Do You Recognize the 7 Early Warning Signs of Lab Apathy?

Lab ApathyAlmost all projects go through a natural ebb and flow of motivation.  When things are going well, it’s full-steam ahead.  But when things start to get rocky, it can get ugly.  Should you notice any of these early warning signs of Lab Apathy in yourself or a friend, get to the nearest vacation immediately…

Even your alarm clock is tired of your snoozing

Why get out of bed?  The experiments are just going to fail anyway.  I’m better off getting another hour of sleep- in eight minute intervals…

The last time you read a journal article Nixon was in office

How am I supposed to print and read this paper when the printer is all the way on the other side of the lab.  It must be at least 30 feet!  Maybe someone else in lab will read it and I can eavesdrop on their conversation in the lunchroom.  Or maybe not, whatever.

You stopped stressing about group meeting

When the answer to the question “who’s up for group meeting tomorrow” is “YOU!” and your heart doesn’t skip a single beat, this might be a sign.

You hope one of the reagents bottles you need is empty

I know last time I did this the bottle was pretty low and I surely didn’t reorder, so maybe we’re out.  That would mean I’d have to reorder, which would give me another couple of days to “prepare”…

Contaminated cells mean “no coming in this weekend!”

What does the sweet smell of bleached media mean to me?  I’m going out Friday night ’cause I don’t have to be up early on Saturday!  And hey, no more experiment next week- bonus!

Your lunch break starts at 10am…

…and goes until 2pm. I’ll just go get a cup of coffee in the lunchroom and “read a paper”… I guess I am kind of hungry…

You get scooped and are excited to find out the answer

I was wondering how my project was going to turn out!  That’s really cool!  And their data looks great…

Lab Apathy can creep up on the best of us, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

Any other warning signs we should be aware of?

4 comments so far. Join The Discussion

  1. 13columns

    wrote on November 4, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    how about "your pi's crazy ideas start sounding good"…

  2. Become a Successful Scientist in 10 Steps | BenchFly Blog

    wrote on August 17, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    […] Seven Signs of Lab Apathy […]

  3. BenchLife: Your Life in the Lab | BenchFly Blog

    wrote on November 30, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    […] Do You Recognize the 7 Early Signs of Lab Apathy? – sometimes apathy creeps up on us and before we know it we’ve lost interest in our project completely – here are some signs to watch out for […]

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