A surreal experience, of the conference kind:
A colleague, with whom I used to work, many years ago, but with whom I stopped working because he was so uncommunicative and because he sat on data for YEARS (so that in most cases I had to redo his work to have any hope of moving forward with the research) and because he did not comment on manuscripts (much less write anything himself) and because he was therefore a major and annoying obstacle to any progress with our collaborative research, recently complained to me about another colleague who behaves the exact same way to him as my ex-colleague did to me back when we worked together. He complained bitterly to me about this other person's lack of communication (!) and refusal to share collaborative data (!) or comment on manuscripts (!), much less write anything himself (!).
Does my ex-colleague's brain consist of compartments that are totally impermeable to each other so that he can act one way and complain about the exact same behavior in someone else? I am sure that it is fairly common to be annoyed by unsavory behaviors of which we ourselves are guilty, and perhaps this was just an extreme example.
Or did my ex-colleague know that he was complaining about his own behavior (in someone else) and was in some twisted way apologizing to me? I doubt it, but I suppose it is possible.
In any case, I just said "Omigod, what a jerk" and walked away. It was too weird, even for me.
1 month ago