Every day more and more information keeps coming out. One of the reasons I'm having such a hard time with this decision is trying to figure out how to not repeat the same situation, which I feel like I have. Although current PI is way better at the personal stuff than MSc PI, he has, I've discovered, some of the same traits that I abhor - passive-aggressive and inappropriate language. Extremely inappropriate, but also some that I have never experienced, unethical behaviour and poor standards.
I thought I put alot work into talking to others about current PI before entering the lab. I spoke to current students, past students, and outside observers. All had nothing but good things to say about him. Of the current students I had spoken to, only one said he was unhappy, but the other 3 had only good things to say about him. I found out that one of those 3 lied because they had been "spoken to" for suggesting to another applicant that they look somewhere else. Does that mean the other 2 may of been less than forth coming. The way I interpret the information is that the students did not say how they really felt because of a fear of being found out. Now what? I'm early enough that I can leave without effecting my graduation time-line. I'm not stuck on the research. I mean I love science, and am happy learning about any ol protein. So, if I leave (FPD1 is leaving asap) how do I assess the next space. What different questions am I supposed to ask? How do I know that students are not telling the truth? The issues I'm bringing up are not new in the lab, they've been festering for awhile - I have tried to stick my head down and not get involved. The hear no evil see no evil mentality. To be completely truthful, I am not being effected by most of this stuff just yet, but I will be in the future. His scientific standards are poor and he knows it. He pesters students to do the data collection his way, but when they present the data and get shit on, he does nothing to protect them. He lets it look like it was their idea. Student that are finishing, post-docs and technicians are telling me to leave....not a good sign.
Melanie hit on the nail in her comments. It comes down to fear. Not fear of staying. I fully know what I am stuck with for the next 5 years if I stay. A difficult absentee PI that claims he wants to mentor but doesn't put in the time or effort. One that will let hang me and then say its because I didn't work hard enough. I would be teaching my self as I did in my MSc. I am scared to leave. Scared of thinking I'm moving to better situation (which I thought I did with this move) only to be in just as crappy but for different reasons situation. Everybody has their faults. Many many student have pointed out my PI's issues, but he doesn't seem to want to change or cares to change. What to do? What to do?
22 hours ago