The lab...

Jun. 2nd, 2016 07:15 pm
coolohoh: Biohazard (Biohazard)
[personal profile] coolohoh
Is becoming less and less homely...

From the frustrating hr to the stupid new rules... To the paranoid director who demanded a ton of safety warnings all over the lab making it look more like a construction site...

In the side lab that used to be really scarcely populated... Now there's a huge influx of 'external' people doing non-molecular bio work. And to be sure, it's not an overnight thing. Slowly but surely, over the past half a year or so...

Really, when the FIA was moved in there, and then the waste carboys too, I just thought to myself that molecular biology is dead.

Been dying for a long time now but that felt like the last nail in the coffin. The setting up of the sludge processing thing in the next bench for example... Such stuff really shouldn't be in a molecular bio lab. But who cares? There's no space elsewhere and molecular biology is dead.

Some guys doing stuff in the fume hood at the back, and taking up all the space meant of running gels. As I walked past today he wanted to use the plastic funnel we use for the gel buffer. For some idk what chemical reaction, and the other guy was like 'are you sure this is ok? it's plastic...'. I couldn't take it. I had to step in and stop them. I don't know what has become of the other stuff I use... Like my tips and all the reagents that people borrow and use... It's not the USING itself that I have a problem with, but I'm worried about HOW they use it. *sigh*. Needless to say all the reagents can't be used for RNA anymore. Not that I'm doing RNA at the moment but still...

Oh and I hate it how my sink is constantly getting dirtied!!!! I clean it up nicely, even put the absorbent pad lining and I come back the next day to see the lining gone, and the area marked with splotches of dried chemicals. WTF. They don't even fucking bother to clean up. And many just leave their bottles of goodness knows what there and I'm like wth? It's getting worst and worst now with the new people and the waste carboy right beside my bench. And they keep moving the waste bin really far away too. There used to be two waste bins... Then one of my colleagues had to do something really stupid, and used a waste bin as a pail, and now that waste bin is gone forever and we're back to having a single waste bin in the whole lab. Arghs. So I have to walk down half the lab to throw my waste because every time I move the bin nearer to me it gets moved back because other people need the bin too.

And then there's people who raid stuff from my bench and don't put it back. Like my icebox. And today I went back to the lab to missing chairs... Like they took not one, but two of the chairs in the row and basically left two whole row with just a single chair, and didn't return. It's not like there's still an overload of chairs in the row. It was basically emptied! And I had to go hunting for my squirt bottle and ethanol spray too. And not for the first time. At least my pipettes didn't go missing again this time. I hope... I didn't do a row count... Opps... I guess the missing items isn't unique to this place but... gah!

Sigh. Right from the very start I knew I was in the wrong place. The only biologist in a sea of chemists and (mostly) engineers. What's a biologist to do here? So when unsup dropped the bomb it's like... "Yeah, as expected, there's nothing for us in here..." Plus, whatever was it that we were doing wasn't stuff that made her excited or happy. It just totally sucked because I thought I could bask around in the sun and enjoy myself for another year while working on more side projects before moving onto the next stage... Instead of getting stuck in the limbo where I am now wondering what my next stage should be. Not that this wouldn't happen. I just thought I could postpone it a little more...

I spoke recently with another colleague from a different center... And she remarked about how we have a lot of weird characters in my center. And I was like geez... Even she noticed it too? People like the stupid (retarded even) rf. And a lot of the new people they hire makes me face palm.

