Sunday, March 09, 2008

Biochemist no more

I was an undergraduate with biology and psychology majors, but I always worked in biochemistry. My first job was at a clinic that specialized in prenatal disorders. It was one that helped determine folic acid's action and NTDs. Although I was chief cook, there were many, many Ph.D. and M.D. chefs and I got no credit in the publications. That's just bad form.

Then I got married, lived in South Georgia, and could not find meaningful work. When we moved two years later, I actually came up ahead of ex because I had a job lined up. I worked in a clinical lab doing things like pregnancy and cholesterol tests third shift the first year, then doing equipment repair the second year, because of the training I'd had in electronics. I enjoy repairing lab equipment.

The university job pulled me away from the clinical lab and a job in that environment had lots of perks, to include earning a Master's. Considered the lab manager, I enjoyed training the students in their research and especially appreciated that they had a good track record in getting kids published. The Ph.D. I worked for always put my name on the publications, which is good form. Eventually, the grant money ran out, even though he'd had funding for almost 20 years.

I found another job which turned out to be employment from hell. I managed three locations for corporate drug testing in an incredibly anal and stressful environment. I did an outstanding job and that's the only good I can say about it. As I began to understand and experience Dilbert, I chose motherhood over being raked over the coals.

When it comes to lab work, I am very good at it. The trouble is that I don't really want to be good at it. I don't enjoy it. When I moved from Georgia, I'd done all the things to become a HS science teacher, but apparently I'd gotten the Chief Dunce at the state Board of Education who told me all the wrong things I needed to do and I had not taken the proper test when I got here. It was very frustrating as a military wife and having to do stuff long distance while you're just trying and failing to be productive in society.

If I had to go back to work now, I'd probably work in a lab. However, my preferred job in the field would be in equipment sales.

I am not a scientist at heart anymore. If I watch Discovery Health and they show blood, I get squeamish. When I worked at the clinical lab, I would walk by 2000 pee, poop, and blood samples each night. When I worked at the college, I used to raise, decapitate, and disembowel rats. My fortitude has waned significantly. As has my motivation.

5 comments:

Gianna said...

ahhgg! those poor rats. why did you have to do that to them?

I've always felt like I should be able to kill the meat I eat and that ideally I would like to raise what I eat, but damn, I could never do it!!

Bridge said...

I also get squimish with blood. I am fine in the moment, but I have actually fainted before.

evil-e said...

Thanks for expounding on the teaser you threw in on Saturday. A very interesting fact about you to say the least.

fringes said...

I loved this post. It touched me. Weird, I know. But it's a day for confessions.

Good things coming your way in a few days...

Becky said...

Dude, you rock.