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comment by Devac
Devac  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 5, 2018

It's that time of year when I should limit my contact with other people face to face. Maybe people get significantly dumber over the winter, or maybe it's me getting more high-strung. Doesn't really matter. Suffices to say that I've been to one of the worst dates of my life and the guy who's next to me during analytical chemistry labs is easily the clumsiest person I ever had to babysit.

'Date'

She's a friend of a friend, we met each other accidentally a few times over the last few weeks, and I figured it can't hurt to ask her out. Although I thought that things were fairly straightforward from the beginning, she just wouldn't shut up about some other guy and kept doing shit on her phone. Then she announced something along the lines of "X and Y (mutual friends) can be here in ten minutes." Basically handed her to those other two and went back home. Dunno if anybody noticed.

Lab guy.

Holy shit. I know that you can break a glass rod by accident or pipette in a few extra drops after precipitation stops, mistakes happen. This guy, though, is on a different level. He figured that since he's already behind everyone else with the procedure, time needs to be saved fast. For this reason, instead of waiting for a reaction to stop, he poured it straight into the separatory funnel and shook it vigorously to make molecules work their magic even faster.

Here's a separatory funnel for quick reference.

OK, so what went wrong? The reason why we had to wait with transferring it into a separatory funnel until after reaction will stop is the fact one of the products is CO2. Yes, you can sometimes vent them while reaction still occurs, but it's not always a good idea depending on the reaction rate. Anyway, because it didn't simply explode and the glass stopper wasn't fitted correctly, it went off just over my head like a champagne cork. I felt it going past my hair and was too startled to move, scream, bitchslap the motherfucker or do anything else.

I'm going to do everything possible to have no further exposure to him. Hell, I'd rather drop out than be anywhere near him during next semester labs. Organic chemistry involves high molarity acids and bromine for fuck's sake!

Or maybe I'm just not a people person.




goobster  ·  71 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Please tell me you are aware of Things I Won't Work With. It is an organic chemist's blog of ... insanity.

And great writing, too. An excerpt:

"If the paper weren’t laid out in complete grammatical sentences and published in JACS, you’d swear it was the work of a violent lunatic. I ran out of vulgar expletives after the second page. A. G. Streng, folks, absolutely takes the corrosive exploding cake, and I have to tip my asbestos-lined titanium hat to him."

Devac  ·  71 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I wasn't, and now I am. Thanks!

goobster  ·  70 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Pace yourself. There is about a decade of extraordinarily good writing in that blog, and you can disappear into it for a very long time...!

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I mean, she wasn't into you and you weren't into her. That's fine. Don't take it personally. As to the idiot?

There's a nice guy in my class. He hangs out with me a lot. They kicked him off his machine today so I could get some stuff done. I didn't ask. I had four hours of work on that machine. I'll be done tomorrow morning. He had four hours of work on that machine. He's been on it since mid-October. He told me during break that he wasn't sure if they'd let him fail three times in a row.

And he's a nice guy. And he's a total fuckup. But I have no doubts that if I were sharing a space with him and toxic chemicals that my ability to be polite would be strained.

Devac  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There wasn't anything around more toxic than isopropanol IIRC (EDIT: at least this week. Last week we had to seperate a bunch of lead and mercury compounds). He's like MacGyver when it comes to fuck-ups. If I'd give him a gram of technetium, he'd find a way to put Poland on the map of major nuclear incidents. He's not a bad person, though. Just someone I'd prefer to keep a safer distance from while in the lab.

As for the date, I know. Or at least I try not to take it too personally. It's just annoying and a bit too repetitive to make the process easy.

kleinbl00  ·  72 days ago  ·  link  ·  

::::WARNING OLD PEOPLE PERSPECTIVE INCOMING::::

Dating when you're young sucks because you have both decided you'd like to rub your genitals together, it's just a matter of whether you can stand to listen to each other blather for long enough for it to be culturally appropriate. As you can barely stand listening to yourself blather when you're young, things are awkward more often than not.

The more at peace you can be with yourself, the less anyone else sees of you spazzing out over how irritating the situation is. This makes them calmer, too. By the time you've got a job and a career and hobbies and stuff to center your ass, you can skip to the genital-rubbing quite quickly and then figure out whether or not it's worth hanging out.

I recognize that this is just another trite rehashing of "confidence is attractive" but when we say "confidence" we also mean "the patience to put up with other people's bullshit because we just can't be sussed to care about it anymore." Really, confidence is apathy with a smile.