Friday, October 16, 2009

So, my work. I've really been enjoying it. I've learned a couple new techniques and have been participating in some exciting research projects. The good post-doc and coworker are intelligent and a lot of fun to work with. Bad post-doc, who I've started calling Dr. Evil and her helper, Mini Me have been tolerable, although we get the feeling that discord is brewing.

Things weren't so great a couple of months ago. Dr. Evil and Mini Me were up to their old tricks of trying to monopolize lab equipment and acting surly toward the rest of us. We implemented an online calendar shortly after Good Coworker arrived, to help resolve conflicts over scheduling high demand equipment. The rest of us do well with it, but Dr. Evil has a habit of ignoring the calendar, just plain not using it, or running over into other peoples' time. It all came to a head when Good Coworker scheduled several days on the equipment (a month in advance). Dr. Evil suddenly decided she needed to do a time-limited study the week Good Coworker was supposed to use it. She had already been warned by Big Boss not to get nasty with Good Coworker, so she sent Mini Me to do her bidding. A couple of heated exchanges followed, overheard by me. Mini Me threatened to take it to Big Boss and Good Coworker agreed that was a good idea. Good Coworker was able to speak to Big Boss first and explained the situation. Mini Me sent a pointed email to Big Boss explaining how unreasonable Good Coworker was and that they had an IMPORTANT TIME LIMITED EXPERIMENT TO RUN (all of our experiments are time-dependent to some point, but nevermind that). Big boss replied and forwarded to reply to everyone and basically asked us to cooperate with one another. By that point, Good Post-doc had enough. He'd been bumped by Dr. Evil numerous times and had always let it slide. He wrote anamazing response basically stating that the whole point of the calendar was to avoid such conflicts, that he was tired of others in the lab not respecting the calendar, that all our experiments are important, that disregard of the calendar had resulted in sub-optimal experiments for him, and lack of planning was the fault of the planner and should not be an excuse to upset everyone else's experiments.

At that point, Big Boss realized how bad the problem was and scheduled a lab meeting. He was preparing to go out of town on a family emergency, so the meeting was to be a short one at the end of the day. He clearly stated that he wanted to discuss projects first and then we'd get onto other issues. Dr. Evil immediately started yelling about the scheduling issue. Big Boss shut her down, told her not to raise her voice, and that we'd get to that after discussing projects. The meeting quickly devolved into her again griping about how the rest of us shouldn't even be using that piece of equipment since it's in a special area designated for the research she does. I guess she forgot that Good Coworker works on the same project. Big Boss corrected her and stated that all our equipment is for the whole lab's use. Then she went on about Good Post-docs email and how it offended her by calling into question her scientific capabilities. (He never named any names). She then tried to blame Good Coworker for the heated conversation with Mini Me. I chimed in that I overheard the exchange and that Mini Me wasn't using a very nice tone and that we all need to be respectful to one another. (Something the two of them are not.) Yeah, it was entertaining.

I did not want to go into work the next day with Big Boss gone and not knowing if Dr. Evil still had a big chip on her shoulder. It turned out OK. She avoided/ignored Good Coworker for a couple weeks after that and was surprisingly nice to me - I think she realized Big Boss and I were on the same side and it wasn't a good idea to treat me the way she treats Good Coworker. Mini Me pointedly gave the rest of us the silent treatment for a few weeks (which none of us minded).

Things have slowly gotten back to normal. For now.
Hubby and I regularly laugh/bitch about the stuff he has to put up with at his job. He was called into court twice last week, something he doesn't really enjoy since many times it falls on his days off. The first was for an armed robbery and the defendant pled and received 10 years in prison and 10 years probation. He was a prior offender, yadda yadda.

The second date was for a b.s. traffic ticket. A kid was speeding and Hubby clocked him with radar. Rather than paying the fine and doing traffic school to avoid points(online or by renting a DVD and completing a test)the kid had to waste everyone's time and taxpayers' money by taking it to court. The judge always starts with the same schpiel: if you were clocked with radar/laser, the officer is present, the officer is trained on said equipment, the equipment is calibrated and the officer has the calibration paperwork, then the burden is on you to prove innocence. Several people before the kid pled and requested points be withheld (again, you get the same results by doing traffic school). The kid didn't get it. He wanted to fight the ticket and, unsurprisingly, lost. So not only does he pay the ticket, he pays court fees and now has points.
Mom's place is sold! It's such a burden off my shoulders. Hubby and a friend moved the heavy pieces into storage yesterday (she's down to a bed, dresser, and TV plus clothes, and some mementos/decorative things.) I signed the title over to the new owner today. She paid in cash, so I got to the bank as fast as I could to deposit it. Mom's still having ups and downs, but seems to be staying the course on discharge status.

Bean had both ears infected this week. He and I have had a yucky cold for about a week and a half. I'm actually surprised it took so long, as congested as he's been. He was sent home from daycare with a fever on Tuesday. We hightailed it to the peds office on Wednesday, figuring it was either an ear or H1N1 (one kid in his room has had the flu, although I'm not sure if he was tested and one of the ladies in the office has confirmed H1N1 now). The visit was rough. He wants nothing to do with medical professionals, they forgot us in the exam room (for about an hour), and he required ear washes for the nurse practitioner to get a look in there. Poor little guy. He was a trooper, though.

The boys really missed each other. Peanut was so sad when I dropped him off at Pre-K without little brother. Bean kept pointing at his carseat and asking for "Peanut? Peanut?" when we left for the peds appointment.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Bean had his 15 month well-baby check yesterday. He's back on the charts for height, in the 10th percentile and is meeting all his milestones.

Other than that, the visit was awful. He cried as soon as we crossed the threshold into the back examining area. He cried/screamed any time the nurses would so much as look at him. Then came the shots - 4 of them. It was so bad Peanut started to cry, too. When all was done I patted both boys and asked Peanut if he was OK.

"That was killing me, Mommy."

Me, too.

God, I'm glad my kids are healthy and here.
I went to the hair salon last night for a cut. All the stylists were busy, so I sat an waited for a while. Two of the customers seemed to know each other and were talking. The one woman's son is in critical condition at a specialty hospital. He was riding with a friend and their truck was hit by a friggin train. The crossing mailfunctioned and the arms never came down, so the boys had no idea. Her son is doing well, but not out of the woods. The driver needs surgery but has swelling of the brain and probably will not survive. I said a prayer for the boys and their families and have been constantly thinking of them. I can't imagine what those moms are going through.