lab cleanup day

19/12/2009 at 05:17 | Posted in graduate studies, science | Leave a comment
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today was lab cleanup day.

every 6 months, our tech organizes a lab cleanup day. we all get assigned to various chores, and spend the morning cleaning, purging, and, well… relaxing.  it’s one of those days where the boss man sanctions not doing experiments, and then gives you pizza for it.  it’s wonderful.

anyway, so something came up today that made me finally come clean to my supervisor about a situation that’s really been bugging me.

you see, for the past 8 months i’ve been living in the shadow of the guy before me… a guy who cut corners, lied, and pretty much bullshitted his way through life.  anyway, so along comes me – the proverbial new guy – and i’m stuck with trying to figure out what he actually did vs what he said he did.  eight months i’ve been messing things up in the lab, and confused out of my mind because of this douche.  i kept my mouth shut because well, at first i didn’t want to seem presumptuous… then i thought, oh well, i’ll just ask another person in the lab… then i thought, oh i’ve made it past the hard part, i can do the rest…. finally, i managed to get to the last step of the experiments …and… i got one THIRD the stuff he got.  you can imagine my thoughts/feelings/etc.

F. M. L.

anyway, today, i finally gave in to what my friends have been telling me for ages now… i wrote my supervisor, explained the situation dispassionately, and asked if we could meet so we could go through everything together. this was it… the moment of truth.

i hit send, and told myself “well, you had a good run. you didn’t really want a career in biochem anyway” and went home.

an hour later, the boss man wrote me back.  i opened the email… and was astonished at what i heard.  he was supremely understanding, and basically said “of course, how can you be expected to know the ins and outs when you’re new?”  so we’re meeting on monday.

you have no idea how relieved i am.  finally, i’ll be free of the old guy’s shortcuts and on my way to actually getting some research done!

moral of this story: explaining your issues to your supervisor can be a good idea!

ps. lab clean up day is ALWAYS a good idea – even if it’s only to get stuff off your chest!


how badly do i need a break?

16/12/2009 at 22:33 | Posted in graduate studies | 2 Comments
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well, it appears that my supervisor is more of a hard-ass than i anticipated.

my brother just purchased a ps3 last night, and since he is away for the holidays, he called me and offered to lend it to me until he gets back in january.  i, of course, accepted.  free ps3 for a month?  why, thank you!

so, i was trying to figure out what game to try out first, and mentioned this to one of the girls in the office, who responded with “oh, don’t you know that we have to work over the holidays?”   i was like “whaaaat?”  and so, according to her, our lab is expected to show up over “supposed” break, even though the university itself is officially closed.

i am, needless to say, in shock.  i mean, wtf?  don’t i put in enough time already, that you have to take away the one bit of mid-winter sanity that we all work toward every november?!  granted, i was thinking about coming in here or there – but i didn’t expect that i’d have to come in.  they are two very different situations.  in one case, you arrive an hour or two after you wake up… at a leisurely sunday morning pace.  in the other: a quick grande pike, shirt on backward, speed through 3 lanes of traffic, all to arrive a half an hour early to get a head start on experiments that will take you until 9pm anyway.

the girl in the lab was like “oh, it’s no big deal, just use your vacation days”

but this is a matter of principle.  no other fucking grad student has to be at school that week.  why the differential treatment?

anyway.  i’m still renting a pile of games and enjoying my evenings to the full.  take that! …sir.

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