I’m about to spit nails. I’ve spent the past week setting up larger purchases for my new lab (yay!), something my chair has been very supportive of me doing prior to my move so that I can hit the ground running once I arrive in TTT. And while the expensive decisions I’ve been making have been a little stressful and overwhelming, I’m getting to plan my lab from the ground* up and couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity.
And then this morning happened. A sales representative questioned whether I actually *needed* a particular piece of equipment for which I requested a quote. I’ve used this specific piece of equipment in my postdoc lab for the past 5 years, and could argue it is crucial for my sub-sub-SUB-field of research. Others in my sub-field or my sub-sub-field may not be willing to part with the almost double amount of [MY] start-up money that I’ll be spending on this piece of equipment, so I can understand the initial response I got from the sales rep this morning:
SR: Are you sure you want to go this more expensive route? If you’d like, I can show you this more affordable option that we offer.
Me: No thank you, this is what I’ve been using for the past five years, and the savings on the other options you’re talking about aren’t worth the hit I’ll take in productivity.
You’d think at that point the sales guy would move forward with getting the quote prepared for the particular piece of equipment I requested information on. But no – I have instead spent the entirety of my day since trying to justify why this piece of equipment is a necessity for my lab. Not to my department or my chair, but to a company that stands to make more money from this purchase. This in place of getting quotes together for other items I need to purchase, organizing my postdoc work for the move, and taking care of experiments that need to be done to get grants that are needed to keep this crazy scientific venture of mine moving forward.
I frankly don’t understand why I need to explain to this douchenugget that it is NOT acceptable to tell me this equipment would be a waste of my money. (Um, yeah, thanks, that’s an insult to me AND my postdoc mentor). And it is NOT acceptable to quiz me on MY research in a completely insulting, male-dominance, I’ll take care of the poor little girl with a cute new lab sort of tone. And it is most definitely, NOT acceptable to make me feel like a tempestuous, bitchy woman when I state you have stepped way over the line with the insulting manner in which you’ve made me justify a piece of equipment I wish to purchase.
If it weren’t for the fact that this particular piece of equipment is BY FAR the most cost effective way to achieve the level of productivity I need for my research, I would simply walk away from the company. But after digging through the websites of several competitors and researching other options, I can’t find a comparable system out there. I’m frustrated and quite frankly at the end of my rope, and I can’t help feeling like this wouldn’t be happening if I had a penis. I mean, if I wanted to give you a shit-load of money to purchase a herd of elephants that you had for sale, would you explain to me why I should buy your monkeys instead? No, you’d sell me the fucking elephants. Patting me on the head and telling me I don’t need elephants is simply unacceptable.
I want my elephants, and I’ll get my fucking elephants. Even if I have to grow a pair, I WILL HAVE MY ELEPHANTS.
*Well, not really from the ground up like some really cool bloggy peeps, but at least from the bench top up. 🙂