Friday, April 09, 2010


It's been a while since I last blogged. A lot of things have changed since the last post. Those close to me know the problems that emerged with KS leaving Monash. They also know the amount of stress and grief it caused too. In a nutshell, life has taken a rather bleak turn. I'm thinking of starting to work in another institution.


I've talked to a lot of people about this issue and all have advised me to be patient, humble and more submissive. It isn't easy to just sit there taking abuse from someone when it technically isn't really your fault to start with. It's hard to watch your colleague getting verbally abused for something that could be kindly explained. Everyone has been saying the same things, "Just put up with it, no workplace is free of people like that" "Just accept whatever she says, don't answer back" "Don't worry; let her say what she wants..."


Been trying to take their advice, but the best thing that is working for me right now is just avoiding her at all costs. If I don't see her, I don't have to listen to her scolding me and degrading me. It's better this way, with me sitting here quietly in the lab, working on my stuff with my mp3 player churning out music to my ears. It helps drown out the unnecessary noise and gives me the excuse for not noticing her come in.


Oh well, just another bump in the road, just another obstacle I need to overcome. I will be the better person and not blow up in her. I will be the professional one and stay calm and composed at all times. I will be boiling inside and tempted to tear her face off, but I will be better than that and just entertain thoughts of it as I super impose her face onto every zombie I kill in L4D. :D

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Random Workplace Rambles

It feels weird now that KS is no longer working here in the labs with us. He's gone to a better company that can pay him better and offer him something better than what Monash can. The lab is quieter without the sound of anime or some show running on in the background. I no longer bring my laptop to work and the place that I usually occupy is now vacant. I've taken up residence at the lab computer where KS used to sit.


There's no denying the obvious difference in the lab. JT and N have already popped in to comment on the quietness in the prep room. They miss KS too. Well, it's for the better. We all know that he wasn't very happy here, so we're all hoping he's going to be happy at the new place. The boss has yet to find a new person to replace KS, but I've already made requests that the new chap be tall, handsome and very good on the eyes.


But to be honest, what with all the chaps leaving, we really need more male lab technicians. At the moment, not counting the older technicians (read: 40 and above), there's only S who will be leaving us soon too. Once S leaves, there's just the older men to do the heavy lifting which isn't good for them. There is only so much that N and I can do in the place of the men.


With KS gone, N and I will be handling GEN3040 together. Lucky for us, KS left with only 2 practical sessions to go. This makes it easier for us. There isn't much preparation for this week, just dispensing master mix, DNA ladders and so on. There's also the staining of the roots... but then I'm not really interested in thinking about it too much. I think I'll ask Dr Song if I can do it next week since the root staining needs to be left overnight.


Anyways, till lunch, I will be playing Word Challenge on Facebook, as pathetic as it sounds. I didn't bring my laptop ma!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Apparent Stud...

Not very long ago, a friend sent me an email with about a guy that I think all the women in the world should be wary of. There's a certain group of men in Toronto that believe that they are God's gift to women. Their leader is a man that goes by the name of Dimitri. This guy caught my attention only because there was a sound file attached to the email. You can hear the clip on YouTube :


Now, as you can hear from the clip, he is the epitome of obnoxious! He's arrogant that really thinks that the poor girl was interested. The story behind this is as follows:


A girl was out with friends having drinks in Toronto. 
This Greek / Canadian guy approaches her and won't leave her alone saying how cute she is. She finally gives in and hands the guy her business card to get rid of him.

The voice clip is the recording of not one, but TWO voicemails this guy left. 
This goes down in the history books - especially the second voice mail.

After hearing them you can see why she didn't call him back instead she called in to the Z103.5 morning show & had them play this on the air.


Can you blame the poor girl? Especially after the comments he gave on the second voicemail! All self-respecting Canadian ladies, be wary of this disgusting male chauvinistic pig. Oh, and boys here in Malaysia, please don't be like him. You guys are decent, so stay that way.


