Friday, July 24, 2009

My long, guilty day

This summer, I've been working on a medical imaging research project at the Hospital for Unwell Muppets (HUMP: affectionate nickname). Things have been slow going thanks to a number of technical hiccups involving the tools I need to use for my analysis - particularly involving the differing UNIX environments between HUMP and the Muppet Imaging Laboratory Facility (MILF), the two facilities at which my de facto supervisor (a post doc) spends her time.

Despite working at HUMP, it's come to pass that I now need to log an increasing amount of time at MILF, because... well, things just work better there. I, however, am not an employee at MILF, and my usage of the computers there is somewhat of an inconvenience to those who actually do.

The solution for the two occasions on which I have had to work at MILF was to arrive at 7:30 AM and get things done before the real employees arrive. Today, however, in a flurry of productivity, I worked from 7:30 AM until 12:30 PM. Along the way, many regular MILF employees arrived seeking their usual computer stations. However my supervisor, much to my appreciation, has placed a great deal of importance on the pace of my work, and did not ask me to vacate the premises. Instead, she and the other students and employees spent more than half an hour trying to find non-existent workspace for the newcomers. Eventually, someone gave up and took an early lunch.

Meanwhile, I sat at my computer, working away furiously, trying not to acknowledge any of the non-productive activity going on behind me. I felt really guilty! Here I was, taking a much needed computer away from the people that it was actually intended for... and nobody was kicking me off! While it certainly set me off at a breakneck pace, I damn near had a heart attack listening out of one ear to the helpless plight of these computer-less employees.

"MILF doesn't have enough computers," complained my supervisor... except that it does. Just not enough for +1.

It's worth noting that because I live uptown in the suburbs, it actually takes me almost an hour to get to work in the morning. 7:30 work time means 6 AM rise-and-shine. Lucky for me, while I was walking between HUMP and MILF, some promotional staff were handing out free, ice cold cans of Java Monster. I've never heard of this drink before, but it claims to be coffee in a can. It tastes vaguely like Starbucks' Mocha Frappuccino and comes in a serving the size of Arizona Iced Tea.

If you inspect the ingredients, you'll notice that the most abundant "medicinal" ingredient is Taurine by a long shot. Caffeine ranks third. In other words, Java Monster isn't so much coffee in a can as it is coffee-flavoured Red Bull (except in a can twice as big). While that might sound like a potent inducer of heart palpitations, I have to admit that a few sips of that kept me going all morning... Well, that and the stressfest that was going on behind my chair.

2 comments:

Jerry said...

LOL How long did it take you to come up with the MILF acronym?

Joyce said...

Your days at work never fail to amuse. :)

(omg i love downtown freebies. i got a full sized bag of Uncle Ben's rice today!)