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Adventures in Research Administration.

11 April 2013

I get annoyed with administrative processes. I can be an entitled, spoiled jerk. And so I often feel like people should bend the rules for me. This has in part been exacerbated by the fact that people in authority have been bending the rules for me my whole life. Parents, teachers, administrators. I’ve always been able to convince people to bend the rules when I wanted to, and even more frequently, people have bent the rules without my even asking. I remain somewhat flummoxed as to why.

But here at MECMC, I’m simply trying to go about things the right way, according to the rules. I don’t want rules bent. I want to appear as someone who does things carefully, the right way, and asks for no special treatment. But the processes are baffling to me. There’s training to be completed on at least three different computer systems. I have to submit a request to be labeled a PI, because my title isn’t one that automatically confers PI status on its holders. So I need to get special permission in order to be a PI and then to submit to the IRB.

But it’ll all happen. Because I’ll just keep at it until it’s done. That’s how things get done, right? For regular people who know how to live and work within administrative systems? I just want to be one of those people. One of the ordinary people who understand how to negotiate the regular processes of life. Who doesn’t get in trouble because they didn’t do the things that they were told how to do. It’s very easy for me to ignore things, or let them slide. Procrastinate. but being a grown-up means paying attention to those details.

I like the way my life works when I behave according to the rules of the systems. I’ve gotten better and better at it as time goes on. And I’ve gotten to be a person who appreciates it as I advance in sobriety.


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