Posted by: thediygeochemist | July 7, 2012

overwhelmed–but there’s light at the end of the tunnel

If I have been absent lately it’s because I have been overwhelmed:

(1) More legal stuff with the ex: a day and a half of mediation, plus many hours preparing for the same.

(2) Prepping for 3-week cruise. Theoretically this is not my job any more, but even though MacGyverina is very capable and has lots of experience at sea, she has never gone to sea in OUR LAB. So I got to field all of her questions like, “How many Teflon bottles did Dr. Hand-Waver usually take with her?” “Where do you keep the tubing? Don’t you have any tubing that’s less flexible than the stuff in this drawer?” “How do you fill out MyU’s travel form?”

(3) Reconfiguring existing equipment so that we have enough instrumentation for three people instead of two.

(4) Training an undergrad who can fill in for my half of DannyBoy’s project while I’m gone. Luckily this guy (let’s call him Jim-Bob) is very, very smart–not just book-smart, but lab-smart, and was trouble-shooting the old equipment with only minor input from me within a week.

(5) Getting so sick that I couldn’t stand up for more than a couple minutes at a time.

This was a lot of work and very, very exhausting. But the good news is that it will really help me in the future. See, I used to spend a lot of my time filling the role of lab manager–ordering stuff, taking care of paperwork, getting ready for cruises, etc. And having coached MacGyverina through this once, I won’t need to do much in this capacity any more.

Plus, I used to spend half of my time helping DannyBoy with his project, which really does need two people for the field work component. But Jim-Bob is going to be doing that for the next year or so, and that is no longer my responsibility.

For the last year or so I have been lucky to spend one day a week working on *my* project. Suddenly I see my time becoming more focused on what I really need to be doing…and I’m breathing a big sigh of relief.

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