Posted by: thediygeochemist | April 26, 2010

grrrr argh…phew.

Spent most of Friday and almost all of today trying to get the GC-MS up and running. There wasn’t just one problem, there were 4 or 5, and teasing them all out was frustrating.

When I left to run the Chem 1 review session, the situation was improved but the results were still flaky (it worked sometimes, not others). My advisor ran into the room about 1/2 hour into the review session to tell me that the problem had been found. (Luckily, this was at a point when I had the students broken up into small groups, so I could step outside the room for a minute.)

I think this would have taken longer–a LOT longer–if not for the department equipment maintenance guy, who is an angel. One of the reasons I chose this school over MountainU was the fact that the chem department here has a full-time maintenance guy–MountainU didn’t, and the grad students griped constantly about this instrument or that having been down for weeks at a time.

I’m glad things are working well–now we can finally get on to the “real” research. (But I do realize that research is 99% frustration and only 1% breakthrough.)


  1. When I worked in chemistry at a university, I made sure to be best friends with the electronics technician. This guy saved my butt on a regular basis and I was always priority number one. All it cost me was regular conversations in the hall and a couple of hotdogs down at the street vendor. And generally they will teach you a few tips that you can use to squeek by without having to call them in.

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