Time for some advice. Its been a while. So here is another little tale from the world of work. It been pieced together from a few different accounts, a little tarted up, and very very carefully crafted to ensure full anonymity :-}:
The tale of the Oxford Prof’s group
So, there once was an Oxford Prof, with a distinguished if somewhat esoteric career path, several fine papers, and a track record of helping students through their careers. He was a little grey. But in a fine and distinguished sort of a way. Intelligence, and a certain charisma, had always helped ensured a faithful following for his research.
So he did well. And he did good work.
As his career progressed, he found that some of his current and previous group members looked up to him as a reliable sort. He’d helped them in the past and had a kind heart. And he stayed in people’s minds through mailing lists. And via the lists they could always find him.
Years passed by.
A previous group member was sad about parts of her life, and not sure what to do. She cautiously approached this Prof. He always seemed strangely interested in her. So she aimed to sound out whether he was actually interested. And if not, she thought to ask him for some sage professorial advice.
A little later, a postdoc, who was now in a new research group in the same large department, found herself in a somewhat similar position. Likewise and for similar reasons, she too wandered his way. For he seemed approachable. And he was a known quantity.
As more time went by, he became a little dissatisfied with his home life too. He briefly eyed up the rising star of his group. Being rather brilliant however she was poached by another group in another town. But as she was leaving, yet another previous group member also approached him, drawn for the same reasons as the previous two.
Some of the three (and possibly more, for numbers are a little unclear) postdoc fans that had approached him liked his familiarity and confidence. For, of course, they wanted someone who possessed what they did not. Others liked his wit. For he had always made them – and others laugh.
And the Prof very much seemed to want something from his fans. And there was the right degree of risqué in his listing contributions to suggest this was exactly where he was pitching. And so all was apparently well for everyone.
[end of part 1]