Every lab has its little quirks and now that I am in the second week, I am discovering all those little things that made life easier at old institute. Not that I would go back, but there were some perks to being at a facility that believed in farming out as much as possible. For instance, today for the first time in 2 years, I had to make 10x and 1x PBS, plus I will now have to autoclave and sterilize my own solutions (including H2O). Old institute believed that making stock solutions (and filling tip boxes) took away from valuable science time, so we had a Core Technician, who made all the PBS, sterilized H2O, FBS, and cell culture additives for the whole institute. It saved the labs money as we ordered in bulk, but it also meant that a whole lot of people took Core Technician for granted (which is why she is leaving).
I am not sure if I have a strong opinion for or against institute wide stock solutions, but I did feel a pang of annoyance at not being able to make all my solutions because I had not first made a bunch of stocks. Plus it seems silly for each lab member to have individual stocks, a bit repetitive. However, I also know that pang of annoyance I felt, when a certain lab person in old lab was not careful with lab stocks, leading to contamination and fubarring reagents for other people. I guess this is why I do not have strong feelings one way or the other. I see the benefits in terms of time and cost savings, but I also know that one mistake (or one persons carelessness) can have huge ripple effects in that system.
The other interesting quirk is that we use all glass here. From little culture tubes, to actual graduated glass pipettes. The less plastic waste the better is the theory. I felt very old school learning how to use some of these things because quite frankly the only glass that I have encountered was for beakers, flasks and pasteur pippettes. The one quirk that I will love is that I no longer will have to weigh out PFA, our head technician believes the extra cost of the 16% PFA ampules is worth the reduces risk to our health and safety. Making PFA was never so easy!
Things are still going well. I am feeling out the dynamics and learning to manage the strong personalities. If anyone knows of a good fly genetics for dummies book, I would greatly appreciate the recommendations.
On the other front, I asked PI1 for tea. I basically told her that I took her advice to be selfish and that my decision had been made only a few days ago. To quote "I appreciate the offer and the assistance, and I hope to still able to learn from you. You can forgive me and I'll buy you a tea or you can just hate for me 5 years. I would prefer to know now please". We went for tea. Here is hoping I am on her good side. If not, I am sure she is not the first, nor will she be the last person, that I piss off in my lifetime.
2 days ago