I spent the week working with my supervisor in Tassie. It was a horrible week and I had plenty of time to write ranty posts. Apologies for the tenses, I suck at them at the best of times but this was sort of a live-update post so I’m sure reading it all in one chunk is painful.
Monday – Day 1
Having the flight at 1pm kind of sucked. I was sitting around at home, bored, while waiting for the time to pass (hiding in my room from my housemate). And pass it did. Before I knew it, I was in the city, on my way to a games shop…games shop? That’s no-where near the airport…
My sister talked me into really wanting to play The World Ends With You. And then told me that she wouldn’t lend it to me. I haven’t been able to find it in shops but someone mentioned that it was in this shop that I’ve always passed but never been in. Being the spontaneous idiot buyer that I am, I just had to go and get it and instantly regret getting it.
This was my first time going to the airport on my own. Mum couldn’t take me this time so I had to go into the city and catch the airport bus. It all worked out well. Yea, I’m now a responsible adult who is capable of getting to the airport.
My supervisor was actually on time to pick me up, a good omen. We went straight to my accommodation and it’s so nice. Much nicer than I’d get for myself. I’ll have to get him to make the bookings more often ^_^
Then we went to the department and did…not much. Blah blah blah, talk about some things we needed to talk about but mainly talk about useless rubbish or sit around while he got distracted with the never-ending stream of emails, phone calls and people at his door. We didn’t get to work until after 5pm.
Played TWEWY back at the apartment briefly. Yep, it looks lie I’m going to love this game. Also briefly did some dolling. Funny how I’m motivated now but not at home. I blames teh internet.
Tuesday – Day 2
More sitting, more talking. No lab work until 10:40am and that was because he was away at a meeting and got me to do some basic stuff that only took 20min. Then it was just waiting for him to come back. He returned and yea, we can finally do some actual lab work. Wait…no…he can finally do some lab work while I play “beautiful assistant” and label tubes. All during my normal lunch break (I was starving!). Finally at 2pm – lunch. And then hunting around in all the fridges and freezers looking for a tube of something-or-other. Didn’t find it. He then reckons that his mind is heavy from information overload and so it’s back to his office to talk about stuff we already know and more useless crap. Then back to hunting stuff down in the fridges before he buggers off to another meeting.
I am so angry right now. Why the hell am I here?
I just know we are going to reach the end of the week to find that we’ve done the stuff that I don’t really need but haven’t finished the stuff that I really need (since my lab isn’t equipped for cloning). Then it will sit in his fridges for two months before he decides that I need to come over for it to be done.
And now it is 5pm and still no sign of him. Am I meant to just sit here until he comes back or am I allowed to leave?
Dolled until 5:20pm, then went home and spent the rest of the night angry. Dolled. Played TWEWY. Good therapy.
Wednesday – Day 3
Got a txt saying that he was injecting embryos and I should analyze “tgat” (what the hell is that?!) and do all this other computer crap that I could do back home. Again, why am I here?
He came to see me at 10am, telling me that he’d be gone for an hour. So keep doing what I’m doing and read up on some protocol of something we’re going to do when he gets back.
He came back at 11:40am and OMG, I’m actually doing lab work. While he is watching my sequences run. Um…why? Yes, they’re running. Well done. But you don’t need to watch it run, you just bugger off and do all the important stuff that you apparently have and come back hours later to look at all the pretty data that you suddenly have. You don’t watch grass grow, you don’t watch sequences run.
And now he’s buggered off again. He’s asked me to put my stuff in some vacuum thing that I’ve never used before and buggered off. I told him that I’ve never used it before and needed his help. Apparently help consists of quickly telling me what to do and leaving me to it. No walking me through it, no supervising me. And now it’s making a funny noise (is it meant to do that? Have I broken it?) so I’m hiding at my desk, writing this and feeling like shit. I’m so angry and upset, I feel like a have a small head cold.
Lunch at 2pm again.
Alright, now I’m sure he knows how angry I am. It’s not like I’m good at hiding it. But I think I walked off on him. He had given me the impression that he was going to redo something simple that I had done and fucked up. Rather than watch him do it, I wanted to look at my new data. I asked him to show me how to get the files off the computer. He was about to go into a long lecture over how the program that generates the data works but then stopped himself and asked me if I needed to know it. I told him that I just wanted my data. He then proceeded to tell me how to look at the data on some strange program on the computer. Finally he told me how to get the files onto my USB. I got frustrated and walked off with my USB. It’s an hour later and I’ve finished with the data. But he hasn’t come to see me. And redoing that stuff should only have taken 15min. I’m too scared to go out and look for him. So I’ll just stay here and feel bad about everything.
