Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hardware Failure of the Month Club

Whoever enrolled me in this club, thanks, but no thanks. It's not that the club is not everything and more than the name suggests. Really. The first month, they even did a two-for-one what with the camera AND the computer getting fried simultaneously. And it's not that it doesn't drive plenty of useful interaction with my labmates. Desperation could spur me to spark up a conversation with just about anybody if I think they might have half a fucking clue about why all the sudden I can't see anything through a very expensive microscope objective that has a six month lead time for new orders. And my back really did need that bit of exercise that only stretching out over an enclosed optical table to reach that component way in the back while simultaneously looking straight up and back can provide. Not to mention the learning experience of taking everything apart and putting it back together again while anyone who could provide guidance is on vacation offers.

I am grateful for all of that, and I'm sure your intentions were good. But what I really can't handle any more of is the heart palpitations and stress that accompany each month's installment. I'm not kidding. When I looked inside that objective and saw the oil trapped between the lenses, I think my heart skipped about ten beats. And when I had to go share this discovery with my PI, I think my heart rate was about 200 something. There are only so many times a person can be presented with strange and unusual equipment failure and respond by saying, "If nothing ever broke in the lab, I would suspect that you people were not really doing the science." One day, it's going to be, "What the fuck is wrong with you that you can't take better care of your equipment?!?"

So, though I know it is getting toward the end of the month of July, I really hope it's not too late to stop delivery on this installment. Maybe we can put my membership on hold for a few months, you know, like a gym membership? Or maybe we can move to a biannual plan? I'm not asking for outright cancellation. Because I do appreciate the gesture. It's just that it's too much. Seriously. You shouldn't have.

3 comments:

PhysioProf said...

The only way that oil getting into an objective can be due to user error is if someone is using too-harsh organic solvents to clean the objective.

acmegirl said...

Yeah, or the oil can wick up from the bottom, as is what appears to have happened in our case. There are multiple users, and probably somebody has been drenching the thing in oil, while simultaneously heeding the warnings not to over-clean...

BikeMonkey said...

Tag!