When one thinks of pharmaceutical testing, you think of the excitement of discovering new drugs using cutting edge technology, Noble prizes for medicine, prescription drugs named after you. Well, it is not all glamor and glitz. On the one hand, you are exposed to the latest drug development including medical devices. The technological advances in pharmaceutical testing are amazing. On the other hand, the repetitive nature of testing can make life very boring. Here are some facts about pharmaceutical testing.
Presidential Politics is Nothing
The whole concept of promotion is to work hard, gain valuable skills and rise based on merit within an organizational structure. In some cases this is how promotions work. In others, it is about who you support in the management structure. As their fortunes rise, those who basically support him rise as well. Your upward mobility is directly correlated to your manager. The fun comes in when two or more individuals are going after the same promotion. Then you see office politics in action. The losing side gets demotions or increased workloads, while the victor promotes his team. There have been many cases whereby office politics trump merit. Office politics gets worse in larger organizations.
Fear Reigns Supreme
I have noticed when dealing with other pharmaceutical testing labs that fear is its own worst enemy. The fear of making a decision will grind testing to a halt. Even basic decisions such as which tests to perform will create fear in an organization. Let me see if I can explain. Assume that a test for releasing a drug onto the market comes with a failing result but all others pass. If that happens, next comes a meeting with Quality Control to determine what to do. So no decision is made other than to not release the drug unto the market. So Quality Control meets with the production manager to determine the next step, no decision is presented. Upper management gets involved with several more meetings before a resolution is agreed to. In the meantime, weeks have passed since managers oversee more than one location.
There is No I in Team
Pharmaceutical testing is all about teamwork at least in theory. In actuality, there are a lot of employees that horde information and knowledge for fear of making their job status obsolete (another sign of fear). I have seen chemists become territorial with lab glassware and equipment to the point of filing a complaint with their supervisor. Nothing in the lab amazes me anymore. I know of one instance of equipment being moved to four different labs as an employee was transferred around. After all it was her equipment and she knew the intricacies that it entailed. She didn’t get the hint that no one wanted her in the lab as she was transferred around. Then there is the backstabbing. If you were proficient at your job, you were considered a threat and a big target would be on your back.
More Degrees Does Not Mean They Are Smarter
I have worked will all levels of educated scientists and I learned in most cases, the higher the degree, the less common sense but more book smarts. The running joke among lab bench chemists is MS in science stands for “more shit” and a Ph D stands for “piled higher and deeper”. This is not an accurate description of all degreed individuals but quite a few. I have seen scientists with high degrees unable to make simple solutions that someone learns in college. One can’t imagine the lack of common sense that exists with some Ph Ds. They also are some of the individuals least likely to work in a team environment. The part that hurts most is when lay-offs come, the Ph D’s are the least likely to get laid-off while the bench chemists which perform most of the work are the first to go.
How does your office politics work??