Friday, October 19, 2012

Are you trying to insult me?

From Chemical Week, I think (or was it Chemical Processing?)

I'll try not to take your tagline personally.


  1. That looks like me in my post-undergrad job. I ran so many Grignards with so many different weird halides, that in the end I just weighed the magnesium turnings, and if a few extra spilled over, I just threw them all in. And the 10% CuI catalyst, I just started adding by look instead of weighting it out all the time. Thus guy doesn't look like much of a perfectionist either with adding that weird liquid from a non-graduated test-tube. At least he's got the spatula to make sure that it doesn't spill out on the table.

  2. Also, why is he wearing his PPE outside the lab? I hope he has two sets, to avoid cross-contamination. Unless coffee tastes better with precious metals in it.

  3. It says at the bottom that he's a sales manager. Maybe they really don't employ chemists.

  4. Maybe a bit off topic, but the photo reminded me of a recent 'controversy' about stereotypically depicting Asians as scientists in Canada. Not even making this up,

    Interesting, to me at least, that white is considered to be "neutral ethnicity" by the Bank of Canada.

    1. They did a study on education outcomes, expecting to see that minorities do worse, and found the opposite thing. Whites do the worst in terms of college scores or finishing high school than any other population group in Canada. This is due to their immigration policy and the points system where you have to speak English and have an advanced degree and work experience in order to get enough points to immigrate there. Therefore, even if your parents are from sub-Saharan Africa and you're black in Canada, chances are they went to college and they won't tolerate you dropping out of high school. Of course, illegal immigrants can screw with this, but there aren't many to Canada, most of them go to the States.

      The education outcomes doesn't mean that the whites are the worst paid though. Last time I checked Canada was a big resource economy and some high school dropout working in the forestry sector, or as a diamond miner in the arctic, or as an electrician in the middle of nowhere, or as a suburban weed farmer and smuggler to the States, is going to beat the Asian chemist in Calgary easily in terms of take home pay. The Canadian whites are mostly English and Scottish and protestant and they make up the huge majority of the population, or at least that was the score when I went to high school. This makes for a very different dynamic from the United States actually. They were trying to give me hints about how to join the chosen WASP fold back in high school too, by making us do studies on how much of a salary you could make if you worked in a paper mill straight out of school, as opposed to wasting four years on college... If only I had listened!!!

  5. Obviously, chemists are perfect.

  6. Perfectionism is not a good thing - the ability to recognize when a task has been done to a high enough standard for the brief and so work in an efficient manner is far better. If someone says they are a perfectionist they either needlessly obsess over trivial subjective choices or are lying. So stop saying it in interviews please!

  7. So are they Infinity-Sigma black belts? ISO 9000000000000000000 certified? 8-)


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