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unprepared labmates


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32 replies to this topic

#1 toejam

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:56 AM

hi all,
recently we've been facing this situation in my lab, there's a labmate who is not prepared and doesn't seem to care about the risks that his actions might lead to. walks around the lab with chemicals that should only be at the fumehood and already broke a centrifuge and a waterbath, after leaving it all weekend at 80 celsius, all he said was "oh i knew i would forget it! you have to remind me to turn these things off!"
how are we supposed to deal with a person who doesn't listen?
"When there's no more room in hell the dead will walk the Earth"

#2 Clare

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:25 AM

hi all,
recently we've been facing this situation in my lab, there's a labmate who is not prepared and doesn't seem to care about the risks that his actions might lead to. walks around the lab with chemicals that should only be at the fumehood and already broke a centrifuge and a waterbath, after leaving it all weekend at 80 celsius, all he said was "oh i knew i would forget it! you have to remind me to turn these things off!"
how are we supposed to deal with a person who doesn't listen?


Sorry to hear about your labmate! We have a similiar situation here (but not that bad). I just keep telling them *over and over* that EtBr should not be heated in the microwave!!!!!! Grrrrr...it makes me so CRANKY!!!! In the end I told the level co-ordinators what was happening. Clare = Lab Nazi!!! But I care about my own (and others) safety!

#3 gfischer

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:02 AM

Make careful documentation of incidents and report them to your supervisor. If your supervisor doesn't take action, got to his/her supervisor. Repeat as needed.

Breaking equipment through carelessness is bad enough, but if this individual is doing things that may put others at risk, like handling hazardous chemicals inappropriately, you may have to consult with your workplace safety people, even to the point of filing an official greivance. If it comes to that, don't worry, you should be able to do so with complete anonymity.

My sympathies for your difficult situation, and best of luck.
Above all things, if kindness is your king,
then heaven will be yours, before you meet your end

#4 toejam

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 04:12 AM

the subject in matter has been absent from the lab for a couple of days. makes me wonder what he's up to...
"When there's no more room in hell the dead will walk the Earth"

#5 Clare

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 04:16 AM

the subject in matter has been absent from the lab for a couple of days. makes me wonder what he's up to...



Perhaps he forgot where he works? ;)

C

#6 MaggieRoara

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:59 PM

I have the same problems with a guy in my lab. I just email him with regarding the things he does and cc to his superior. He takes it seriously if he knows the PI knows

#7 swanny

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:26 PM

how are we supposed to deal with a person who doesn't listen?

A friend of mine recommended crushed aspirin for such people. You place an aspirin on their forehead, and crush it with a hammer. :D
Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer, but heart attack symptoms differ from men's symptoms. Get to know your heart... it could save your life.

#8 toejam

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 01:14 AM

how are we supposed to deal with a person who doesn't listen?

A friend of mine recommended crushed aspirin for such people. You place an aspirin on their forehead, and crush it with a hammer. :D


hahahaha good one swanny!!
I hadn't seen that sadistic side of yours :lol:
"When there's no more room in hell the dead will walk the Earth"

#9 toejam

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 03:39 AM

latest update on labmate:
he asked the PI to take his pcr products out of the thermal cycler because he doesn't like to stay late :)
i'm seriously considering the crushed aspirin method....however, it's not up to me to decide his permanence in the lab.
"When there's no more room in hell the dead will walk the Earth"

#10 gebirgsziege

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 04:41 AM

And what did your PI answer????? :huh:
But we have many of these its "4 and I drop my pencil/pippet/whatever and go home" people here.....and nobody of them takes out their PCR products from the thermocycler. I think they cannot imagine anybody working more than exactly 8h a day :)
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#11 rhombus

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:00 AM

hi all,
recently we've been facing this situation in my lab, there's a labmate who is not prepared and doesn't seem to care about the risks that his actions might lead to. walks around the lab with chemicals that should only be at the fumehood and already broke a centrifuge and a waterbath, after leaving it all weekend at 80 celsius, all he said was "oh i knew i would forget it! you have to remind me to turn these things off!"
how are we supposed to deal with a person who doesn't listen?



Dear Toejam,

I agree with one of the others posters......get safety involved.
If that does not work go to the top.....Director of Institute/Lab Manager/Group Leader. The equipment I take it is communal so any breakdown will impact on others.
If it persists then give the individual all the rubbish jobs in the lab....bore them into submission.

#12 swanny

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 05:29 PM

And what did your PI answer????? :huh:
But we have many of these its "4 and I drop my pencil/pippet/whatever and go home" people here.....and nobody of them takes out their PCR products from the thermocycler. I think they cannot imagine anybody working more than exactly 8h a day :P

I think you should be a very helpful lab member. When their run has finished, take their tubes out of the cycler and place them in a safe place, like the back of the -20 freezer, or the round filing cabinet with the plastic lining ("I'm sorry, I thought you didn't want it any more, because you left without taking it from the machine."). In case the experiment turns out to be important, do the first, but tell them the second.
Be sarcastic. "What am I, your mother?"
Be direct. "Stop being such a lazy bum and take out your c#$p from the machine."
If they show any aptitude in science, get them to start your PCR experiments, because you had to finish theirs for them.

But do it all with a smile, or they might think you're a psycho...
Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer, but heart attack symptoms differ from men's symptoms. Get to know your heart... it could save your life.

#13 lab rat

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:44 PM

Ouch swanny. Remind me to never tick you off! Well, it won't hurt the PCR machine to run all night on 4C, but I can understand why it's a PITA for you.

A nice way to remind people to take care of their business is to leave passive-aggressive notes all over the lab. My favorite (posted by another tech): "Pick up after yourself, or be fed to wild animals." If you work in an infectious disease lab, make a sign saying, "If you leave it on the bench, we will inoculate you with it."
42..."An immutable fixed-precision number of unlimited magnitude." <a href="http://en.wikipedia....amming_language)" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia....amming_language)</a>, accessed 25June2009.

#14 leelee

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:31 PM

he asked the PI to take his pcr products out of the thermal cycler because he doesn't like to stay lat


Is that really that big of a deal?? We do this for each other in the lab all the time- no point in sticking around waiting for a run to finish just so you can take the tubes out, if someone else will still be there anyway. Or check cells/virus stocks/set up bacterial cultures etc for others on the weekend if we are going to be in anyway....

Maybe it is because you are already annoyed with this person??

#15 gebirgsziege

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:46 PM

@leelee: I think it is because somebody might need the PCR after this person. The annoying thing is that you have to think who set up the PCR so you can place it with their name in the freezer. And the most annoying is if the persons do not lable their tubes, I was once nearly killed by such a "lab mate" (who left BEFORE lunch that day) because I took out her PCR products (in the same order as they were in the machine) which were not labelled.....and I really needed the thermocycler to finish my exp.

@swanny: I think I should come to your place to learn :P although they are afraid of me already esp if I am smiling :D
BUT I would never ever ask these people to set up my exp....I need my results and do not trust most of my lab mates even to prepare a stock of ecoli :unsure: recently one of them was trying to clone into a yeast which was growing as contamination on her plate instead of ecoli......
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)




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