…the bible-black pre-dawn

there have been “issues” at work as of late.

essentially, we have a postdoctoral student in the lab who refuses to follow standard safety protocol. things like handling infectious material without wearing gloves, then not washing his hands as he proceeds to handle materials in the lab as well as the department.

i brought this up to my PI using a calm, rational approach.

it wasn’t until he told me to “stop policing who washes their hands” that i began to go from a low simmer to a raging boil.

i pointed out to my PI that this individual is not only putting himself at risk, but also everyone in the lab as well as the department. we work with an infectious agent whose transmissibility we don’t yet understand. i felt i was justified in going to my PI and asking him to put a halt to it.

he said that he can’t control what people do in the lab.

there is precious little i can do. sure, i can go over his head and get myself into a whole heap of trouble, potentially ending in getting dismissed from the lab. or i can keep my mouth shut and let it run its course. but after some careful thought about what i could actually do to improve my situation, i’ve decided to change my working hours. the alarm goes off at 4:15am, and by 5am i’m in the lab, setting up my experiments for the day. by 10am, when my PI finally arrives, i’m halfway through my day. at noon i leave for 2 hours to attend class. and by 4pm i’m out the door – guilt free and having accomplished a mountain of work. this situation eliminates all interaction with the postdoctoral student, as he generally doesn’t show up until 1pm.

and the icing on the cake?

i get to leave work while it’s still daylight out.



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4 responses to “…the bible-black pre-dawn

  1. Whoa! That sounds like a major cop-out by your PI. Lab safety and hygiene surely comes under his job description. Not wearing gloves while handling biologically active materials is a major no-no to begin with and then not washing up after is criminal! Especially if those materials are infectious. Hey, lets just fling them all around the place. Let’s infect everyone on the campus!

    • doesn’t it? i can’t wrap my head around the postdoc not washing his hands, and the PI not enforcing safety protocols.

      forget infecting everyone on campus – let’s go for the whole city!

  2. nice use of a wilco song in your post title.

    “take off your band-aid cause i don’t believe in touchdowns”

    i used to sit near the loo at the place i volunteered and no one washed their hands- the soap dispenser i would replace would last a month or longer- and this is despite having 10+ volunteers 2 days a week for full days. a whole lot of action, but not much washing going on.

    i can feel your pain.

    • welcome, and thanks! i love wilco – and their stuff is just perfect for that pre-dawn commute.

      how is it that people don’t wash their hands after using a public restroom?!? mind boggling!

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