Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yet another ramble, this time about work

I'm not sure I have a lot to say, but it's been a few days, so here I go.

There are now 4 of us in our little cubicle area. Jean is a grad student with the university I'm collaborating with. She's usually here in the afternoons, but some days not at all. We get along ok, but she's very chic urban, and I'm NOT. There is also Car and Jen (names shortened to protect the innocent). They are both very nice, friendly and funny and understand my sense of humor, I am enjoying sitting next to them. Plus, we eat lunch together some days, so I have someone to eat lunch with. Yay!

However, Car and Jen work for the same boss, and they're not doing animal work. They're both working hard to get their first really large experiment moving, so they are working hard each day, planning and scheduling and writing protocols, etc. They sit behind me, and they're working hard, and I start to feel a little like a slacker. The fact that I'm not yet cleared to do the work I was hired to do is beside the point.

I did my Animal Facility training, which at this institution is call the Comparative Medicine Program. Or the CMP. I'm guessing it's part of that department, and since there isn't a ton of work being done they don't have a dedicated ARC program. It's really weird for me, I come from a high containment lab where you protect people from the diseases that we give the mice. That means it doesn't matter what you bring in, everything that goes out is sterilized. Here we are protecting the animals from us. So anything we want to bring in must be sterilized, either by Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP) for large things, computers, supplies, or by some disinfecting wipes that are at the entrance of the facility for small things (cellphones, watches, badges). Here they don't care what you bring out, because the animals aren't infectious. It's a really different mentality. And there are a few things that they do, or don't do as the case may be, that makes me shake my head. I largely tried to keep my mouth shut, though. A new job, a new employer, new rules.

And speaking of new rules, I begrudgingly went out and bought new pants. I bought 4 pair. I might try again in a couple of weeks, maybe after Christmas sales?

I also thought I was largely done with "First Things" at this stage of my life, but for the first time I found someone in the bathroom who squats on the toilet seat. I heard someone in the next stall, well, utilizing the toilet, but when I looked down (reflex, I can't help it) there weren't any feet on the floor. I thought that was odd, so I double checked, and sure enough, no feet. This is a new facility, it was opened 2 years ago, and we are the first lab in this space. I promise, the toilets are clean!

hm, well that was more than I thought. Happy Wednesday everyone!

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