Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stalked in the lab

When I am the new person in a lab, I am acutely aware of the fact that until I know, at least to some degree, what the hell I am doing and where in the hell everything is located and how things run from day to day, that I am going to be a burden to someone. However, there is really know other way to learn all this information, so I try to ask different people for help instead of constantly bothering the same person. I find that most people, myself included, are pretty willing to help a new lab member adjust, but only to a point. After several days of questions it gets hard to not let the constant interruptions get on your nerves a little, and if you are already having a shitty day, it’s even more difficult not to let it show.

To avoid this problem, or at least to keep it to a minimum, I say spread the questions around. Although some inquiries can only be answered by specific lab members, almost anyone can provide you with a common protocol or show you where a reagent is located. I assume that most people take this approach, but our new post-doc apparently does not subscribe to this philosophy. In short, the new post-doc is stalking me.

Every single, cotton-picking question is directed at me, even when multiple people are available to choose from. I’ll give the person some credit, at least they don’t interrupt me right while I am in the middle of something, but it seems like every time I turn around from the bench, there they are, waiting to ask me something. Today, I found this person just watching me. They didn’t have a question, they weren’t looking for anything, they were just watching. It's creepy.


7 comments:

Thomas Joseph said...

... and where in the hell everything is located ...

You think it's bad now, just wait. I have to ask MY support scientist where everything is located, in MY lab. How pathetic is that? If I ever want a reminder of just how much I fly a desk, I just need to walk into the lab and ask my support scientist for the repeat pipettor.

microbiologist xx said...

I remember dreading when my PI came into the lab to "work" when I was in graduate school. It always seemed like a never-ending stream of questions that all started with the phrase, "Where is." I'm sure your support scientist loves this. :)

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PhizzleDizzle said...

that *is* creepy.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Yikes. That would make me super uncomfortable. Has the situation improved since you wrote this?

microbiologist xx said...

It's starting to ease up a bit. It doesn't hurt that he is finally finding some other people to watch.