Wednesday, June 10, 2009


If you've been working 3 weeks straight without a day off (albeit you've only worked half days on the weekends) and then you sort-of mess up a protocol (by losing some sample) do you:

(a) Start prepping a new batch of samples while continuing with your diminished-sample prep because, hey! maybe diminished-sample prep will be enough (at the very least it may still tell you what you need to know). But know that you'll lose your Saturday (with your significant other) off.

(b) Just toss everything as (now) diminished-sample prep was a trial for your new preparative method and start over. And lose your Saturday (with your significant other) off.

(c) Just like (a) but decide that you'll take Saturday off anyhow and just come in Sunday.

(d) Just like (a) but decide that you fail at life.


EthidiumBromide said...

Me, personally, I'd do (a). I'd like to think that I'd be willing to do (c), but I also worked over 100 straight full days in the lab without a day off, so... in reality, I'd probably do (a), depending on how much work is involved with sample prep and how limited the resources are.

But regardless, you are NOT (d).

Ambivalent Academic said...

You are not D.

Though I'll admit to my own hypocrisy and acknowledge that that would be my own initial reaction. I would then try to pull myself out of that funk though - mileage may vary on the efficacy.

Nicky said...

Wow. I'd do (c) every time. But then, I wouldn't have been willing to give up 3 weekends in a row to begin with, so what do I know.

ScienceMama said...

I'd do C every time. And you are not D, although I might be...

ScientistMother said...

You are not D!

I choose c ALL THE TIME with the modification of I don't come in on the weekend.

Albatross said...

C! You are definitely not D!

I always thought failing at life was all the normal people things that our lab lives prevent us from doing correctly- like mailing thing on time or figuring out how to file insurance things.

chall said...

hm, I'd second the whole thing of "you're not d"!

I'd take Saturday off but work Sunday.... and hope for it all to be ok. You need to take some days off - otherwise you'll end up like someone (i.e. me) and taking another day off that you didn't plan because you were stubborn and slightly stupid (not taking time off and enjoying life with SO).

It¨s only a job. Nothing there reflects on your life being failure or not since it is a job. Not you. Not your relationships.

That said, I am so understanding of your train of thoughts..... but no, you are not a failure just because a lab thing isn't working.

gigirose said...

I agree with chall: take the day off! maybe you need it, and you definitely deserve it. Chill, regroup, and start anew.
... But I have a sneaking suspicion you'll choose a.

Jennie said...

I would do D, go grab a pint of ice cream and then go for A. My sig other would understand.

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

I no longer feel like (d). I think I'm just over-tired. Thanks, everyone, for reassuring that I'm not (d)!

EtBr: 100 days straight. That's amazing. I'm ready to head to Mexico and it's only been about 20% of that.

AA: That's my initial reaction (obviously). I read a random novel for a while (after I got home) and feel better. Plus, I have a better perspective now.

Nicky: It's mostly just that I can't really take lab work home with me. Dr. Man thinks I'm crazy to voluntarily give up 3 weekends in a row.

Science Mama: You are totally not D! Most definitely not. You continuously amaze me with all you do.

Scientist Mother: It's the intense guilt that keeps me coming in on the weekends. Labmate is trying to convince me that this is counter-productive.

Albatross: That's probably a better definition. Then again, I just had to explain to somebody's child that I'm in the 23rd grade. So, that may be within the definition ;-)

Chall: Thanks. It's something that's endemic to this profession. I think we all get defined by our jobs a bit too much.

Gigirose: Yeah, I might. Dr. Man is trying to convince me to do otherwise.

Jennie: He understands. I think I might be more disappointed than him.

Unbalanced Reaction said...

D needs to come off that list!! If you do A, can you take a full weekend off next week?? If so, that's what I would do. That way you get one day to catch up on sleep, TV, and pampering and the other to do life things (like shower, buy groceries, etc.).

Candid Engineer said...

C, 100 times over. You need a break.

Silver Fox said...

After completely tearing the lab to pieces in anger, I'd do what UR recommends.

ScienceGirl said...

C, to clear my head. And D would be way counter-productive!

Ms.PhD said...

I don't get it. Are you in a huge rush or something?

Definitely (c). There is no scenario in which (d) makes any sense. And you should have learned your lesson from this: working straight through with no breaks ---> leads to depression. Avoid this! Take it from me, NOT WORTH making yourself miserable.