Monday, April 16, 2012

Lab Commandments

We're closing in on the end of the first third of spring quarter, which means that even if I wanted to pretend that classes don't exist, I have to face reality. As I take fewer classes, a real problem becomes whether I will actually go to my classes. Not in the undergrad way of "uhhh, I don't WANT to go to class. I guess I'll skip." but more in the "oh crap, it's Tuesday? I forgot to go to class today because I was doing lab work." sort of way. I was even ten minutes late to my first class of the quarter because I FORGOT I was taking a class. I take this as a sign that I have completed the transition from undergraduate to graduate mentality. Hooray?

Another sign that I have made this transition is that I'm beginning to morph into a crotchety old grad student. I shake my fist at the young'uns. I haven't quite hit the "back in my day..." stage, but there's still plenty of time for that, so let's not rush things. One of the things that really burns my bagel is people who don't really know how to function in a laboratory with other people. *shakes fist* Things such as "sharing" and "communication" don't often translate from real life to lab life. As such, I have set out to create a set of Lab Commandments to encourage harmonious lab interactions. Here's a few to start:

The Lab Commandments

  1. Thou shalt order replacement labware when thou notices that thy lab is lacking in its quantity.
  2. Thou shalt not relocate thy neighbor's samples without thy neighbor's permission.
  3. Don't touch my furnace. No, seriously. Back away right now. 
  4. Honor thy lab's sign-up sheets.
  5. Don't leave the undergrads alone with the chemicals. This goes for the postdocs, too.
  6. Thou shalt label thy samples and clean up after oneself. 
That's only about one tablet's worth of commandments, but it's a start. Moses doesn't have any competition yet. Any other ideas for lab rules to live by?


  1. How about: "thou shalt throw out Kim wipes and gloves when one is finished using them"? This is srsly a big pet peeve of mine!

    PS burns my bagel...very funny!

    1. Yes! Also the corollary to that is throw them into the appropriate bin. I don't want your chemicals in cahoots with my apple core.