June 3rd, 2007

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Science-Relevant Fiction (A Non-Gripe)

I just finished reading a book that a fellow graduate student lent me: "Intuition" by Allegra Goodman. It's a fictional book about lab drama, science and politics amongst a group of cancer researchers in the 80s. I thought the book was rather captivating and was wondering if any of you have additional science-relevant fiction reads that you'd recommend?
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michael bolton

High school Medical lab? ...plus extra gripes

So I work in the microbiology department at a medical lab and things are just absolutely ridiculous. I haven't seen so much drama since I was in high school. Whenever someone walks out of the lab for a second it seems that everyone is super quick to immediately start tearing that person down. Making fun of their clothes, the way they work, what they listen to, etc. Then as soon as they come back everyone is ridiculously nice.

For example, we just had a new microbiologist start. I was reading plates, minding my own business, when this girl came in and started saying how we should all be mean to the new microbiologist so that she will get upset and just quit. This is a woman who is in her forties and has five children. Something just seems a little off to me.. The immaturity levels in that place are astounding. I'm 22 years old and I don't even talk like that anymore. She said "Anyone in this lab that talks to her is shunned." and walked out.. so I had lunch with her. It's just getting to be too much. The worst part is, the lab manager..is the same exact way. So gossipy and catty. And the lab manager herself is probably the worst. She will take people into like.. the freezer or walk around the side of the building just to sit there and tell secrets. There is so much whispering behind papers and everything at this lab it almost makes me damn sick. I've been out of high school for seven years and I really don't even remember it being this bad.

In addition to all of that... the lab manager makes really bad schedules. She makes schedules for the entire month, which is a good thing, but she favors some people and some people get really shitty hours. She scheduled me hours that were not in my availability. For example, I'm working until like, 2am, then she has me scheduled at 9 am the very night day... knowing full well that I have to drive 40 minutes to and from work. I will only be getting like 4 hours of sleep. She scheduled me 5 days a week knowing that I can only work part time. This is my first summer off from college because I needed a damn break. I dont want to work my entire summer away and I told her that in the interview. So when I asked her to change it she was actually like "why?" and I told her flat out. It doesnt matter why I cant work that many days, it just matters that I can't work them. I need a goddamn break. And with gas prices being how they are, I cant afford to drive 40 minutes to and from work every day. Then there are some people who work consistant hours with consistant days off.. And hell, she only works a few days a week anyway. She takes more vacation than anyone I've ever seen. And she bitches about how she stays at work from like 8am-10pm sometimes. It's totally unnecessary. I've seen what she does for those hours... She talks. She goes to other departments and talks. She sits on the phone with her kids. I've never actually seen her do any work at ALL.

God I just started this job a few weeks ago and I already want to quit. I can't fucking stand the bullshit that happens there.
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