For almost three months I´ve been working on his project
He has severe problems communicating

I ask: "where can I find the methanol?"
He stares at me.
He gets up from his chair.

he never says a word

Silently he walks down the corridor.

I follow him, just as silently.
He is my supervisor

He opens a cupboard
reaches into it.
He grabs the bottle containing methanol.
He holds it in front of me.

he never says a word

So we stand face to face, looking at each other.
The bottle between us.
I reach out for it.
He shoves it into my hand.
He walks off.

I stand there, confused.
Will it be like this for three months?

The three months have past.
I walk into his office.

I say: "I´m leaving today."
He looks up from his desk:
"Okay."
I say: "So, I´ll keep working with some of your stuff at my new place of work. I´ll let you know when I get the results."
He looks at me

his face is blank

"okey"

I get out of his office
pack my stuff
and leave.

Lo it was many years ago that...

I was an intern at a Large Company(tm) in Rochester, NY. My job was to do theoretical and computational research with someone in the research division. The guy stood up at the black board talking very quickly about physics I was to learn 3 years later in graduate school. When I explained this to him, he gave me a book on Greens functions to read. Everytime I went to ask him questions, he acted like Dustin Hoffman's character in Rainman. Either he was spouting useless jargon or he spazzed out that I was disturbing him or was just clueless. Who knows and who cares?

For the next 9 1/2 weeks I spent my time at work napping and daydreaming about going out with other interns that evening. By the way, Rochester is a great place to hang out for a summer. There are beaches to play volleyball at on Lake Ontario, many nice golf courses, and inumerable bars, pubs, and clubs. You know, they love Buffalo wings there: whereas in the rest of the country, it is socially proper for a group to meet for pizza and beer after work, in Rochester you go out for wings and beer. It's just what you do.

But I digress.

On my last day there, the people in the group (who rarely associated with me anyway) took me out to lunch. Afterwards, my supervisor and I wnet on this long walk. He asked me, "What are your plans?" I told him I'm interested studying theoretical particle physics. Then he gave me a lecture, a speech really, about how smart you have to be to go into that field, how it uses a lot of mathematics. He suggested that I reconsider or else I might be in for a big disappointment.

While I was tempted to be annoyed, depressed, angry, and insulted, I had to remind myself that I basically came into work each day just to get a little sleep before going out at night. So, what the hell did he know?

Don't get me wrong, sometimes I feel guilty for not doing anything productive that summer. But, really, it isn't my fault. Really. He could have tried to teach me something, anything. Instead, he just decided to sit back, evaluate and judge me. What a loser.

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