Thursday, July 7, 2011

Crohn's Wins and Technician Survival

In the absurdity that has been my final month in my current lab, I have neglected several announcements.  But this afternoon, I finished collecting data for and writing the first draft of my last Home Lab manuscript, and now I have a few moments to breathe.

1.  My first CCFA Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis walk was, for me, a big success.  We raised some big monies with the generous contributions of many friends and family, including some fellow Crohn bloggers!

2.  Operation Raga Detox has gone swimmingly, and I managed within 2 weeks to bury the Throughput deluge in its own audacity (too visual?).  This, my friends, means that I will be trying to work things out with Remicade for a while longer before throwing in the towel, ripping the shirt, or what have you.  I'm pretty much on the BRAT diet for now, and between that and neglecting all coffee and alcohol (I dare you to try this in PDX where happy hour is like breathing) things are churning at a tolerable pace in there.

3.  Also, until today I hadn't been on Facebook or read anything from my extensive blogroll in 2 weeks.  While that was its own version of nice, I'm ready for a break from the 10-12 hour days (weekends included) and the monotonous and yet never-dulling misery that has been waking up and going to work lately to bust my ass and attempt to ignore my chastising and mocking coworkers (again, thank goodness for my summer student slash REAL replacement).

4.  In news that I still can't seem to grasp, my boss wants to continue paying for my health insurance until the student coverage kicks in, instead of having me dry up my funds paying for COBRA continuation and then being without coverage for the month following, which was my ingenious plan.  This is why I break my butt for Home Lab.  My boss/mentor/surrogate uncle/guru/guide gives me fancy tea and healthcare.  The conversation went something like this.

Boss Man: So, when you talk to Payroll today, see what it would take to allow me to pay for your continued health coverage until your student plan kicks in.
Raga:  Haha... no.
Boss Man: Why not?
Raga: Well... because you're not firing me, and you're already paying for my Big Conference expenses even though I wont be here.
Boss Man: Oh nonsense.  You're going to be working on the manuscript revision and poster after you're gone anyway.  Think of it as salary.
Raga:  I don't think I can do that, even if Payroll will let you.
Boss Man:  Look, I wouldn't offer if I didn't have the money.  And frankly, I wouldn't have the money without the work you've done this year alone.  What you've helped to develop in your tenure here will carry several future grants.  Covering your health benefits for two months is but a small token of appreciation.
 Raga: *sob*... Alright, I will try to think of it that way.

Why am I leaving this lab again?

Oh yeah...


  1. Boss Man sounds like a mensch. And also (if you don't mind some opinions...), he's right that you'll still be doing work for him after your move, and your poster for the conference is based on his lab's research (so, by attending and presenting, you promote his lab). It is only fair that you be supported and compensated for your efforts. Don't be too humble to accept what you've earned.

  2. Laura, your advice is always welcome :) and you're right on both accounts, mensch and fair. understanding what is and isn't acceptable in the world of academia is not my strong suit... yet.