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Winds of Change blow again
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Musik Warz?
Friday, December 3, 2010
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Summary Statements
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

SfN Banter: The Review
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SfN Day 3 (yeah, late again)
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

They Love me in San Diego!
Monday, November 15, 2010

SfN Day 2 (also late)
Sunday, November 14, 2010

SfN Day 1 (late)
Sunday, November 14, 2010

Office Space
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Boot Force
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Time for BANTER!
Monday, November 1, 2010
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My House
Sunday, October 31, 2010

SfN the Meh...WTF!?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lola, or A Tale of Delightful Surprise
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This one's for Odyssey
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Meandering Scholar meanders once more
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Donors Choose do they?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hey, Ho, the Witch is Dead...
Monday, October 11, 2010

INVITING CONTRIBUTORS TO A SPECIAL ISSUE OF IJAD
Thursday, October 7, 2010

I wonder...what if...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
September (5)

Dear Barista...
Thursday, September 30, 2010

I hate sports
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grantsmanship - skill or gift?
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Classic Sting?
Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I know now? You're not that special.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
August (8)

Wait. You are not the boss.
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Did you find what you were looking for?
Monday, August 23, 2010

Smoke Break?
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crash, Bang, Wallop...click, click, boom
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Injury Re-re-post
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don't tag me Bro!
Friday, August 6, 2010

Remember that time you called a Laureate a twat?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Here I am!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
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Tideliar

I am scientist by training, inclination and temperament. However, this is a blog, not a lab. The title reflects my passion for hyperbole, so don't take me too seriously. I don't. I was a technician in a physiology lab, got my PhD in molecular genetics and neuroscience, was a postdoctoral fellow in biophysics and now am a Project Manager in a Clinical Science/Biomedical Informatics institute. I am a scientific jack-of-all-trades, and very happy because of it. I write about science that catches my eye, making the transition away from the lab bench, and the slightly odd and moist boundary where science culture meets the public. I am an Englishman by birth, an American by temperament and if I were you I wouldn't lend me money.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dear dude who works in the cool new coffee shop in my neighbourhood,

About twice a year, on average, I sell my soul to the Feds and work like a madman to keep myself and my dozen or so staff in a job. Usually this whole soul-selling business means I am sleep deprived and just wee, little, tiny, bit grumpy. I know you know me because I've been to your cool little coffee shop a bunch of times, but you likely haven't seen me like this because your little shop hasn't been open since the last round of NIH submissions (when I was exactly like I am now).

However, something you *do* know is that I always tip for service. If I'm getting a "to go" order I might leave some change in the tip jar, if I'm "dining in" (as we might jokingly call it), I leave 20%. Everytime.

Today I didn't play the game right and left the cash in your tip jar while your back was turned. Then you saw the empty tip-line of my credit card reciept and assumed the worst...but, dear boy, the worst you should have assumed is that I had either left cash (which is better for you, FYI), or that I was just in a rush, or having an off day or something...but you didn't did you? You gave me attitude, and cold coffee, and somehow managed to fuck up bagel and lox...how the ever-living-fuck do you screw up bagel and lox?

Your attitude, my darling, darling child, left me no recourse. So, you know that $80 I found on the floor by the till? Oh, wait no you don't! Well, now you do (in a passive-aggresive open letter to the internet kind of way). That $80 I would normally turn in to you to "give back to the person who lost it", or obviously pocket as spoils of war at 5PM? Well, me and that $80 are sitting in my office right now, debating whether I should just throw this shitty food and coffee away and go to Einstein's Bagels across the road and see if they can't do better. I might even leave a tip.

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Thomas Joseph
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Dude, when that sort of shit happens to me I let them finish fucking up my order and then I point to the tip jar and say "Save your attitude for someone who didn't just put a couple bucks in there for your sorry ass." And then I never return.

Of course, there are so many places on my blacklist that I may have to cycle a few of them off. I guess I'm just a damn curmudgeon.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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You can't ever tip when their backs are turned! Didn't you see that Seinfeld episode?

And is there anything more sad than a crappy bagel & lox? I'm sad for you.

becca
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Dude you are so lucky.
Not for finding $80, that's nothing.
But for living near not one, but TWO acceptable bagel options. *sigh*

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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I never saw people tip baristas in the midwest. NEVER. I usually just drop my change in there, but really, no offense to baristas, but I don't tip at McDonald's, Subway, or any other fast food place. What makes you guys so special? It's not like steaming milk is any harder than putting a burger on a conveyor belt.

Thomas Joseph
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becca has a great point. The best "bagel place" I have round these parts is one of my local grocery stores. Coming from New York, do you know how much that hurts me? No more salt bagels. *sob*

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Brian Krueger, PhD said: What makes you guys so special? It's not like steaming milk is any harder than putting a burger on a conveyor belt.


Ahem. Having worked at both Subway and Starbucks in my illustrious service industry past, I can tell you that steaming milk does, in fact, require a bit of skill. You have to keep the tip of the wand right at the milk's surface in order to get the foam all thick and perfect!!

Tideliar
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@Thomas: I am w-a-a-a-a-y too tired and zoned out for any drama other than PAN oin the interchoobs!

@Becca: no. There is none more bad than crappy bagel & lox. I am highly sad and dysfunctional now.

