Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Beer in the cold room

First you must know that the cold room is a room in the lab that's kept at the temperature of a refrigerator, useful for working with whatever can't be allowed to warm to room temp. It's also useful for storing things, which is why at any given time it's usually home to:
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Agar plates featuring growths of both bacteria and mold
  • Radioactive isotopes
You must also know that I'm the safety officer of my lab, which means I'm the scapegoat for any safety violations that occur.

There was an especially fun example some years ago when I was conducting a representative of the Safety Office through the lab on an inspection. I'd checked everything before the inspection began, but when we got to the cold room we found a case of Sam Adams beer chilling on the floor. I was rendered speechless. The Safety rep didn't seem to know what to say either.

Who, who in their right minds would put their beer in the cold room when there's room in the coffee room fridge? I sent out an email to the whole lab informing them of what they should already have known: human food and lab hazards should be kept separate.

Well, it's happened again. This week a rep from Safety informed me that he'd found beer in the cold room. Corona this time.

So I sent out another email. "Beer in the cold room" I titled it, and in the email I admonished the unknown violator to remove his refreshments.

Now it comes to my attention that quite a few co-workers read my subject line and perked up. They thought it meant I was providing free beer for the lab!

I feel like such a wet blanket. :)


Gary Keith Chesterton said...

Well, what you need is an elaborate network of stooges and informants. That way you can find out who's behind it. Then you need some thugs to intimidate and possibly rough up the clandestine beer cooler-offers. You could say something like, "How about I cool you off..permanent-like!"

How does that sound?

Not your style? Dang.

Anonymous said...

Hm... in our lab we just keep the glues and petri dishes in the community fridge :) As it's solid state physics, we have a clean room instead of a cold room.

I bet that if we had a cold room, it'd be full of beer in two days.

Rachel Gray said...

GKC, I could go for the thugs, but what if what I really want is some of the beer? ;)

Venite, what do ya'll use the petri dishes for in a physics lab?