I cannot say that patience is one of my strongest assets, though it does somewhat depend on the context (if that was not the case I think I wouldn't be able to work in science ;-)). When it comes to my education and carreer, however, I have been rather impatient to move on ever since I graduated two years ago. I wanted to pursue my wish to optain a PhD-degree sooner rather than later. Thus, I was very annoyed by the fact that no positions seemed to be available within the areas I had the most interest, and when finally one was, I was overlooked by my supervisor because "we do have a meeting coming up about a potential project next month" (this meeting had already been postponed causing me to seek other opportunies) and the newly graduated, who got the position, needed to have employment in order to extent her visa.
Because of this, I wasn't expecting too much when the day of the planned meeting arose back in January. I hoped that the project would be a good one, and that the main supervisor of it would be someone that I could see myself working with. Fortunately, this was the case, and though I had about 5 months left of my contract as a research assistant at the time, my former supervisor, who would also be a co-supervisor of the project, my coming supervisor, and I all agreed to start up the project as soon as possible. There was a lot of formalities and paperwork to be taken care of beforehand, though, so I was actually able to finish my contract before starting on the new project.
Back in the first months after our initial meeting I had several e-mail correspondances with my new supervisor, and among other things asked him about the application for registration at the Scottish university where he would move his research group to by August. At that time I was told that we should wait with that until he had had some more information from his superiours-to-be in Scotland. That seemed reasonable at the time, and also in June when I spend a few weeks at his laboratory in Germany - at the latter time there were still some issues about the transfer of the German research fund's money that should pay my salary in the next couple of years. We also had to search for a fee waiver as there wasn't room for tuition fees in the research fund money pool, and it became clear that this waiver would by no means take effect before October 1st, leaving August and September as a couple of months surrounded by uncertainties. For June and July I was employed by the German research lab, but we could not register me as a PhD-student at the university in Scotland until the fee waiver could take effect. We discussed the possibilities of employing me as something else, e.g. visiting scientist, research assistant or whatever would solve the problem of me continuing to work on my project AND being payed by the German fund's money through the Scottish university. However, no aggreement was settled, and because my supervisor was super busy moving both his own family and the lab in late July and August plus having to get use the different administrative standards, time just went without anything happening.
Thursday last week I finally received the offer letter that I should sign in order to get the registration rolling. It seems that until the registration is settled, the fact that the money that shall pay my salary is German and not Scottish is immaterial because it still needs to go through the university's finance department. By now it has been almost 3 months since the last salary entered my account. I don't think it is fun anymore :-( I feel sorry for my German supervisor also having to struggle with this, but most of all I feel screwed by the ridiculous bureaucracy that prevent the money in coming my way. I certainly hope - almost expect - some kind of compensation once this issue is finally solved. Until then I'm actually only working for my own sake, keeping myself up on the beet of biotechnology, but keeping my results and struggles with my samples to myself. I will not give anything away for free!
Well, that was a bit of a rant, but I needed that. I will finish this entry somewhat more positively. Jimmi and I have decided to buy a puppy. Jimmi is hoping to be able to somehow train it into recognising my lows by time. The pictures below is "our" new puppy at 4 weeks of age, on the lower picture, mommy-dog gets a lick :-) We get the dog in a couple of weeks, and have yet to decide on a name for her. The owner calls her "Trille", which in Danish means "to roll" or "trundle". I don't really know if I like that name for a dog, so if you have any good ideas, let us know :-)