Run the Experiments (4)
(April 25th, 2017) Here's Lab Times' new serialised crime story. Episode 4: Meeting the boss.
Charlotte entered Prof Bernard's office. It was as stuffy and gloomy as always. Prof Bernard sat at his desk, bent over numerous papers and books, in complete disregard of her presence.
“S'cuse me, Prof Bernard?” she uttered timidly.
His startled look turned to one of annoyance, as he turned to face her: “Oh, it's you, jour-fixe again, eh? Show me your lab book, your data sheets. QUICKLY. I don't have all day!”
Trembling, Charlotte handed him a few sheets of paper.
“This is all?” Prof Bernard's intolerance could not be overheard. “Are you kidding me? You showed me these same data two weeks ago! In two whole weeks, you’ve had no new results?”
“Erm, the plate reader was broken. And the antibodies haven’t arrived, yet. I'm very sorry,” Charlotte almost whispered, feeling inexplicably guilty.
“This can't be true. Why are you even still here in my laboratory? In my entire career, I have never known such a useless postdoc. How long have you been here?” Incredulous and angered.
“Seven years! And how many papers have you published?” Prof Bernard's voice crescendoed still further.
“Four but two as a first author.”
“Pha, when I was your age, I had already published ten papers. By next week, either you produce some acceptable data or you get the chop. And I will make sure you never get another postdoc position, not at this university nor at any other.” His patience was now completely exhausted.
With these words, Prof Bernard turned his back on Charlotte, who slipped noiselessly out of his office. The ordeal was finally over but she knew she had to work even harder now - work on her cancer project and work on some new data to appease the Prof.
At home, Charlotte set the alarm for 4:30 a.m..
To be continued...
Kathleen Gransalke & Alison Blewitt
Read episode 3 here.
Photo: Pixabay/Andy Beales