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They Want A Solution, But There Is No Solution

, , , | Right | March 18, 2022

I work in a research lab, and part of my job is to prepare chemical solutions for anyone that needs them. If someone wants one prepared, they have to provide a list of ingredients and the final concentrations of each ingredient and state if they want the solution sterilized or not.

A researcher comes in.

Researcher: “Hi. I need a solution prepared, but I don’t know what it is called. You guys have prepared it for me before. It has [ingredient #1] and [ingredient #2]. I think it also has some others, but I don’t remember which ones they are.”

This is already a red flag because we always provide the solution with a label that states the name, date of preparation, and expiring date. It’s as easy as bringing the previous label with you if you are unsure.

Me: “Okay, do you know the date on which it was prepared the last time? We can look it up and check the recipe.”

When I say, “look it up,” I mean go to the box of the year in question, look up the month manually, and then the day, because we keep everything on paper (not computerized) for an ISO rule that we have. We prepare about 150 to 200 solutions per month.

Researcher: “I don’t know which date it was. Maybe last spring? March? April? May?”

Me: “So, you don’t know what the solution is called, or the ingredients it has, or the date that we prepared it so we can look it up?”

Researcher: “That’s right.”


Researcher: “So, when can you have it ready?”

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