creep for years, suspecting him of other acts of sabotage, and theft, but was stymied by lack of proof.  I eventually got my PhD (no thanks to the assistant) and was glad to get out of that place.  Years later I came across the Hare psychopathy checklist and was disturbed, but not surprised, to find that the assistant ticked more than half the boxes.

In my case the creep got away with it, but I note that in two other cases (victims were Magdalena Koziol at Yale, and Heather Ames at Michigan) hidden cameras were used successfully to catch the culprits.  Also in each case, the supervisors did not handle the situations well.  Koziol ended up suing hers’, Ames’ one accused her of sabotaging her own work!

I guess the moral is, don’t trust even your closest colleagues, go to whoever is in charge of security not your supervisor, and insist on hidden cameras.

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