Just a warning- this post has a high likelihood of turning into a rant. A whiny rant. Consider yourself warned.
There are some things I just expect to work. Really. I don’t want to think twice about them, I don’t want to waste time on them, I want to do my job – and if other people do their job correctly, these things should be invisible to me. Autoclaves, the physical plant, steam generation, care taking for experimental models, facilities approval for biosafety.
I’m doing my job the best I know how. I’ve been a grant writing machine, I’ve put out a whole mess of papers, I’ve graduated a student, I assemble and deliver the lecture material I’m assigned, I mentored a whole slew of undergraduates that are now in various professional schools (of which I’m exceedingly proud, but consider a smaller part of my job description)… a colleague remarked to me today that when he’s leaving late, my car is the only one left in the parking lot. In the last three years I’ve continuously felt like I’m fighting an uphill battle- especially in the grant writing department- but I haven’t complained- I’ve just put my head down and gotten it done.
But I’m tired. I just don’t have the energy right now to fight the stupid little battles for things that should just WORK. Period. I mean, it’s totally awesome when one has an Illumina Solexa… but it’s just shameful when one spends a ton of money on that deal, yet doesn’t have reliable steam generation or autoclaves. Yes, totally awesome that you’ve got that IVIS-200 in the animal facility, …but kinda sad that they can’t keep rodent chow off the floor of the holding rooms though. … And… ensuring that the physical plant is suitable for the biosafety level that is proposed to be used in said facility… who should that responsibility fall on??? It sure as shit shouldn’t fall on the PI.
Seems to me that if you want to be a major research university… don’t get carried away with the technology before you take care of the basics. I’m doin’ my job, now let’s get some people over there doin’ their jobs. Please.
That concludes today’s rant.