elb's hovel of thoughts

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

'Express' delivery messes with my laboratory schedule

'No, there's not enough Taq polymerase to run the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) process for our samples', I said, holding the vial up and showing it to QL.

I was worried. We had planned to complete the DNA extraction and PCR processes and start running the DNA separation in one day. As it was, we were almost four hours behind schedule before we started the first step because of certain unexpected problems. I swear that it was as if God was telling me to put down my stuff, take off my lab coat and concentrate on my studies instead.

At any rate, the entire experimental procedure (on my side) would take three days, and I was supposed to have just enough time to complete the protocols and sent off my bacterial DNA for sequencing (total experimental time: 6 days) before I left for my (well deserved, I might add) holiday. However some of the stuff that we ordered a couple of weeks ago had still not yet arrived.

'RS, should I check with the company regarding the order? It has been almost two weeks..'
'I think we'd better. Go ahead and call'

A few minutes later:
'ABC, how can we help?'
'Yes, I'd like to check on an existing order, the customer order number is 123456'
Pause. 'Our records show that it was dispatched last Thursday and that it was delivered at XYZ the following day.'
'Are you sure?'

So I ran over to stores.

'Uhh... no we haven't received anything. Maybe they sent it to another department?' *Calls them up* 'Nope they haven't gotten it... we'll check with them and we'll call you when we receive news'

Later in the afternoon I returned to collect a delivery.

'Yes we've also gotten your missing product.'

I opened the styrofoam top of the packaging and looked inside at the vast emptiness inside except for a small bag containing the vials Taq polymerase and associated reagants.

'What happened? Where's the dry ice?'

Apparently they delivered during lunch on Friday but stores were closed. So the box was whisked away and redelivered late Monday morning. Without them using the common sense to top up the bloody box with dry ice. Fuck. And they are one of the world's premier delivery companies around?

'I'm afraid I can't use this.'
'Well, we don't know anything about it, we were waiting for you to advise us as to whether the product is still in acceptable condition for use..'
'Alright, I'll deal with it'

But of course I asked my supervisor to help me out because I was behind schedule, and he informed me that a replacement was due to arrive Wednesday. More paperwork for me to deal with, gah.


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