The Genomic Repairman is currently a Ph.D. student who escaped from the deep south, and studies DNA damage and repair through biochemical and genetic approaches. He intends to use pine away about his scientific interests and rant about the things (and there are lots of them) that annoy him.
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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So this week has been a relative sea of calm for me as I've been working on my presentation for my oral defense for my qualifying exam on Friday. That was until yesterday. Since we had a deluge of posts yesterday I was saving this one up for Wednesday and was too lazy to get around to writing it up until now. Thank goodness I have two hands, that way I use them to choke two people at the same time. In the left hand would be my boss (he has a skinnier neck and its my weaker hand) and in the right would be our other graduate student (thicker neck to match the skull of mountain goat therefore necessitating the strong hand).
Lets begin with my boss, you have been nothing short of a pain in the neck to me during this exam process. You have piled work high on me, not really given me the required dispensation to work on my exam and also had me training technicians while going through this hellacious process. Its nice that you are now taking interest in my work, but fucking with centrifuge while I'm using it is not cool. I just want to remind you that there are two very precious samples spinning at 90,000 fucking rpm and you playing with the rotor settings (that can be applied) while the rotor is spinning because you like to tinker as you say. You want me to stop my spin in the middle of the run (1 hour) so you can find the rev counter digital display in the menu? WTF man. Also there is no way I'm going to use the scheduling software on the unit to schedule my time on the machine. Why would I fire up the centrifuge, wait two minutes for it to warm up and scroll through some byzantine array of menus to get to the schedule to book my time when I can just write it on the clipboard next to the machine. Dear sir, I grow weary of ranting at you, go forth, I dispatch you to turn my ire elsewhere.
Dear other graduate student, let me begin by saying, YOU MOTHERFUCKER. I am a busy man, really I'm too busy to help you, but fortunately for you I am also a kind man. So I agreed to show you a technique, which after three other people hand holding you, you still cannot get. I tell you that if you want to do this with me show up at 9:00 am. Did you think I meant 9:00 am in another time zone? When I say 9, I mean 9. I'm really pressed for time but to be courteous I duke you an extra half hour waiting around before getting started. Sadly at 9:30, you are nowhere to be found and I begin anyway. You don't even deign to show up into the lab until after lunch time and ask me when are we going to do that technique. At this point I can feel my blood pressure rising to atmospheric levels. I tell you that we were supposed to start at 9 and I did it without you. You whine that wanted to see it and then redirect conversation to me giving you old tests. I mutter to you that I will get them to you when I have a chance. You, my dimwitted labmate, press your luck by asking if I could go get them now. At this point I have to tell you to walk away as I have to walk away before I suffer some kind of anger-induced stroke or beat you with the binder in my hand. Worse yet I might shank you and I spent a night in a county jail (a whole nother blog post) so I know how to make one out of a toothbrush.
My saving grace is the technician that I am teaching. He is a senior tech who has a great skill set as it is but wanted to learn some new techniques and I've had the pleasure of teaching this guy and he is absolutely fantastic to work with. So to you senior tech, you are the only reason my left hand is on the remote fast forwarding through commercial while I watch Mad Men and the my right hand is curled around a glass of Lagavulin on the rocks that a reader (who wishes to remain anonymous) sent me.
I'm so inspired by Mad Men that I want to rename my LabSpaces Fantasy Football team to Lane's Daddy's Cane. Watch the episode recap below, explanation at 1:30 into it.
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Alright, its now official. Your blog has risen to being the first one I read each morning when I get to the lab. Kudos.
I vote for the shanking. It makes more of a statement I think. Plus there will be scars as a permanent reminder of the grad student's stupidity.
huh, great job for not acting on those impulses. Keep it together until Friday and then, take Monday off and go away for those three days and relax. Do whatever but nothing to do with lab. I mean, it's not like anything is going away until you get back (i'm guessing the graduate student will still be there, in wrong time zone and all). Great choice of drink by the way. Love it! :)
Man, why didn't I think of this when I was doing my PhD, a perfect place to vent your anger at stupid fellow lab folk! Great stuff!
Chall, I'm going to do my exam and win, lose, or draw, I'm going to pass out for the next two days. I plan on being back on Monday, I've already got some stuff in the pipeline to do and I'm actually looking forward to it. As far as the other grad student, they are written off for a while, I have my own work to do.
GR> sounds like a plan. Never underestimate a good 48 hours away from the lab and doing something completely different. I guess sunday could be spent watching football ;)
WTF? For your boss, you need to be more assertive with your time. If you don't do as well on your exam as you like, the bitterness you feel won't be worth the (negligible) increase in progress in your research or status in your advisor's eyes. (I got a *conditional* pass on my candidacy- and had to take a dumb journal club. In other words, not only was my advisor inadvertanly putting me through a lot of stress by expecting me to be in the lab so much, but he was also making a SHITY assessment of investment- that is, a bit more time on the exam would have meant significantly less hours in a classroom later). I know the exam should be almost in progress now, but this type of thing will happen again and again.
For other grad student... Just tell them they're not respecting your time enough. It sounds like there is a deficiency in communication, because they are a dense eejit and you are not pounding things into their mountain goat skull. No one should be shanked... for the first offense they are aware of. Once you've given fair warning though...
Sadly Becca, she is obtuse and we have had issues with this before like me at this time if you want to see me do something and she doesn't show up. I don't know if her time management skills just suck ass or she is just really dense.
That sucks about your exam and that is/was my fear too, that if I have to go back and rewrite a section then its going to cost me even more time if you would have just given me the time to do it right. I think my mentor is hell bent on getting this part of the project done because I'm dusting off the project from a former postdoc a few years ago and have finally gotten this thing off the ground. And I agree, I want some data and ASAP too but I need to handle some business first.
Lagavulin on the rocks
Jeezus motherfucke, manne! Why would you ruin good whisky like that?
The stuff had just come in the mail and was pretty warm so I used the ice to cool it down otherwise I would have drank that shit straight up. What's CPP's tips for whiskey then, edumacate my ass on drinking booze.
Last time we went boozing at the distillery, a couple of my buddies picked up these rocks that make your drink cold, but won't dilute it with water, nor add any taste:
LOLZ myself, cool indeed. One might even say "literally" and actually be...accurate.
Nat, a nifty idea unless you're someone who likes to chew on ice and forgets its not ice in their drink.
My dear spouse prefers whiskey on the rocks. I don't know what's wrong with him. I always have mine neat.