The rules are… Don’t follow the rules

My dear husband always tells me I’m too “by the books.” If there is a piece of paper with “Rules and Regulations” written on it, I’ll follow them to the letter. Let’s just say I don’t have a problem with authority. However, this doesn’t always serve me well, as I’ll illustrate.

Case 1: My supervisor, Post graduate students manager, and Research Manager, keep telling me I should apply for a NHMRC scholarship. I read the rules and it says  you can’t do it part-time, and don’t proceed any further. Two weeks before the application is due, my Research Manager tells me I should ask if I can do it part-time and the answer is “Yes you can – we often have this situation” (ie when students have carer responsibilities at home). Hence the one whole week spent putting the application together, at breakneck speed.

Case 2: An Ethics application to put up posters advertising the Acupause study at a hospital. The application involves three checklists, two giant forms which threaten to eclipse my thesis in word length, and about ten various other forms including one that I fronted up with to my Research Manager’s office begging for help with. She called our Ethics committee member who said “Hmm sounds like a bit of overkill for a poster!” One phone call later, and I am told “Just send us the poster!” To which I reacted with a curious mixture of relief and an overwhelming sense of being the daftest person in the world.

Watch out world, here comes a new improved rebellious me, who plans to ask everyone in an annoying voice “but are you sure I really need to do that?”

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