One day I shall look back on this post and laugh.
Thursday – Day 4
Worked on computer and then went to see him to talk about all the things that I need to talk about. But, of course, he’s in with someone else and will be “half and hour”. But he’s managed to send me an email of a plan of action for the next few days. That’s good, hopefully we can stick with it. But he sent the same email to my other supervisor and the first line is actually “Wow we’ve made some great progress in only just two days!”
Are you fucking kidding me?
…Aaaaannd now it’s 12 and I still haven’t seen or heard from him. So much for the plan.
I’ve been looking at my data and it’s fucked up. What I am meant to be doing is comparing sequences (ie. stretches of GGTATTC…etc) to determine population boundaries (based on how different they are). But for longer stretches of sequence, the machine starts to crap out and the ends are difficult to interpret. So you sequence in both forward and reverse directions to make it all clear. It is essential that you get the sample IDs correct.
My supervisor put all my samples in the machine when I had gone home one night. Thanks for fucking telling me. And instead of bothering to name the stupid things (or waiting for me to name them), he labeled them 1-16. And 1-16 in the forward sequence are in a different order to the reverse sequences. I’ve managed to match up the sequences but I have no clue what the IDs of these sequences are. The data is next to useless without those IDs. I’ll have to redo them when I get back.
I went to lunch at my usual 12:30 and oh look, there’s my supervisor having lunch with some work colleagues. Pretty much ignoring me and then buggering off before I’d finished.
We did manage to get in the lab and we did manage to do some work. I couldn’t keep back the anger and I must say I was on the verge of tears. Had to keep thinking happy thoughts. He would have known I was angry, even if he didn’t know why.
And I must admit, I’ve fucked up. I had to follow a sheet and do dilutions. But my supervisor had done the print-out and hadn’t recorded the sample IDs. I assumed they were in the same numerical order as what was written on the tubes. As I was doing it, I noticed new numbers on the side of the tube – he hadn’t done them in order and all my dilutions were wrong. But I kept going, I had already given up. And I haven’t told him either.
I think I’ve learned a valuable lesson – teamwork sucks. Either do all the steps yourself or get the other person to do it all, don’t alternate steps or you’ll get at least twice the fuck-ups and so much wasted money and time.
Then we finally sat down and started to talk about things that I needed help with. It was great, there was hardly any talking random useless crap. Things I was confused about made sense and I have a plan of attack.
We didn’t get through it all but we managed to get through enough. The rest I can mainly figure out myself or leave for a later date. It took four days but I finally feel like something’s been achieved.
But now he’s buggered off again to show some guy around the building. I wonder if he’ll come back. We’ve still got to finish the stuff that I fucked up so that it can run overnight.
Friday – Day 5
So the stuff we were running overnight fucked up. We have no clue why. It sort of looks like contamination but when another guy reran them for the third time (he must have been in the lab well past midnight), it all worked. My fuck up didn’t seem to have much impact so I kept quiet about it. But it turns out we mislabeled things when we started working on it in December. At least this is a trial so it doesn’t matter if the labels are wrong.
The whole damn day was spent in my supervisor’s office, going over data and talking. By mid-afternoon I was so sleepy and buggered.
I’m really getting into TWEWY. It’s a great game. I feel a bit unco. with the battles – like I’m back in junior primary school, trying to pat my head and rub my belly at the same time. I can’t focus on both screens at once. Thankfully, I love the battles. Other games I get so pissed off with the battles that I do whatever I can to avoid them. But I could spend hours fighting with this game.
Saturday – the last wasted day
My flight was at 5pm. What the hell was I meant to do all day?
I spent an hour wondering around the local market and shops (thankfully the place I was staying let me keep my bags at reception, despite having to check-out at 10am). That left…4 1/2 hours of boredom. I just spent the time reading under a tree. I like reading but it was really boring.
I had to catch a shuttle bus to the airport. My supervisor was meant to take me but something came up so I had to find my own way there. At least getting the bus wasn’t too much drama.
Then the flight was delayed. Then people took forever getting off the plane. Then it took half an hour for the flight’s bags to appear. Then we couldn’t find the car. It was as if someone wanted to add icing to the cake. With a cherry.
Thus concludes my horrible week.