For the background: I am a Ph.D. student (UK) in a computational field (my job can be done anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection, no experimental work involved). I started around one year ago, during the covid period.
My supervisor is a senior professor, who graduated from a top university, his whole career is based on his post-doc project. He is really busy and has little to no time to give (I speak with him around 30 min each week.), other problems are:
- He is asking us to be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday in the office.
- He doesn't know anything about my topic, and never really gave me good advice, he never for example told me "I found this interesting paper you should have a look at it". I never had an exciting scientific discussion with him.
- He never listens to you and shows it with disrespectful behavior (Constantly look at his watch among other things of the same sort)
I like what I do so much that I do not think of it as a job, but this 9 AM to 5 PM thing makes it feel like a job. If I wanted to transform my passion into work I would just find a regular job. In my (maybe naive) opinion, academia is hard work and responsibilities, but at least you are supposed to work with more freedom?
I asked if I could leave the office from time to time to work from home or anyplace else (the office is small and crowded, I spend my day in front of three screens, I find it hard to study books here for example). He told me that my request is "unreasonable".
When you are late in the morning he sends you a salty email, etc... He gives more attention to this micromanaging things than our actual projects. It is such a big deal for him that we had to sign a paper saying that we are "essential workers" to come work during the lockdown. When one of us receives a ping that we should self-isolate because we've been close to someone with covid, he is pushing for that person to still come. I don't know why he is acting like this, because nowhere in my contract it is written that I need to do these hours in the office.
So now I am doing like every other student, I ignore him and do what I want. Which of course I feel guilty about... This starts to affect me, I notice that I don't want to work as much as I wanted before (I used to do much more per day during my master for example)
Now the question: Am I the one being unreasonable? I just wonder if I am delusional and not fitted for academia