Jedi Mind Tricks

Jedi mind tricks can only fix so much.

“This is not the beaker you were looking for.”

Sure, I have blinded my minion to the dark powers I possess to lull him into compliance– is that laughter I hear? I do too have dark powers! I can develop a western blot on old school film in the dark. See? Dark powers.

Back to the matter at hand. My minion is defective. It is so hard to get good minions these days. I blame it on the public school system. Why? Well, they are the ones that have forced colleges to dumb down their curriculum,  resulting in graduates who don’t know the difference between solvent and buffer.

Instead of getting Luke Skywalker as my minion, I get C3PO without all parts in working order.

What is so bad about my current minion?

1.  Glassware has a precariously short half life around him. At least 1 item a day finds its way into the glass recycle box…in pieces.

2. He does not follow instructions well, even when I demonstrate what I want.

“Pour the solvent in these tubes into the waste drum. Then, put the tubes in the recycle box so we can set up for the next column.”  I demonstrated with two of the tubes. An hour later, it wasn’t done and he seemed perplexed that he had no rack for tubes to collect the next column fractions.

“Don’t let the solvent level reach the silica. The column will crack and ruin your separation.”What does he promptly do? Yep, let the solvent run out.

I put your media in the water bath to warm. Remove the old media in the flask and replace with new.”  By the time he got to the cell culture lab he no longer recalled I had put the media in the water bath. So, he used mine, cold, and killed his cells by shocking the heck out of them.

3. Maybe it’s me, but he seems a wee bit dense.

    Minion refers to solvent as buffer. I correct: “Solvent. We are using a three to two hexane: acetone solvent system. Buffer is water and salts to balance pH.” A minute later Minion asks: “So the stuff in the flask is the hexane buffer?” Me: “SOLVENT.”

   We evaporate solvent, leaving behind our desired product. He asks how he knows when it’s done. (Keep in mind he has a chemistry degree  and we are repeating the same damn thing we did the other day.) Answer: When the solvent is all gone. The sarcastic replies in my head were many and varied.

Life would be so much easier if I could employ my dark powers without HR getting involved:




4 responses to “Jedi Mind Tricks

  1. Yeah, I wish I could unleash the dark side without getting fired, too. Some people are just too dumb to live.

  2. Maybe there is someone you can talk to in regard to getting your minion fired. There’s a right way to go about it, even if choking is so much more satisfying. If they cannot do the job well, and will not put in the effort to become someone who does their job well, then someone else needs to do that job.

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