Saturday, 9 July 2011

Dear Professor. I am not an idiot.

Hmm. I come across a reference to an intriguing looking paper. I cannot find this paper online. A spires search reveals nothing. A lot of googling reveals nothing. It appears to be an unpublished preprint. No-one references the paper except the author, in another unpublished preprint which does happen to be on the webnets.

I e-mail the author and politely request of the elusive missive. The author is a bigshot, so I try to be extra polite and sickeningly flattering.

"Dear bigshot,

You are superawesome. I am frankly gasping to get my hands on a copy of your undoubtedly brilliant opus "clever shit I did on holiday", which sadly I have been unable to obtain. I cannot find a journal reference nor an online copy. Would you please be super sweet and send me a copy, you great big hunk of lovely, you?

Yours with best wishes and huggles,

Lowely postdoc who worships the ground your sweet smelling footsies dain to walk upon."

And a couple of days later I get this reply:

"try looking on spires"

What. Do. You. Think. I. Tried. First. You. Sod.

Now the bigshot thinks I am a blethering idiot. Excellent self publicity there. On top of that, I still don't have the paper I want, and am faced with the prospect of writing back to said bigshot without using any of the following words or phrases:

"no, really"
"a bit of effort"
"porpoise up your sodding"

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