August 31st, 2007

Shawn-Gus creep

Gah!

Dear part-time tech,

For the fourth time in a year: when you make LB - or any kind of media - it MUST be autoclaved that day! preferrably in less than a few hours. NOT left til the next day! Now we have to dump out those 12 1L bottles, rewash and autoclave them, then make more LB. And, more aggravating, I won't be able to set up my handful of cultures until that's done, meaning I won't have the DNAs by the time I meet with my advisor!

Gah!

Sincerely,
the grad student
Spectroscopists

*Face-Phone*

My research lab just inherited an older (circa 1997?) Hitachi fluorimeter, which I've been tasked to set up for some future experiments.

Of course, my advisor tells me to call up Hitachi to ask them some questions about this machine.

I finally find a contact number on Hitachi's website (which is HORRIBLY designed for easy customer support), and call up the number.

Hitachi Dude: Hi, thanks for calling Hitachi, how can I help you?
Me: Oh, hi. I was looking to get some instrumentation information from you all relating to a fluorimeter, model number A-4500.
Hitachi Dude: What?
Me: Sorry, it's a F-4500. I'm sure they don't produce that model anymore.
Hitachi Dude: No, what's that?
Me: What's what?
Hitachi Dude: What's a fluor... *stumbling*
Me: A fluorimeter?
Hitachi Dude: Yes!
Me: Uh, it's an instrument that measures fluorescence of a sample.
Hitachi Dude: Whoa... let me find a number so you can talk to somebody who knows what a fluor-something is.
Me: Ok. *Takes Number Down*

Ugh. It wasn't a language barrier -- the guy seemed to be from the midwest by his accent, but my goodness, please train your phone people to know what customers might be asking for!
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