Day 1: Being awake makes me tired.
Hello, and welcome to yet another amateur blog. I won't ramble on about how this is my first time blogging, I just want to say that I hope I am filling a niche.
For starters, I will tell you about a typical day in the life of a lab rat. For example, today I got up and made phone calls before I came to work. I do this because it's frowned upon to show any interest whatsoever in non-science activities while in the lab. Also because I rarely have time to do anything during 'normal' business hours. Then I came to lab, and checked on my cells. I'm growing five different kinds of cancer cell lines right now, a number that will double by the end of today when I thaw out some more aliquots. Cells looked ok, so I stained them and went over to the microscope. This was just a control experiment, but it was kind of disappointing. More disappointing: someone used up all my PBS, which is not supposed to be a shared reagent. More disappointing still: got two emails from my collaborator regarding a paper we are still trying to get published. He wanted to make sure I had seen the two papers that my competitors published recently. Gee, thanks.
We are now halfway through the day. Someone asked me about a protocol, so I wrote it down for her. We have lab meeting in a couple of hours so I have to figure out what else I'm going to do today, and then try to get motivated to do it.
Lesson number one: Be a self-starter. Nobody's going to hold your hand or pat you on the head.
Lesson number two: You are not your job. And thank god, because work can be really boring. That's why they call it work. Or in my case, that's why they call it re-search: same shit, different day. If it worked the first time... but 95% of what we do doesn't work the first time. Or the third time. If you're not in research you probably have no idea what I'm talking about or why anyone would choose a career like this.
Lesson number three: Get back to work. Time management is key.