Sometimes life is just a bad episode of The Office

March 24, 2007 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Occasionally, I sit at work and think to myself, “is this really happening?” And usually it is.

I think when you’re younger, and even in college or graduate school, you imagine your future career as something serious and professional. You don’t imagine that your future work place will be made up of a bunch of crazy people yelling, meowing, and singing in the office (I am not making this up). I’d like to chalk it up to the fact that I work in an academic setting with a bunch of college kids; however, working with the undergrads is actually one of the more normal parts of my day – it’s the “real grown-ups” lurking in the space around our lab that often cause me to wonder if I’m hallucinating. Also, evidence from The Office (one of the best TV shows ever) and stories from friends makes me think this probably happens more often than I’d ever imagined.

J dedicates this shirt to some of our office acquaintances

Anyways, I think this would be a good time to describe a few of the characters that I am exposed to on a daily basis, just so you can appreciate the insanity of it all. (pseudonyms will be used to protect the innocent). Here’s what I know:


  • his theme song would probably go something like (insert dopey singing voice here) “oomp-ta-doomp-da-doomp”
  • tried to convince me to become baptist in my first week of work
  • likes to listen to baptist talk radio, choir boy music, and Christmas music in October
  • believes that “ethnicity is like stupidity – someone’s got to have it”

Silver fox:

  • has figured out that you can sing just about any lyrics to the tune of “Amazing Grace”
  • another supporter of Christmas music in October, she likes to sing (loudly) while working
  • plays “Deal or No Deal” online ad nauseum


  • walks around the lab bench for hours talking loudly in a foreign language into her bluetooth
  • has worn jeans once, causing others to speculate that she was trying to get pregnant (I guess they must have been tight?)
  • got in a screaming match with one of her lab mates on our first day of work here – the cause of the fight? the labmate had moved her scale a foot to the left

Top Dog (at least, he thinks he is):

  • makes more than me
  • they should give him his Ph.D.
  • would date me, if Jason weren’t in the picture
  • has a tux – he doesn’t rent, he buys (unless you’re talking about his apartment, then he doesn’t buy, he rents)
  • is friends with a movie star (on my space, and he knows it’s really her)
keep in mind that the above phrases have actually come out of his mouth

The Novelist:

  • is writing a murder-mystery novel about the group she works with
  • likes to just walk into the area and scream the name of the person she’s looking for as loud as possible
  • was talking in a foreign language on the phone the other day and then broke into, “here kitty kitty kitty” and then back into the foreign language. repeatedly.
  • her first child was a “biochemistry accident”

Phone Lady:

  • we haven’t exactly figured out what she does yet, as she seems to always be on her cell phone or gossiping with the rest of the group

Keep in mind that I think all of them missed that day in Kindergarten when you learn the difference between “inside” and “outside” voices, since they all insist on using outside voices at all times.

Needless to say, I am not convinced that communal lab space is a great idea. Forcing scientists from different disciplines and laboratories to cram into a room of lab benches for long periods of time does not necessarily produce good science. On the other hand, it does produce good comedy (and occasional headaches).


Entry filed under: etc.

Sweet Sixteen (March Madness Style) JTR: liability or comedian?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  March 24, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    Top dog gets sent out through the back door to chase after omp-ta-doomp lurking in the back yard. the silver fox was too smart (or sly) to get involved. Eel was to busy waitng in the cracks of the coral saving her own skin while waiting for dinner to swim by.

    Top dog never returned after the “yelp”… phone lady has all of the answers and none of the questions. The police are still searching….

    That’s a start for the novelist…. possibly could add someting about the hill of Kentucky have eyes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

March 2007
« Feb   Apr »

Recent Posts

%d bloggers like this: