Thursday, July 24, 2008

Do they do this on purpose or.....?

Take a look at these pictures. What do you think they are?

Don't they look like........ Well, I am going to leave it to your imagination.

Picture source

Thursday, July 17, 2008

IT (Incompetent Technical) support

This is probably a common problem in any kind of industry. It does not matter what company or organization you work for, for some reason, IT personnel are almost always "the target" of everyone. (at least that's the impression I get from watching TV, talking to people, and hearing stories from other people)
After our previous Mac specialist was fired mysteriously (he was doing a really good job from our perspective but for some reason the IT department fired him anyways), we haven't had a good experience with the IT department.

Here are few of the problems that I can think of right off my head:
1) They have two different numbers, one for the central (entire hospital complex) and the other one for the local (the hospital building that our lab is located). A work number is assigned after calling the IT department and they would forward to the right person. This process alone takes weeks sometimes.

2) Once the person in charge gets the query, he/she sometimes has to search for contact information of the person who requested the problem. Apparently, the operators who answer the phone don't forward that (or forget to ask) sometimes.

3) There is no way for us to check the status of our request. The only way to find out is call the support center, then they check the computer to see if the IT person in charge has left a note or not.

I wonder if this happens everywhere too.......

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Are we going "Green" the lab?

Thanks to global warming and Al Gore?! Everyone is going "Green" these days. Even here at our hospital (our research institution share the hospital building that is split between clinical wing and research wing) is starting to change lighting to more environmental friendly ones and putting up light switches in rooms where there was no light switch before!!

Yes, that's right, the room had no light switch so the light was CONSTANTLY ON!!

On the other hand, recycling in the US has been and I think still is way behind may other developed counties. There still are not as many recycling centers (I lived in the UK for sometime and they had facilities where people can bring stuff to for recycling) and not as many regulations for the waste (I lived in Japan for sometime and they had an excellent waste recycling instruction from the local government/authorities) .

You may wonder what all these have to do with the lab.

I was cleaning our 4 degree fridge today and had to throw away almost 20 bottles of old media. The bottles that I threw away were all plastics and I had no way to recycle them. I also started to notice the amount of plastics that we produce everyday (pipets, plastic bottles, plastic tubes). It is true that some of them are biohazard (contaminated with cells, blood etc) but what if we could at least separate the ones we know that are recyclable? such as the media bottles that I thew away?

I wonder how much hassle it will casue to set up a policy within the hospital to start recycle plastic? It may not be practical and potentially dangerous (due to potential contamination) but it is maybe worth at least bring it up and talk about it?

I wonder........