I am currently in the first 4 months of my PHD in Physics, but I already did a 5 months internship before. I have some relationship+work problems with my phd advisor.
I am here to have feedback from other phd students or phd advisor to understand if what I am facing can indeed be a big problem and would compromise my pursuit of the phd. Or if things like this can actually happen and it can just be what a normal phd is.
My questions are around miscommunication problem which strongly impact the quality of the work to make.
In the end of my internship I started to have some troubles with my phd advisor, in summary it was a mix between miscommunication (like I didn't do what he expected me to do, but for me it was what he asked me to do). And some "rude" remarks related to this : when I didn't do what he expected, and when I told him that for me it wasn't what he asked, he got annoyed quite fast and made "not cool" remarks related to this.
But in the end of the internship we both decided that it would be nice to write workplan to be sure we have the same goals in mind.
Allright, so after this I was thinking that things will get better thanks to the workplans.
Then I had vacations, the phd started, and after learning new things at the beginning of the phd we both agreed that I needed to study a given thing. We made a workplan for this.
So, I studied it for 3 weeks, and I had really put a lot of motivation in it. Then, we met, I presented him my work. And he told me that I shouldn't have used a given definition in my work because it is not how people work with today. So basically all what I did was not usable.
I was annoyed with it because he told me to use this definition in the beginning, and I had the feeling to have almost lost 3 weeks of work for a miscomunication problem. I was very worried that this thing would happen again and again. So I sent him an email telling him I was worried with this and that for me it would be a big problem if we lose a lot of time during my phd for miscommunication problems.
He took quite badly my email, but as we had the workplan he somehow agreed that he made a mistake and that he can make mistakes sometimes. And I understand that, everybody can make mistake and it is not that much of a big deal (if it doesn't come too frequently of course). And then he asked me to show him more in details what I did (which I appreciated because it changed from the basic "you took the wrong definition, it will not be usable"). But then at some point he wondered if the whole question I studied was basically a good question to ask on the topic we are researching on.
And here I was really more disappointed because for me it was like he told me to work on something he didn't really wondered if it was worth it. What if this happens again ? Will I lose months of work ?
What's more is that we had a meeting 10 days after I started to work on this and he told me to continue on it.
So, in the end I am very worried about my phd. I am afraid that I will be misguided in what I am doing and that I would lose a lot of time because of it. Also it is very hard to discuss those problem with my phd advisor because he takes it personnally. All the discussions around it happened in a quite bad way (even if at least we ended up with conclusions and things to try).
My main goal is to pursue in academia and as it is very competitive it makes me even more worried.
What do you think about this situation ? Don't hesitate to say if you think I am probably overthinking the problem or whatever, I just need an external point of view, either from professors or phd students.