H2-Slow To Act

, , , , , | Working | February 26, 2019

Back in the early 2000s, our lab where we analyzed drug products moved to a new facility. This location was fully contained and boasted, among other things, an automatic washer for laboratory glassware — quite important when you’re analyzing stuff.

Despite this “state of the art” facility, some of us started noticing spots on our glassware. I, for one, began rewashing the glassware myself, by hand. My boss didn’t like my spending my time that way, but I managed to make it sufficiently speedy that he pretty much was unaware I was doing it.

Some years later, several of us were having trouble with our assays. Management basically refused to listen to our complaint about the glassware, and the problem seemed to get worse and worse. Finally, a young PhD took it upon himself to investigate further and determined that the spots on our glassware were not merely water spots — which shouldn’t have been there, anyway — but were residual detergent, quite capable of messing up many assays.

He then investigated the dishwashing facility and determined that not only were they not rinsing glassware with deionized water, but they also weren’t even rinsing it with tap water. It seems the washer was plumbed wrong and was recycling wash water where it should have used fresh water.

All of this could have severely compromised our analytical results — which were being reported to the government — but management just swept the problem under the rug like it never happened!

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Unfiltered Story #141235

, , | Unfiltered | February 19, 2019

I work in a small environmental lab in the Midwest USA. Fish fry season is big here, with newspapers publishing a map to local events every weekend. Part of the popularity is due to the practice of abstaining from any meat but fish on Fridays during the period of Lent, which covers about six weeks from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Lent is observed by many Christian religions, particularly Catholics in our area. The vast majority of my coworkers are self-professed Catholics who observe Lenten dietary restrictions. Many others do so out of respect for their coworkers. Others just like fish. I belong to the latter two groups. Please note, we are a close-knit, family-type company. The result of all this is, on any given Friday, someone, usually the boss, has brought enough fish and side-dishes for everyone.
Our break room is only one door down from the main offices. It’s Friday afternoon, and the lovely aroma of fried fish permeates the building.  A customer stopped by to drop off coal samples for testing, and remarked on the smell of fish.
Boss: There’s plenty in the break room. Go fix you a plate!
Customer: *wrinkling his nose* Why does it smell like fish?!
Boss: Well, it is Friday. <District Manager> brought Long John Silvers for everyone.
Customer: That’s disgusting! This is a business! It shouldn’t smell like f****** fish!
Boss: Many of our employees observe Lent, so the only meat they can eat on Friday is fish.
Customer: I don’t f****** care! It’s making me sick!
Boss: Well, I’m sorry about that.
Customer: <storming off, echoes down the hallway> It smells like f****** fish!
There was a few moments of silence, then everyone within earshot started laughing. Best part – the customer heard it and shut up!

Karma Lives In Ohio

, , , , , | Working | February 18, 2019

(I work in an electronics lab at a high-tech manufacturer in California. My supervisor sometimes takes credit for my work. One day a customer in Ohio is having trouble with their user interface port, a problem I have already solved. My supervisor asks me to explain the fix, all the while repeating, “I do NOT want to go to Ohio!” Later, the owner walks in for an update.)

Owner: “So, did you come up with a solution?”

Supervisor: “Yes, it seems that—“ *repeats my solution as his own*

Owner: “That’s good work, [Supervisor]. I’m sending you to Ohio to fix this customer’s unit.”

Me: *suppressing a shriek of laughter*

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Can’t Even Blame This One On Pregnancy Brain

, , , , , , | Healthy Legal Right | January 18, 2019

(My coworker is examining pee samples for a patient. They need to pass the drug test to be able to drive a vehicle for work.)

Coworker: “[My Name], come look at this.”

(He hands me the pee sample and the results.)

Me: “Hmm, well, it says here Mr. [Last Name] is pregnant, so unless he’s trans and it’s not on file, I’d say he cheated.”

(I’d doubted anyone would be stupid enough to have a pregnant woman cheat for them but, as it turns out, he was.)

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From One Parent To Another

, , , , , | Hopeless | October 6, 2018

My child has a health problem. Recently a lab has popped up in the US which has a very important diagnostic test offered as a cheek swab for 250 USD, whereas previously this was a very lengthy and invasive procedure costing thousands.

I contact the company to learn how I can get the cheek swab kit from them, and how I can ship it back, since I am in Europe. A friend from the US is coming over soon, so we decide that they should ship it to her. However, they are in Philadelphia and she is in Chicago… and the cheek swab needs to be delivered back to them a maximum of 24 hours after it is taken.

When I receive this bit of info via email, I start sputtering, “But… But!” to myself, and all my hopes drop. It’s simply impossible. But no, they have a solution; the person emailing with me says that he will personally drive to any closeby airport such as JFK or NJ, as long as I can find someone who will bring it with them, and take the sample from this person. This makes it possible, since my city has a direct flight to JFK, and I can surely find someone I know who will be going some time soon.

When I ask why they would do this, and say that I have never seen this level of service before, the man writes that he has a child, too. I cry my eyes out. He will be getting a nice gift with the sample, too.

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