I thought I’d had a fairly solid day but I ended it with a feeling that nothing is ever finished…
I arrived today at 9am, and dealt with some computer admin jobs first. I started by sending off orders for the primers I designed yesterday and then I made the last few graphs on my list. At 10am I went to the lab to check on the 48 samples I plated out yesterday, 46/48 grew and only a few looked to be mixed cultures – a great start. I did lab work, cleaning up some sequencing samples, until 10:45am when I took those successful 46 over to the hospital labs. Today I was very grateful to be doing a drop off – they very, very, very kindly set the slides up for me and I just had to pop back later in the day to collect my plates and results. This meant I was back at in at my desk just after 11:30am. I spent the next 45mins printing brilliant club assignments for marking and chasing the one student who still hasn’t submitted 😦 .
12:15pm was lunch time before a 1pm meeting. I’m a member of the department’s Athena Swan self assessment group and we generally have meetings once a month. I was fully prepared for this to last until 2:30pm, but I was set free at 1:30pm as the focus of the meeting today didn’t need my input. It’s not often you get an hour back, but I can’t say I used it wisely, mostly I scrolled through twitter. I did also fire off a few email updates to the boss on different projects as he’s been away at a conference.
I was back at the hospital by 3pm to collect my results and we finally had some success! 44/46 samples ID’ed. Such a relief 🙂 only another ~180 to go …
The hospital is only a 10min walk away from the University and the weather was lovely today so it was great to have an excuse to go out for a morning and an afternoon walk. When I got back to the lab the boss was very happy to hear these samples had gone well. I split the last 1.5hrs of the day between the lab and the computer. It was a bit of a push but I managed to get a growth curve set up, the hospital data entered into a spreadsheet and some overnight PCRs on.
At 5pm I left for Pilates, which was great – not too many people which generally means we get a bit more done 🙂 but when I checked my phone afterwards I had an email from the boss. In response to one of the data sets I’d sent earlier. A data set I thought was complete, done and dusted, just needed a final summary – definitely no more lab work. Apparently he thinks otherwise… What does this result mean? Is there something here? Do we need to do more replicates? After thinking a job is complete it’s one of the most dejecting things and definitely not what I fancied at 7pm when I was on my way home. My general position has always been that I don’t mind having work email on my phone, I keep and eye on what comes in but only deal with very urgent things in the evening or at weekends, everything else can wait until work hours. So that’s what I decided to do with this email, it can wait until tomorrow when I’ve had a good think about it. It did really fuel the idea of deleting my work email from my phone though. Is it necessary to always check my work email? I’m not sure. I’m generally quite good at switching off from my PhD but tonight’s email definitely had a negative impact on my mood (which was really positive after Pilates) so I think it’s something to consider.
Let me know your position on work email in the comments. Until tomorrow everyone, thanks for reading.