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Diabolical roommate strikes again!

September 22nd, 2006 at 02:43 am

Sorry, I just feel like ranting today. Parts are only marginally financially related, so feel free to ignore. I don't mean to waste blog-space.

Roommie just applied for, and got, a new American Express Blue Cash credit card. He got this card specifically so that he can buy a new $2000 widescreen LCD projector to replace/upgrade his television. The whole point is to pay it off slowly during the introductory 15 month 0% APR rate.

Fine. I know he won't stop at the projector, but he's limited by the $3700 credit limit, and in the end, that's his issue. And he can brag to me about great this projector is, and all the market research he did to find the best deal, and how nice it'll be to have a bonafide home theater system. And he can even mope to me about how he can't afford something like this without the credit card.

What confounds me is the fact that he's leaving the country next summer, so he'll either have to sell his toys, or ship them overseas. He's been a postdoc in my lab for three years, and the maximum term is four years, unless you get promoted.

And I can tell you right now, without a modicum of doubt, that he will not get promoted. He wanders in hours late, leaves hours early, citing "exhaustion" (yeah, like those of us working 10 hour days), fails to show when our PI ("principal investigator" aka the boss (wo)man who pays your salary) is not around, and goofs off when he is at work. He has done two experiments in the three months I've been there, and has no new data or results to show for it.

I'm surprised that our PI hasn't fired his ass. I bet he wants to, but he's just too nice/tolerant to do it. Or he's not aware of the full extent of the situation.

He *could* look for a new postdoc position. But he's not. He knows that our PI doesn't want to renew his visa. He also knows that he won't be getting a good letter of recommendation, so it'll be tough to land a new position. But most of all, he's simply not motivated enough to care. He's just going to run back home and let his mommy take care of him.

In the meantime, however, he'll just waste our PI's grant money on $2000 LCD projectors, instead of generating the data our PI needs to get the grant renewed next year.

Now even this I wouldn't bother myself with, if it's truly his own damn business (and our PI's).

Except that it's NOT.

I'm quite peeved that he doesn't feel threatened by the prospect of losing his job, when MY OTHER, PERFECTLY HARDWORKING CO-WORKERS ARE. The other tech was hired in my lab after her PI couldn't get a new grant, and had to let her go. She's afraid the same thing will happen again. And the postdocs are saying that no, PIs will cut *them* first, their salaries are higher, they're higher maintenance, and they're not protected by a union.

I feel so bad for my co-workers. I'm pretty sure my PI won't fire me--his wife was my professor, and he won't downsize his wife's A+ student unless he was really desperate--but even if he does, I've been promised another tech job by a professor at my alma mater. And I'm *frugal*, so I can live off my savings and emergency fund for months, if I need to.

My co-workers aren't so lucky. They have families to support. They can't run home to mommy because they ARE the mommies.

I could go on for ages, but I won't. But I guess financial irresponsibility *does* carry over into *general* irresponsibility.

And I am no longer amused by the antics of my roommate. I am positively livid.

4 Responses to “Diabolical roommate strikes again!”

  1. ima saver Says:

    Is he from another country?

  2. amberfocus Says:

    Yes. (He's from Bulgaria, if that matters.)


  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow, that's really messed up. Even in my younger, more spendy days, I don't think I would have done something like that. Maybe he doesn't plan to pay it off, seeing as he's leaving the country and all....

  4. amberfocus Says:

    He's actually commented multiple times that you can flee the country after racking up a large credit card bill. But he also said that you'd better plan to never return to that country ever again.

    I don't think he'd do that, though.

    I have no doubt that he *will* run out of money at some point (he's come awfully close already--his car nearly got repo'ed because he failed to pay taxes due on it until the last possible day), but hey--not my problem. I'm kind of enjoying the front-row seats to his train wreck (except where my co-workers' job securities are concerned). He'll never change unless a life-changing event comes crashing into his face. But even then, he assumes that mommy will bail him out in a real emergency.

    It boggles the mind, truly.


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