Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A Day of Chores

I arrived this morning to the sight of a large bald man sitting in my fumehood with a screwdriver. My hopes of getting some work done today shot straight out of the window at that point.

Following a consolidatory espresso and some frankly hardcore procrastination I was let loose on the blank canvas that was an empty workspace. After a quick spruce up including cleaning the sink (which contained far more needles than any sink really should) I set about moving the stuff I use every day back in. Stirrer hotplates were plugged in, the Schlenk line was cleaned and all the tubing was replaced, and the reflux condensers were reattached. All was well at this point. I even vaguely remember seeing a fleeting moment of sunshine. I then made the fatal error of attempting to clean behind the cupboard under my hood. A short inventory of what I found follows:

  • About 2 metres of assorted plastic tubing
  • A whole box of needles
  • Around 50 syringes of assorted size and shape
  • Six rings for holding separating funnels, five of which were the same size
  • The scissors I used to use to cut TLC plates before they disappeared about 6 months ago
  •  A small vial of sodium thiosulfate and, disconcertingly, a vial of tosyl chloride (one of the worst lab smells?)
  • More glass vials than I knew what to do with
  • A clamp, stand and Buchner flask that I swear was older than me
  • Five stirrer bars (a definite plus point, they’re like gold dust in the lab)

While this is all well and good, I have not furthered my career in any way today nor have I come any closer to that elusive first publication. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow…

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention that we loaded all the accoutrement back into the fumehood, only to be informed that they still could not be used for overnight reactions as they still need to be tested. If the firetrace doesn't work it'll all have to come back out... I find this highly illogical for such a (supposedly) logical setting!