Ps. If a girl doesn't call you back after more than a week, she's not interested, ok?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


My tomato plant has a baby!! I'm so happy. It's currently small and green, about the size of my thumbnail. I'll post pictures of the tomato once it's nice and red! :D

Friday, August 14, 2009


Things will be changing. It's not because I'm psychic. It's just because I know. I'm seeing the changes happening, I'm aware of them. Despite it all, I'm not willing to have those changes just happen to me. I hate things changing drastically. It's not that I can't handle it. I just like certain things as they are. In some ways, the changes that are happening are for the better for some of us, but in my own selfish way, I wish it wouldn't happen.


After the change happens, I know there will be a void. That void will be very hard to fill, but it will be filled slowly but surely. I will miss the fun and amusement that came before the change, but I will embrace the new changes and learn to love them. It's due to a smaller change that occurred earlier in the year that I realised that I need to face some issues about myself.


A change upsets the equilibrium, the balance and harmony that I like to have. Changes make me unsettled and unsure for a while. Changes make me wary and careful. Some changes I embrace whole heartedly. Some changes, I watch warily and try to rebuild things around it. Eventually, I adapt and absorb the changes and harmony, equilibrium and balance is back.


This new change that is coming has me feeling sad, unwilling, and desperately trying to cling onto the remaining vestiges of the normalcy and harmony that is already there. This new change has made me start thinking. This new change will most definitely be felt by everyone. The void will be there, obvious, sucking me in, making me overly aware of it. This change will make me take the reins for a while. This change may be good for me, or not.


I have not voiced my thoughts out openly about this pending change. I'm afraid of sounding selfish, childish, petty, and stupid. I don't want my thoughts to affect the change and spoil the harmony I'm soaking up before the change occurs. Anything that attempts or messes this fragile balance makes me worried. I want this change to happen smoothly with only good feelings for the change to occur. I want this change to be for the better.


I don't know if the others feel as strongly as I do. With the impending change, I want to hold onto these precious moments. I'm trying hard not to get agitated with the changes.


I have resigned myself. I have weighed all the possibilities. I have spent too much time thinking of it. I am accepting this change...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

MBB last pract... Thank HEAVENS!

I thank God and all that is holy that it is the final MBB practical for the semester. I really don't ever want to have anything to do with this subject again. Sadly however, that will not be the case for me as I have to be involved, still, for the next semester. I really wish that there was someone who could just take the reins from me entirely.


As you can see, I'm not too keen on doing this subject anymore. Not only is it not really the subject I signed up to do, but there are also things running around in the background. The instructions I receive for the practical is almost always late, to the point I have to rush to get it done. I hate to have to put up with this last minute work and I really can't stand. It's this rushed work and lack of communication that resulted in today's debacle.


Yesterday evening, around 3.30 to 4.00pm, I received instructions to provide a certain type of material to the students for them to do their experiment. As there was no specifics being mentioned, I assumed it was the same type as the one that we usually provided, of which I have. There is also a different, cheaper type that could be bought in bulk and is disposable. Note, I have no idea what is going on, how the experiment is being run and the specifications of the experiment.


Just not more than 30 minutes ago, I got told off for providing the "wrong" type to the students. I defended myself in that I did not know the specifications of the experiment, and I wasn't aware that a certain type was needed for the experiment to run. As I stood there, getting told off, I couldn't help but feel indignant as I was poorly informed of the particulars of the experiment. It was assumed that I knew almost everything about the specifications of the analytical machines and it was, in summary, all my fault.


I think I have made it clear, more than once, that I want nothing to do with this subject anymore. I prefer my plants that are straightforward with set parameters. I prefer the lecturer that handles the subject as she is always accessible and always willing to sit down to discuss her subject with me. I rather know beforehand, like 2 weeks beforehand, what to expect of the experiment so I have time to trouble shoot. I like the idea of sitting down to discuss the experiments before the semester begins, instead of playing it by ear.


I'm going to train N up well these few weeks from now and make sure I won't need to have anything to do with MBB ever again...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Woes of Working...

