I'm currently working in a computational research lab where my supervisor just hands tasks to me to do that will help him with his papers but I don't get any input in the creative process whatsoever. For example, he's asked me to transfer data and create data tables but I'm never given any context for the project scope or involved in the planning or exploratory/research process, just in the execution. When a postdoc or somebody from another research group asks for his help with a random tech-related task, like debugging some computer issue, he hands it to me instead. I've been in this lab for half a year now and have nothing meaningful to show for it, besides scattered pieces of code written here and there and essentially serving as tech support for people.
I asked for the chance to lead a project and he assigned me one, but he said that he'll be assigning me the tasks which will eventually converge to a paper. I'm not given any context or "big picture" questions or allowed to take my own approach to answer them. He essentially has a list of pipelines he wants me to run and just output the results for. I feel like I'm just getting assigned busy work and not allowed to contribute my unique background/skills.
When I've been done with all my work, I've tried taking simple tasks and making them into a larger-scale project/applying more CS concepts to them but he disapproves and says it isn't priority and hands me more random tasks instead.
He has given me tasks to do late in the evening to have done by the next morning. I asked him to give me more advanced notice going forward to which he essentially responded "People in academia love their research so much that they don't mind putting in extra hours. If you're not willing to work after hours then maybe you're not cut out for academia."
I am totally used to and enjoy working long hours on research projects, and have done so without hesitation in past research experiences during undergrad because I had a sense of ownership over my work and freedom to be creative with it, but here I'm just working for my boss to help make his name bigger. I'm not getting authorship for my work or allowed to pursue long-term meaningful projects. I could be working as a software eng. making muuchhh more than what I'm earning (turned down lucrative job offer) but I chose this because I enjoyed the freedom and creativity involved in my past research much more than being handed random dev. tasks to make money for some for-profit corporation. But this doesn't feel very different from that aside from the huge paycut and having to take work home.
He also doesn't allow me to attend workshops/conferences at the institution I'm at. Every time I've asked to attend something that interests me he says "this other task is a bigger priority" or "that's irrelevant for the task you're working on" even though I'm really interested in exploring what other people are working on and networking.
So overall I feel a bit more like a secretary and less like a valuable member of a research team. Is this what all research is like in academia? If so, I'm concerned this may in fact be the wrong path for me. Any input/advice is very much appreciated.
Update I ended up switching to another lab and my experience is significantly better here. Some of the other researchers in my previous lab that I wrote about opened up to me about their experience there and it seems like the culture in general was pretty toxic (most of us have since moved on to new labs). Thanks everyone for all of your input-- it really helped me reach this decision!