April 3, 2007

The Saga Continues

I still hate my job. I take that back. I don't hate it per se, it just frustrates me incredibly. I told C the other night that when the grant that pays my salary runs out that I will seriously weigh my options at that point. The ideal thing would be to convince the department to hire me on with University funds and have me be on staff for all the faculty. Anyone who needs my help with grant writing or general research items could use my services. But we all know that things don't always work out the way we hope.

So, anyways...my newest problem...

I'm trying to find potato growers to work in collaboration with us for this research project. The big project that pays my salary. We need to identify fields that grow potatoes every 2 years and fields that grow them less frequently than every 3-4 years. After identifying them, we're going to collect soils from their fields and run our own research study on them to see how the different length of time between potato crops affects the soil fertility, the weed seed populations, the disease pressure, etc. To best duplicate field conditions, we'll put the soils in 7-gallon containers and plant the containers in a field for the season. Our original plan was to grow them in a field by my boss' house, so that he could keep a close eye on them and manage all aspects of production -- irrigation, fertilizer applications, etc. When he left, that option disappeared so the plan was to put them in a research field at the experiment station.

Somewhere along the way, it was never specifically asked if we could do this. Yesterday the official word was given that this was NOT an option. These soils could be brought into the greenhouse, but not out into the fields due to contamination issues. Now we're struggling to figure out how to handle this major problem. The best solution we have is to move the container study down to where my boss is in Utah. Problem with that is it's a 5 hour drive for me and my coworker who are supposed to manage/coordinate this project. Our boss will now have to hire someone to run the project on a daily basis and will have to do a good portion of the work himself. Another big issue is how we're going to physically transport 560 7-gallon containers of soil almost 300 miles. Not going to be an easy feat. Not easy at all.

Why am I not surprised that we're facing more hurdles? It seems like everything has been working against this project from the start. Now I just hope that the USDA doesn't decide to pull the funding completely because we're changing the project, again. Because IF the funding goes, there goes my job.

*Sigh*

6 comments:

Jessica said...

I'm sorry things are frustrating....definitely doesn't make the days enjoyable. Hopefully all works out soon, and the research can plug ahead. Hugs from Michigan....

Oh, and give that little niece of mine a great big hug!

Ashley said...

sorry to hear about your dilema. Keep your chin up, something positive will have to come of it. love you.

Kristen said...

That sounds to me like a big huge PITA. I hope that this crap starts to ease up a little so you can focus on your job instead of this junk. I think all these stumbling blocks with your job are just sucky. I hope it gets easier for you really soon.

Nickie said...

ugh. what a PITA! I hope a solution presents itself soon.

Sami said...

Something tells me that your boss is the problem. That thinking things through is not his forte - in spite of being a good guy and a good scientists he sucks at managing anything including asking permission to do something. I'm sorry your job sucks and that your boss is continuing to make things more difficult than he should. I'll keep my fingers crossed the funding will not be pulled and that somehow someway you and the other individual find a way to get that soil the 300 miles it needs to go.

Marz said...

Sorry to hear about the project troubles. Hope all works out for you in the end.