My favorite GIF is about saying no

One of the most wonderful parts about having seen the Paper From Hell through to publication is that the last cord has finally been cut between me and that paper’s second author, a.k.a. my Incompetent Former Research Advisor.  Let’s call her IFRA for the rest of this post.  (She very definitely does not deserve to come second on the author list, but that is a battle that I did not have the power to fight.)

I have not been actively working with IFRA for years—as soon as I passed my qualifying exams, which involve defending an initial research project, I got the heck out of there to work with someone who actually has a clue.  IFRA is aware that I am not fond of her, because once I realized that any recommendation letter from her was worthless, I cut our interactions back to the bare minimum required to avoid being outright rude.

Nevertheless, exactly one day after we received the official “your paper has been published” email, IFRA wrote me asking if I would process a whole bunch more data for her.


Nope nope.

Nopety-nope nope nope.


Nope, there’s nothing about that data analysis that requires me, personally, to be the one who does it.  There is one step that uses a program I wrote, but that is both publicly available and extensively documented.  I would be willing to provide troubleshooting support for that program, but only in the context of someone who’d actually tried using it and had run into problems.  Even if I was the absolutely only person who could do it, the answer would still be no.  I’m not wasting time on data that will never make it to publication (and trust me, it won’t).

Of course, one does not reply to professional emails with reaction GIFs, so I wrote something short about needing to focus on my thesis and left it at that.


(I’d love to be able to give credit to the originator of the nopetopus, but it’s been floating—or running—around the internet for too long.)

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