@Becca: You're right! I need to count my blessings. And my free $80.

You have to keep the tip of the wand right at the milk's surface in order to get the foam all thick and perfect!!

Pervert.
Kyrsten

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Having had an ex who put himself through school working nightshifts at a 24 hr cafe while going to classes, I'd have to say I try to err on the side of tipping. But it's not cool to give attitude for not tipping - that's just rude.

Nikkilina
Washington University School of Medicine
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Dammit! Now I want a latte. Thanks a lot!

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Dr Becca, Ph.D. said: Ahem. Having worked at both Subway and Starbucks in my illustrious service industry past, I can tell you that steaming milk does, in fact, require a bit of skill. You have to keep the tip of the wand right at the milk's surface in order to get the foam all thick and perfect!!


I'm sorry, but I got paid dick working in retail for many years and NO ONE tipped me for helping them try on shoes at the sporting goods store.

chall
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naww... bagels with salt... I miss that too. Although, I guess they might exist somewhere around where I live? Maybe?

The tipping thing, I don't tip when I buy a regular coffee by the counter and walk away. Latte, maybe... but if I dine in - sure. I don't really think you should assume you get tip as a barrista, therefore no grumpy thing.

One exception though, there was a time when I always went to the same place at the same time and as soon as the barrista saw me the coffee was done and done before I even ordered (predicable me). That's tipping for sure. But that would also be more of a "regular" relationship ;)

Tideliar
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I used to date my barrista in DC. She always got a least the a good tip >:)
Scicurious

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Having done my time (more than four years of time) in the coffee business, you can tell the kid from me that he can shove that hot milk wand up his BUTT. Waiters get paid on a scale in the US which requires tipping in order for them to make living wage. Baristas DO NOT, they get paid minimum wage. Or often higher than minimum (if you've got the skillz to make little leaves and hearts in the foam and the skill to manage other hipsters). So tips are nice, but we do not need them on the level that waiters do, and we should not EXPECT them. A tip to a barista is a reward for a good smile, a hot latte and an extra dose of sass, not something to be expected.

Genomic Repairman
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Back when I was in college (and an even bigger asshole than now) I had a barista give me shit before for not tipping enough. I duked the little fucknut $.25 for a $1.50 tea because I needed the extra quarter in change from my two bucks for the library copier. I knocked the tip jar to the ground and said, "Here's the extra tip, next time shut the fuck up and you won't be picking change off the ground." I will admit that was good ass tea though.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Whatever skill may have been involved in milk steaming, I never really expected tips at Starbucks. As a bartender, however, different story. Gosh, but how I'd shoot daggers at the cheapskates who'd come for $1 beer happy hour and not tip, or peeps who leave a dollar tip on a round of 5 drinks. Classy!

Tideliar
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Did you just call me a hipster?

Odyssey
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Tideliar said: Did you just call me a hipster?

You're not one?

Cath@VWXYNot?
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010, 3:15 pm CDT
Always tip in coins - that way they hear the tip hit the jar, even when their back is turned!
Tipping at any other time than dining in still feels odd to me. I still do it - all change smaller than a loonie goes in the tip jar when grabbing a coffee to go, and I tip taxi drivers / hair dressers / bar staff - but the Brit in me dies a little bit every time. It's just not part of our culture. I worked in my local pub in the UK one summer and never got a single penny in tips (I'd get the occasional "and have one yourself, love" from the regulars on Fridays and Saturdays, but I couldn't drink because I always drove to work).

Tideliar
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010, 3:20 pm CDT
@Odyssey: God no! Think Gordon Gecko meets Eric Idle with a pinch of David Beckham
@Cath: GENIUS!

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010, 3:27 pm CDT
Tiddles, don't get all excited about your counts.  I just spent about 50 clicks here trying to figure out why the quoting system wasn't working right :P

Tideliar
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010, 4:13 pm CDT
Chheers mate. Check's in the mail :)

Evie
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010, 6:30 pm CDT
Seriously dude, I love your writing. Awesome post, as usual.

Tideliar
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010, 6:34 pm CDT
ha ha, cheers Evie :)

JaySeeDub
Dub C Med School
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Thu, Sep 30, 2010, 6:44 pm CDT
I used to work the line at a local restaurant.  Whenever we heard a server harassing a customer for not leaving a tip or a more generous tip, we usually had a runner (they work for the kitchen, not the front of the house) head to the table with food.  And since our Chef was the owner, said server ended up out on his ass real fast.  I still tip like I work at a restaurant.  Barista?  Takes a little more skill than a guy pouring from the giant tub of steming coffee.  He'll get whatever change is left.  Guy sticking the bagel into the conveyor-toaster?  Yeah...when you graduate to semi-skilled work you get a tip.
 
Although, it really ticked me off that the servers got tips which earned them more than the kitchen staff.  Even the guy taking out the garbage at the end of the night, who gets employed early in the morning cutting onions into uniform sizes, had more skill than our wait staff.

Prabodh Kandala
Texas Tech University Health Science Center
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Sat, Oct 02, 2010, 12:01 pm CDT

Is it not possible that this Barista who know you from so many days may be pissed due to some other reason for which you are not at all responsible? Tongue out

I may be wrong. Just standing in his shoes.

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