Thursday, July 29, 2010
So, I'm a virologist by training. This means that I can talk about symptoms of Ebola while putting ketchup (FYI, that's the correct spelling, none of this 'catsup' bullshit) on a hamburger. However, the most uncomfortable I've been has been explaining things to PI's in the department. For example:
1. HIV is a big deal. Every time I see the abbreviation MSM, I know that it means 'men who have sex with men'. It's just something we all talk about, but not in any sort of detail. In this one Journal Club, someone was presenting a paper on HIV transmission in MSM, and it listed different ways contact could occur, one of which was 'rimming' (seriously, in the journal article, that specific, not oral sex). We all kind of gloss over it, presenter says something like "Table 2 lists all of the sexual acts that were included in the survey". One of the PIs, one who has been in the HIV field since the start, stops the JC and wants to know what rimming is. This PI is kind of a sweet Indian grandpa man. He wants one of the students to explain what rimming is to him during lunch.
2. Jackass is reviewing a breast cancer grant. He walks into the lab to tell us this, then he hangs around, like a teenage boy wanting to ask the cute girl to dance. All of a sudden, he starts talking about how the grant writers want to test the fluid that comes from breasts. He's practically blushing now. Finally, me, labmate, and the lab tech, sit down and look at him. Clearly he's uncomfortable about something. So he starts this line of questioning that starts with lactation, and ends at, "So, in females that haven't ever been pregnant, does anything ever, you know, come out?" I'm sure he was incredibly uncomfortable. This was for a scientific purpose, but the women in the lab couldn't help but wonder why he didn't ask his wife.
3. PI's that wear shorts, should not ever put their feet up on desks. Especially when said PI's desk faces the door. Having a conversation with a PI explaining to them that this is inappropriate while using the phrase: "I'm now blind." or using the phrase 'junk' is outside of a grad student's contract, and should be grounds for automatic graduation.
I want to hear horror stories. What's the worst thing that someone had to explain to a PI/boss? I need to feel like it didn't just happen to me/in my department.
I'm thinking I might actually gear up for an actual 'scientific content' post this weekend. I need something to keep me going.
This post has been viewed: 451 time(s)