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.