Wednesday, May 13, 2015


We are so late with these test results. February was killed by moving half the lab into new quarters.

March one of the techs was out sick the whole month, and we (finally) received our new sequencer. But, you can’t do anything with a new machine without fully testing and validating it, and we’ve got the whole Methods Validation dossier to construct there. No catching up the backlog in March.

April the one tech was still out sick and then there were the spring vacations to deal with. All my techs are moms, and when school is out, so are they. Legally, I cannot prevent people from taking their days, I can only say which days. So, minimal work done in April.

May the tech is _still_ out on leave, and the rest are threatening to follow suit if the workload doesn’t lighten up. (wha? you just took all that vacation!). Plus May is the month of holidays. Four of them, and since one is on a Thursday the lab is closed Friday as well, boss’s orders. No point working just one day, is there? Oh, and the end of May is the end of the annual vacation cycle, so any days or hours off left hanging around have to be taken.

And now today, we called to inquire where our order of polymer to run our machines has gotten to, we’re informed that the manufacturer is out of stock and will not have any more before the end of the month. So even if we wanted to work, we couldn't. Just forget it.

Is it any surprise that productivity is crashing?

At the end of the year when we find we have delivered just 70% of the tests we were supposed to, and that most of the ones we did do were horribly late, will the bosses remember this disastrous spring? Will I be excused? Or will I have failed in my objectives and gain black marks on my performance review for poor management?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Aw, no!

It's getting quite summery out, and the cats have been taking advantage.
Natalie went Out in the evening of April 29th, and has not been seen since. Not a sign of her. She's often gone for a day or two, and once she did disappear for a week. But it's almost two weeks now, and none of the neighbors have seen her either.
And then, while that was going on, Bandersnatch got sick and died.
The Bandercat!
Started looking woozy just around the time Natalie went out. Stayed out & hidden away the first & second of May, then when I saw her on Sunday a week ago, I scooped her up and kept her under my thumb waiting for the vet's to open up Monday morning. Kidney failure, no obvious cause. She didn't get any better at the vet's for 3 days, and Wednesday I had her put down. The poor little sweetheart.
Sienne is just now giving up looking for them both. She is still quite anxious (though, Sienne is always anxious).
Sienne rarely goes out; only when I'm out doing yard work, really. So if there was something the others got into, she wouldn't have found it. You have to wonder at the coincidence of Natalie disappearing just when Bandersnatch got sick. Did they catch some poisoned mice, perhaps? Or maybe the two events are unrelated.
In the meantime, the cherries are starting to blush. It's only the 11th of May - they're weeks early.
Crazy world.