It's a Micro World after all is a blog dedicated to discussing pretty much whatever I feel like. When I delve into scientific matters it will primarily be discussing microbiology (agricultural, bioenergy, and environmental focus). Otherwise, I'll probably ramble on about sports and life.
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You know, there are some things which you really shouldn't have to tell people. Like the following little gem of common sense that I'm about to tell you:
When you run a service lab, and someone calls you to inquire about said service, call them back.
Now, there is some work we've been planning to do, and we've been ramping up our efforts. We have all of our ducks in a row and we're ready to launch into the data acquisition portion of the project. We wanted to do it in one big go because doing it "in bulk" would reduce our costs. I've spoken with other collaborators, friends, friends of friends, and a few have mentioned the service lab of a particular university as having unparalleled service. So I sent them an email. Never heard back. I waited awhile and sent off another email. Never heard back. I made a couple of phone calls. Never returned.
Now, in their defense, I was told that they are routinely hard to get ahold of, but if you could get ahold of them, the work they did was great. Ok, fine ... habitually lazy when it comes to getting in touch with people, but do great work. I was willing to put in the effort to eventually make contact (even if I had to drive there as a last resort). And if they were booked solid, I could always go with another option that we had lined up and in the bag. A couple of problems though. First, my collaborators were hoping to use this lab if at all possible. Second, this lab is heavily subsidized. Now, the people we're doing our work with know the people who do the subsidizing (which involves politicians). The people we're working with are no longer happy. The people we're working with are making calls to their people, and the big wigs of the institution where the service lab is located.
Someone is going to get their rear-end chewed out all because they wouldn't respond to a handful of emails and phone calls.
Stinks to be them.
Moral of the story #1: Answer your damn phone. Respond to your emails. It's not that hard really.
Moral of the story #2: When you're talking to someone, you never know who they know.
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Sons a bitches! That is the worst. I worked in a sort of core lab for my MS and was always prompt in responses. If you called me, I called you back within 24 hours, even if to tell you that I didn't have long to chat but was looking into your situation.
This kind of crap drives me crazy too.
I was kinda-sorta in charge of a core lab for a while, and the lab that I worked in as a grad student did a contract test.
My hatred was when researchers would order a test, and not know how to interpret it. I'm not an MD, I can't make those decisions. Seriously, ffs, why the hell would you order a test, get a result and not know.
Also, people who would send us CFS for a test that we needed tons of cells for.