Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stop it, just stop it

Dear superfluous management type:

Please, for the love of God, stop visiting our laboratory, wandering around aimlessly and asking if the key reaction is done yet, or if it has been TLC'd recently, or if we've tried your suggestion. Reactions on useful scale take time, and we are working as quickly as possible. As a matter of fact, we work slower when we are distracted by your questions.

With the greatest love and respect, CJ

13 comments:

  1. How about bringing investors through the labs after sending out an email asking everyone to be at their lab benches with labcoats on the day before? I just know investors are dumb enough to be impressed by that!

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  2. Ot one miserable company where I used to work, we had to identify candidates for salt form of our clinical candidate compound in hurry, and because our formulation guys were incapable and moving into new lab - whatever, and our own idiot boss promised that we could do it easily (together with the intermediate scale up and optimization of the scale up route that was already past the deadline that our idiot boss did not bother to check with us before committing us to it) , and the salt form was obviously big issue on top management meetings, I had visitors from SEVERAL departments and groups touring my lab un-announced and observing my flask with a magnifying glass and asking questions "are you absolutely sure that this will be stable and crystalline enough? Are these really crystals?"

    At some point I just lost it and bellowed: "God-dammit I am telling you it is crystals, I have no idea how stable they will turn out be and if you don't believe me that these are crystals then there is no point of me doing this on top of everething else, and you should take my place. " Then I filled out the vacation form for the next two weeks and handed it to our idiot boss. My vacation was not approved but the visits suddenly stopped

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  3. Obviously a fair amount of 'slack' at the top, otherwise they wouldn't have the time to go through the lab - you would be requesting meetings with management. Time to 'reprofile' the workforce, hire more scientists and cut down on management, perhaps?

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  4. I had a friend telling me the story of them (5-7 people) doing a playback show in their manufacturing plant (not chemistry): They were using brooms and other utensils as instruments and were wildly dancing around. While they were busy enjoying their thing, the door openend and a manager with a group of japanese visitors entered. The incident was never mentioned by the manager, however, from that point in time, there was always notice of visitors beforehand.

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  5. Not so much checking on our progress, but I always get a kick out of senior management showing a visitor around our company. I imagine us peons are animals in a zoo... over there are the wrench monkeys assembling an instrument, and in that strange room you can observe the science monkeys pipetting things.

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  6. My previous company had an anything-goes attitude towards the music played in the lab, which persisted until one fateful day they were showing off the lab and the playlist included, at its tamest, Big Balls from AC/DC.

    Needless to say, soliciting business to the rousing chorus of "Ball sucker, ball sucker, ball sucker" didn't go very well.

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    Replies
    1. The message here is you shouldn't hold such dirty big balls every night.

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  7. During the preclinical toxicology studies with our drug candidate which involved a two week dosing period AND a 2 week recovery group we had our VP in the lab EVERY DAY asking if there were results from the experiment (starting on Day 1 of dosing--and by the way, we had externally contracted this study). Initially our response was to explain "Look at the calendar. Two week dosing, two week recovery and then scheduling the external pathologist to review the histopathology slides means that we can expect results at best within 6-8 weeks". Nevertheless, every day during the dosing and recovery phase he came in an asked.

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  8. @CanChem,

    It could have been worse. For example, MC5's "Kick Out the Jams".

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  9. My boss's boss was VP of Sales. My project was the latest "hot priority." We were getting towards the end of the lab work and the VP told us that a customer was clamoring to try the new product. We told him that we had to run one more test and the duration of the test was 3 weeks. The VP asked me, "Is there any way that we could get that result faster?" I replied, "If you can find a way to make 3 weeks pass in less than 21 days, then yes." I received no further questions about the project for the next 3 weeks.

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  10. "I replied, "If you can find a way to make 3 weeks pass in less than 21 days, then yes."

    Whoa.....need some more can do attitude, dude!

    Based on the math I took in business school, if it takes a woman 9 months to make a baby you should be able to do the same with 9 women in 1 month. The math is simple, and yet it takes an MBA to show all the fancy schmancy PhDs how it;s done.....

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  11. Speaking of bad management...have you noticed this?

    Scroll to page 12

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/suppl/10.1021/om4000067/suppl_file/om4000067_si_002.pdf

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    Replies
    1. Late to the party, multiple blogs have already covered this and the journal editor has responded.

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