Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Open thread?

This is just to say...

I have had an
busy morning

and you were
Process Wednesday
and a funny post
or an angry post

Forgive me
Excuses are stinky
Just like the walk-in hood I helped clean up. 

(Seriously, I'm like 4 posts behind. Back ASAP, possibly tomorrow, definitely tomorrow morning.) 

If you have any suggestions for posts that I should do (or things that I have been doing poorly recently), please put them in the comments. 


  1. Replies
    1. William Carlos Williams ate the plums years ago. Hence no plums.

  2. I can tell you a story...

    The new masters student in the girlfriend's (er... wife's) lab, broke her Schlenk line. He wanted to dry some alumina or something, I forget what. Something stupid and his supervisor wasn't keeping track of him and despite of telling him how to do it, and telling him to use their Schlenk line, he decided to use the wife's. So, after a few minutes the Schlenk line is full of alumina because the glass wool filter that he made didn't work properly and he's looking at how the stuff is flowing around in wonder. The Schlenk line owner comes in and tells him she wants to kill him and to clean the line. The supervisor appears and is also berated. So the supervisor tells him how to clean the line and he's left to it, and also tells him to use his like he was told to do, in the future. After cleaning it for a while, he comes into the office with two broken off halves and says that after he cleaned it, he tried putting it back, but made a wrong movement. All the connections are sheared off at the base too, amazingly. The thing is a complete loss and he's waving the two halves around like little swords and laughing. After the amazement fades, he is berated very, very sternly by the supervisor and the Schlenk line owner. Realizing he did something very stupid, the masters student goes back to the lab to put the glass swords away. He comes back to the office sucking on his finger, so the supervisor asks him if he cut his hand on some piece of glass. The answer is affirmative and now there is some blood spilling. By this time everyone has had enough, so the supervisor of the student screams at him to get out of there, wash his hand off and put a bandage on it, and to not touch the door handle with his bloody saliva like he did earlier. The best part is, the lab has no more Schlenk lines left and it'll take forever to order another one around here.

    I was actually around when the Masters student was writing an email to the technician saying that he broke the line. He asked me, 'do you know what else I can say? I mean I only have one sentence that says, 'I broke the Schlenk line and I'm giving you a heads up'. I didn't have any good ideas so he sent the letter. Then five minutes later he runs into the room and says, 'I know what else to say now!' And he writes a letter to the technician saying: 'Hi, I'm also really, really sorry about breaking it. See you tomorrow'.

  3. Hey CJ,

    I was wondering if maybe you could speak to (or maybe some of your readers?) an observation I made today.

    I'm a PhD student at T1 school and I got invited to a recruiting session for a large food ingredient company by some undergrads I know through a student organization. After listening to the spiel the recruiters of were basically like we don't hire PhD chemists but we're looking for B.S. grads who are very proficient in a wide variety of analytical instrumentation, emphasizing this point several times. Which confused me greatly. I got my B.S. in ACS certified Chemistry so I had to take additional lab courses at another T1 school and now I TA at my current institution and I never got to touch any of this type of equipment more than once, if at all. Are these kinds of companies assuming we get that sort of training as undergrads? Was I just gypped? Or do they expect you to have lots of research experience already...the kind that usually gets people into grad school?


  4. CJ, perhaps you might consider a fill-in, or alternate, writer, for those days when the world is demanding every moment of your energies. I would volunteer to help with Process Wednesdays, for example.

    1. Anon, that is a terribly interesting suggestion. I don't really wish to do that on a regular basis (after all, Derek Lowe doesn't*), but PW is something that I feel very "novice" about.

      If you would like to e-mail me an example of a Process Wednesday post, that'd be great: chemjobber -at- gmaildotcom.

      *Obligatory mom conversation:

      Mom: If Derek Lowe jumped off a cliff, would you?
      CJ: [silence, thinking]

    2. I will do that. I will put together a sample of a post that I think might be interesting, and send to you. I am working on it!

  5. I'm constantly surprised at how you manage to post as much as you do so I wouldn't sweat it too much.

  6. Roses are Red
    My name is not Dave
    This poem makes no sense

    I totally stole this from Twitter

    1. Someone has a tattoo of this.

  7. Dear Chemjobber, care to comment on the fact that the CEO of ACS is one of the 10 nonprofit CEOs who make > 1 million annual salary? Interestingly no other "professional society" in the bio/physical sciences (e.g. ASM, AAAS, etc) is on the list.

    That's where our ACS membership dues go.

    1. Sure, love to. According to the latest IRS Form 990 (for calendar year 2010), her compensation was in the 800-900k range. Maybe there's some other money elsewhere that she gets paid -- do you have a link to your 1M+ number?

      I think her compensation is high-ish, compared to her peers, but I think that has to do w/ACS' weird status of being a publishing company that's also a scientific society (and a non-profit.)

      I think her salary is more-or-less a symptom as opposed to the root of the problem, which is (once again) ACS' weird hybrid status.