Had a really bad day today... I would say that today was shitty for the lack of better words. Why? I'll make it simple and to the point. Only one person can get me so frustrated at the labs... Yeah, the one and only K. I will withhold all names for obvious reasons. I'm pretty lucky that I'm not handling this subject alone, in a way. KS was a lot of help today. Now, where should I begin? Right, the beginning it shall be.


The problems actually started yesterday. K asked me to prepare 4 bottles broth of the morning session and 3 bottles for the afternoon session. Note, each flask holds 50ml of broth, which means a total of about 350ml. The practical states that each group is supposed to use 10ml of bacterial culture, which means a total of around 140ml for the morning session alone. The day I received these instructions was Friday. I made the solutions on Monday and I began to prepare for today's practical on Tuesday. On Tuesday, I had to aliquot the 30% glycerol into 28 tubes for the morning session and 26 for the afternoon session. I managed to set up all the things for the practical by 5.00pm and was getting ready to leave for the day. It was then that I realised that K liked to have at least 2 samples for each group. I hurried to the practical steps and re-calculated the total volume of broth I needed. In total, I needed some 600ml of broth. The worst thing is that the broth would require autoclaving to make sure there was no contamination. I needed to be sure so I called K up to make sure. Sadly, my worries were no unfounded.


KS and I quickly whipped up 3 more bottles of broth and called it a day. I would need to come in early the next morning to get the competent cells ready so I decided to autoclave the remaining 3 bottles the next morning after I added the inoculants into the available bottles. So, this morning, I rushed to the labs and by 8am, the next batch of cells was multiplying in the shaking incubator. By 8.30am, I managed to autoclave the remaining 3 bottles, grab heaps of ice, set up enough calcium chloride to drown a rat, and distribute chilled 30% glycerol to the classes. By 9 am, I was checking the OD of the cells in the incubator. The increase was slow and I was worried that the OD would not rise up quick enough for the class. Around that time, KS came in to work.


By 9.10am, the lab was bustling with students. K's wife is the demonstrator for one of the lab classes and personally, she's as annoying as K himself. She has this knack of being altogether condescending and asking for things when I'm busy. The worst thing is that I have to drop whatever I'm doing to cater to whatever inane thing that she's asking for. That, however, will be a tale for another day. By 10 am, K was getting antsy over the OD of the cells and asked me to add 1ml extra bacterial culture to the fresh batches. I responded quickly and began to fill in pipette tip boxes. It's really amazing how quickly students go through them!


Around 10.30am, K couldn't wait any longer and took the new batch out and began to distribute the cells to the students. I don't think he realised the extra 2 bottles that had to be used. I was just beginning to think that I could sit down and breathe when he popped in to tell me the amount of glycerol I provided was insufficient. At first, I thought he didn't notice the extra tubes I added in the ice box. Sadly, that wasn't the case, as the final volume of the cells would be around 1ml, the students would be able to make 10 replicates. 10 replicates would mean that each group would produce 20 tubes of competent cells. In the semesters before, only 2 replicates were used and I followed the instructions left by the previous technician before me. I had only prepared for the students to have only 2 replicates and suddenly, I had to make more glycerol.


At that moment, I felt like shit. I was so frustrated with K that I was very close to crying. After regaining my composure, I calculated the amount I needed in total and did the math to determine the volume of stock solution I needed to achieve the 30% concentration needed for the practical. I was feeling rather rubbish-y as the glycerol was supposed to sterile and I didn't have time to autoclave the thing. K suggested I just filter sterilise the solutions, but that wasn't the case. The case was the fact that he ALWAYS INFORMS ME ABOUT THINGS AT THE VERY LAST MINUTE!!!!! This was the main reason the previous two technicians left. They were tired of him making their lives so difficult when working under him. One of them used to stay very late, the other used to come to work even on weekends when the results could not be achieved.


I have noticed a trend though. Every Wednesday, I will definitely have problems in the morning sessions. By the time it's afternoon, I'd have covered everything and made sure that K wouldn't need to bother me. Oh well. That's my rant for today at least. I need to sleep... I've been rushing to and fro at work so much that I am drained. Toodles...