I’m in biochemistry lab this summer session. I enjoy the lab a lot. I feel somewhat like a CSI lab technician with all the micropipettes and tiny sample sizes of DNA we’re using. I’m waiting for Gill Grissom to walk in and ask me the results on the tests. We’re gonna catch this guy, Grissom. Don’t you worry. We aren’t doing anything of the sort, but a man can dream.
Anyway, what we are doing in the lab is pretty interesting, but it just takes forever to do because: 1. You have to let reactions take place for several minutes and 2. You have to Step 1 before Step 2 and you have to do everything in order. It’s not that hard. If you passed kindergarten, you can somewhat follow instructions.
Let me spin you a tale of my lab partner. The first day of lab we learn to use the micropipettes and I’ll tell you how to use them. There are two bumps on a pipette when you press down, the first is to push out all the liquid, the second is to make sure to get all the liquid out. You do not use the second bump in the process of pulling up a liquid EVER. Think you could handle it? You can? Congrats, you’re a biochemist. My lab partner, since the very first day has been doing it all wrong. Do you know how I know? Because while everyone is getting great results and leaving early, we’re getting crap results and having to do it all over again. I finally asked him how he was running the pipette, he showed me the wrong way. The professor laughed at us because part of our grade is based on results we get from the lab. Ours are crap, so you do the math on what are grade is going to be. (Hint: crap.)
Remember how I said that you have to follow directions in order? He can’t do that either. He skips steps, he does things out of order, he rushes, and he cannot be patient enough to let a reaction happen. One lab we were doing said to wait 3 minutes for the reaction to take place then go on to the next step, and we have to let it happen or we have to start over. We had to wait 3 minutes. That’s so simple, but he’s already moved on to the next step. We had to start all over. We redid it, and he rushed again and we had to do it another time. I was pissed. He’s more concerned with getting out early than accuracy of the data. I want to get out early too, but it’s easier to do every step once and get it right the first time, than 3 times.
On top of all that, he’s lazy and does not want to do his own work. Yesterday he comes over to work on some homework. While sitting on the couch “reading” the instructions, his phone dies. Bummer. He asks if he can use my phone to call someone. No big deal, so I let him call, but that’s not the issue. He calls someone and then has the audacity to tell the person to text my phone to talk to him. He then started texting someone off of my phone! Am I being punk’d? When I figured out how to do the worksheet, my lab partner tried to make me write the answers to the worksheet on his copy so I’d have to copy my own answers off of his paper onto mine. I would have to write the exact same thing twice. I am not a smart man, but Mama didn’t raise no fool. He cheats and copies off of me all the time! He has done 0% of the work this semester.
So here I sit readers with a question, how do I tell this guy that is lazy and completely worthless in lab without causing a scene and not making him cry like a little girl who dropped her ice cream?