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.


Anonymous 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!!

Brigitte Ballard said...

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

Anonymous 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...

Aunt Becky said...

Dude, you rock.