I learned from my last lesson. Ask references if they feel comfortable providing a positive reference when asking them to be a potential reference. I take the lack of response, as a response. And I just want to say..
I worked 8 months of my life away under this guy. He offered me an extension to my contract, and I helped him out, I was the one-man band when everyone else was sick and away and the work was down to bare bones with me picking up all the pieces and running with it to keep it alive and running. Me, a lowly undergrad, far less paid than his technicians yet doing the exact same work and then some more. Keep his little pets alive. Teach the two new incoming people the ropes. Some days, I was the only one there. He even seemed to have the potential to offer me another extension if I did not have to go back to school. Yet, despite everything, I think the essays I wrote that he hated entirely defined me. The essays that I had no time to write because I was so busy trying to run the entire lab by myself. In his reviews, he made his displeasure very clear, giving me feedback that only barely met expectations and whenever this occurred, everything else besides the essay received low grades as well by extension. He also never cared about my future. He had no advice, support, or good words for me. He only cared about his work.
I’m back at the same place under a different person who collaborates with him. It’s clear I meant very little to him now. He rashly incorrectly mentioned that I worked for 4 months previously under him at a group meeting. He used to respond so fast when I sent him anything concerning his lab and now there is a distinct lack of response now that I need his help and am just asking for his honesty. I really would not mind if he were to say he could not justify giving me a positive review, but I just want a response which I am apparently not respected enough to have despite the 8 months I spent on him.
What a waste of time. My current supervisor is right. He seems to dislike my previous supervisor and I agree now too. It was my current supervisor who wholeheartedly offered to be a reference if I needed it last semester despite working with me for a much shorter period of time.
I feel like my entire life is an uphill battle with no goal in sight. I just don’t know what the hell I’m doing.