Thursday, February 19, 2009

Picture a Day - Day 78

While the cat is away the mice will scurry themselves into a stress induced panic!

For the past three days my boss has said "so Long" to this snow covered landscape and headed to Las Vegas for a conference and it's been total chaos. Let's just say he isn't the most organized guy in the world. We were told in no explicit terms that we were going to attempt another macrophage/cell culture experiment. Then the details of just when got a bit hazy.

The end that was getting the blood and preparing the cells thought they should all be ready tomorrow, the bacteria side of things is not ready til next week, and as for me . . . Well I was told we were going to do it when my boss wouldn't be gone.

So imagine my shock on Monday when I am in the middle of something else that isn't going so well (highly concentrated solutions are a real pain in the lower back region) to find out that we may or may not be doing cells this week.

Too bad the boss is gone so I one can't get a university car, two I had already planned on doing a three day experiment that would require me to be here on Wednesday and three the one side doing the cells was closed on Monday being a federal holiday so I had no way of knowing their plans til Tuesday when it would be too late. Oh there was just one other problem, remember that big scary box from a while back?This would be the incubator that the cells and scary bacteria are going into. Only one small problem:
It isn't ready to go!

The first thing I had to acquire was a CO2 gas tank. Oh boy was that a comedy of errors. I called on Monday and got a newbie who took the order and said they'd deliver it on Tuesday.

Once that was secured then I called up the sales rep for the incubator who was going to set the thing up for us so it would run at peak efficiency and not suddenly snap free and roam the halls trying to eat up any loose bacteria (a real concern with these new models I tell ya). She was going to drop by on Wednesday, sure it was the same day we had to get cells but she said she just needed to get into the lab and could handle it on her own.

Then Tuesday came and around 10 I got up to the lab to a very confusing sight. Instead of leaving a new CO2 tank as I'd requested as well as a metal stand for one they just came and replaced our old CO2 tank on the big bacteria incubator and put the new metal stand on that one.

So I got on the phone begging and pleading with the gas company to please please turn around and give us what I'd ordered. Well luck was on my side and this showed up in the right room all secure and ready to go: Despite all the head desk slamming and hair pulling yesterday came together. While the sales rep set up the incubator someone brought the cells to us (still couldn't get a car) and we all went out and had a nice lunch.

Thank God the boss is back today so hopefully we'll have no more little surprises awaiting me next Monday. (Someone find me some wood to knock on!)

I had no idea that being bossless was like being picked out of the audience to be the ring leader at a three ring circus. You just hang onto that tigers tail til it finally wears out or turns vegetarian.


Chesney said...

I swear, when the boss is away everything seems to happen, it never fails - sound like you did great though!!

Leslie said...

Boy, I'm sure glad my bosses are better organized than that. Well the one for sure. The other one, pretty much leaves the organization to me and lets me do my own things, but thats a bit easier when that portion of my job includes NO research. I sort of enjoy being bossless, it seems to be when I can get the most done in the shortest time (unfortunately, that typically means some downtime when they're gone though as they have a tendency to not give me enough because they don't know what I'm capable of when I don't have the interruptions).

Lindsey said...

So true, things always go wrong when the boss is away! UGH!

melissa said...

I love to play when the boss is away! Careful not to blow anything up!

I am giving you an award over on my blog today because your posts make me laugh everyday.

Rachel said...

Don't you just love situations like that??? ;-)
Luckily, when our boss is away, it's fairly quiet. Occasionally, when another salesperson is gone you get the crazy client calling up and griping YOU out because their carpet isn't in yet... because that's somehow your fault... but I digress.

Glad the machine was all fixed and set up so it didn't wander the halls in search of more bacteria! Scary!

melissa said...

Don't stress about passing along the award. I have skipped the last couple (because they usually give me unnecessary anxiety and flashbacks to dreaded email chain letters) and was procrastinating this morning and thought what the hell.

Just know I enjoy reading yours :)