Saturday, April 14, 2012

What a jerk

I know. Jerk is not a nice word to use in a blog. And it is not a nice definition for a person....but what can I say? I met someone recently who was a real jerk.

Let's start from the beginning.
I just got back from the USA. I am totally under jet lag effect. I do really bad with jet lag....and I can't afford being lazy and recover my normal biorhythm because I have a coming deadline for work.....

Being in the USA, in my old lab, meeting my old boss, etc. brought back a lot of memories and mixed feelings. Did I like to be there again? I liked to meet some of my friends who are still working there. My ex boss was very nice to me, which was a good thing since when I was there she was not my biggest fan. We may manage to start collaborating again for work, which I guess it is another good thing.

anyway, good things and bad things....

What I didn't like of being there again was the arrogance of people who think of being on top of the world, to best the most knowledgeable in the world....I like to discuss about my work, I like to collaborate (with people I like), I like to discuss about scientific subjects and possible projects. What I don't like is people looking at me and talking to me with arrogance, listing me all the amazing things they did and how good they are and how amazing is their work and what they are planning to do and how useless my work and my knowledge are. Of course, not everyone there is like that. But I would say that the average level of arrogance is much higher there than where I work now.

The top of the whole thing has been a Brazilian guy who was there for a short work visit who offered me a job in Brazil. The whole thing went like this:

Him: I may have a job for you in Brazil, if you want it.

Me: A job? which kind of job?

Him: A permanent position there. I am going back there and I can find you a position.

Me: to work on what?

Him: vector diseases (or something like that, I don't even remember, as it is not at all my field of expertise).

Me: but I know nothing about it. It is not my field at all.

Him: well, you can change.

Me: how can I get a permanent position to work on something I know nothing about?

Him: Brazil is the future. We are growing. Our GDP is very good......and so on praising Brazil.

Me: Yeah, I heard that despite the world economic crisis Brazil is doing quite well. But I just read a book in which the author highlighted that the GDP is not really a good measure of wealth of a country.

....and here he got very angry at me and he started saying that I don't understand anything because GDP measures the wealth of a country and I don't know anything about Brazil and that I shouldn't talk about things I don't know, etc.

I tried to explain to him that my point was not about Brazil, but that it was just a comment about something I recently read on the GDP. It is true that I don't know anything about GDP and economy and Brazil. I was not making a statement neither about GDP nor about Brazil. It was just because I finished a book on the plane in which the author pointed our that use of the GDP as a measure of how well a country is doing may be misleading.....that's all.

The whole conversation was already quite weird and it didn't end very well....I couldn't understand why with all the people looking for a job someone should offer me a permanent position on something which is not at all my field of expertise and not even close to it........

Things got clearer the next day when I spoke to a friend of mine who was present there during the whole conversation.

Apparently, after I left the room, the Brazilian guy started complaining about me, about how unpolite I have been with him, saying bad things about Brazil (which not only I didn't, but anyone who knows me also knows that it wouldn't be at all in my character to say bad things about a country I don't know. I was actually telling him that I know someone who works in Brazil and he is very happy......), insulting his country......

....but the most amazing part of the whole thing is that apparently he offered me a job to show himself off to me, to show me how powerful he is to be able to get me a job if he wants to. He wanted me to admire him and to think of him as an influential and powerful person.

Not only I didn't realize at all that he was trying to impress me (I am very naive....btw he is also married), so his attempt was completely unsuccessful, but I also didn't realize that he felt so badly offended by me.

...what a jerk.....there are still men in this world who think that they can impress a woman just by showing some power.....well, he certainly picked the wrong person for that. Too bad that I am sure that he didn't learn anything from the whole thing.

......just to conclude with a note about men......

I was sitting at a Starbucks working and a guy started flirting with me. This time it was a nice guy, fortunately. Very nice and very mannered.....but come on, I am there just for two weeks....what did he hope for when he invited me to meet for a coffee later after his work (invitation that I refused)?

.....he said that he has rarely met someone so interesting as me......

come on......lame attempt.....but at least he was a nice guy to talk to for a bit.

Honestly.....can men really get some women with so little such as showing some power or by flattering them???? maybe I am too cynical, but certainly it does not work with me......

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