Science in times of famine
So, our lab budget has gotten tighter but we still have the same number of people. So in honor of that, a few of my least favorite human behaviors:
1. Hoarding. One person takes a tube of enzyme buffer, so the next person can't find it. So the next person realizes they better take some too, or they'll be stuck without it next time. This behavior tends to propagate, resulting in many many overlapping reagents that will all go bad before they get used up. It's a royal waste of money, nevermind the irritation factor for the people who would rather share than hoard.
2. Useless equipment purchases. Some things got broken in the move, plus we had to buy some new stuff since we can't share with the same people anymore. Well, at least one thing needed to get fixed and our advisor thought it looked old, so we were told to buy a new one. It would have cost $100 to fix it, but our fearless leader spent $1000 on a new one, and we'll still get the old one fixed. We don't need two. Does this sound like a logical use of resources?
3. Pass-the-blame. We have a new person doing ordering, so of course when stuff doesn't get ordered, it's not the fault of the person who used the last one, it's the fault of the person doing the ordering (whom no one told). Poor kid doesn't know which way is up.
Part of me thinks if we had a stronger PI, who was more in touch, this stuff wouldn't be happening. Another option would be to have a stronger lab manager, whom people respected more. Instead we have burgeoning chaos and diminishing funds. And a meeting planned to 'discuss' some of these 'issues.' Oh, I'm so looking forward to that!
... Note added in proof: meeting took 1.5 hours. Same 3 people volunteered for most of the lab jobs, what else is new?