Thursday, November 11, 2010

I try...

In the spirit of having consistent posts....

I'm waiting on the autoclave, so to kill time:
There's always one in every lab I think.  I've only been in two, so I don't really know. 
And I always try NOT to be that one.  You know, the dumb labmate (DLM).

This does not include the learning curve that new members have when they're integrated into the lab.  Everyone goes through it.  After a while, you find your groove, and you understand how things work.  As you continue to run experiments, you start to trust your instinct.  Unless being in the lab is your *first* non-class lab experience. 

The DLM was in chemistry as an undergrad.  He took some basic micro, so he's been introduced to the principles.  And I encourage asking questions.  I've told the undergrads to ask as many as they want, as that's what I did as an undergrad.  That goes with the territory.

But the DLM doesn't seem to be getting it.  At. All.

Exhibit A: The DLM is asking a ton of questions as usual about a certain protocol.  I didn't write it, so today he's asking the another labmate who did.  I'm not paying too much attention, but I hear this:
DLM:  So do I leave the lid on?
Labmate:  Yah.
DLM walks away.
Me:  Leave the lid on what?
Labmate:  The centrifuge.

*cue the confused look on my face*
When is it ever a good idea to leave the lid off a centrifuge when working with culture? 
I wouldn't care so much...but tomorrow I'm rolling into work early just to babysit the DLM through what is most certainly a straight-forward TCA extraction that should take 20 minutes to complete.  The sad thing is, I know there will be tons of commonsense questions, on a procedure he's already done. 

Part of me knows it isn't being dumb, but more lazy. 
Over the weekend, one of the keys to a room the lab uses was missing.  Often someone will accidentally leave the key in the room.  DLM called me to ask if I had it.  I didn't, but I suggested he simply call security and have them let him into the room. 

Without missing a beat, the first thing he said was:  Do you have the number for security?
That's laziness on a grand scale there.  The brain hurts from the laziness.  Security numbers are posted in every room and on the lab doors.  Everyone knows this.  And yet he though I would just have it handy on my laptop or something.  WTF?

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