Like the project officer they newly hired with no lab experience whatsoever. He used to work in the industry and... I get that they are trying to develop more industry projects and stuff (apparently they are hiring a rf to do business development, and paying only over 3x my salary, and I'm pretty sure that's way more than what a regular rf gets....), but why hire a project officer who can't do lab? That's all the job description of a project officer anyway. Do all the dirty work and all the heavy lifting! You don't need no public relations and sweet talk skills for that. And it's clear from the onset that that egoistic, self centered guy isn't the type who can do labwork. At all. All he did when I tried to teach the trio was complain about how hard everything is, and declaring over and over again how he has no lab experience. Like wtf? That guy has a serious attitude problem. Heck, all the three I taught had. It's not about whether you have the experience or not, it's about whether you want to fucking learn or not. I was just so pissed all throughout that day. Absolute waste of my time. So there's 2 project officers (PO), and then 1 part timer who used to be one of the stupid rf's fyp student. Fyp student coordinated the time with me, and asked if it was ok for two other person to join in to learn. I said sure. And she even asked me that morning to confirm the timing with me. 3pm came and went, and no one shows up. I wait. And wait, and no one shows up. Finally, pissed, I went to freaking look for them (really, shouldn't have bothered, and never will again) and there they were, standing around talking at their bench, apparently doing nothing of particular importance because when I asked if they were free, they left their bench immediately. So I showed them the stuff. No one takes notes. I just keep hearing complains about how long the procedure takes and how difficult it is (it's the easiest stain you can possibly do).

Then there's like an hours waiting time so I send them on their way and TOLD THEM what time to come back. Of course, nobody came back. I had to freaking call them back again. That ego guy goes missing and nobody knows where he is. He doesn't show up till much later. And the rest decides that he should be the one doing the procedure... And that guy seems to wake up and decide that *maybe* he should record down the steps. So he tries to write it down on his phone, but gets everything wrong. When there really is nothing to remember at all. The whole thing can be like, summarized into like... 3 main steps. Of course there's some details here and there... But it's really that simple. But he can't remember a thing. The only one with a slightly better memory is the student. And then the microscope. Bleah. I wanted to vomit blood trying to teach them how to use the microscope. All of them, even the more 'experienced' PO was gushing over how complicated the light/fluorescent microscope is and how high tech it is and everything. Like... FYI, I figured out how to use that thing myself. Well except for that last disk at the bottom which I've yet to figure out which symbol corresponds to which objective. But hey, you can just turn it around till you get a good lighting condition... But nope, those idiots don't even know how to use the very basics. Like the course and fine focus knob. Which I swear is in the same location in every single microscope I've seen. Even those easy 'low tech' microscopes I used in secondary school. But nope, they didn't know that. And then the knob to move the slide position on the stage. They don't know about that too. No kidding. They were asking how to move the slide. Like, don't you have eyes to SEE how the knob is connected to the stage? Can't be helped. Idiots will stay idiots. And then the other PO happily shows off about how her paper (she's second author) is about to get published (has since been published) and pisses me off even more. She asked about the work I'm doing and I said like molecular bio stuff and all... And she's like 'sounds like the stuff I used to do'. And I was just thinking, oh, so you used to do that but you can't use a simple microscope? Like seriously?

It took them more than an hour to learn how to use the microscope. And even then they barely know how to use it. Geez. Absolute waste of my time. I had to stay back to teach them how to use the thing because they are so slow all along, and couldn't even be bothered to show up on time. And I had to stay back even later after that to finish my own stuff, because I had things that HAD to be finished because it was a time series or whatever. It was past 7:30pm by the time I finished teaching them a simple dapi stain, can you believe it? Like seriously.

Then the guy tried it himself once... And of course he had to keep running to me for help, because he hardly remembered a thing... Even though he had someone else's very neat and detailed instructions (that person already left). And he totally couldn't use the microscope at all... After that some other colleague asked me if the microscope was working (it was) because that guy couldn't get a single clear image... Well as far as I know it was working just fine so... *shrugs*

Oh! The best part. The ego guy came up to me and asked about 'that other thing people do the quantify the bacteria'. He couldn't even name it properly. In the end I just guessed it had to be about the qPCR cos a phd student had been trying to run that all day. They must have talked and what not. Lololol. You can't do a simple dapi stain and you want to do qpcr? I simply told him that the phd student had been trying to learn to do it properly for over half a year and still can't get it. LOLOLOLOL. Like an infant who wants to fly before even learning how to crawl.
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