I learned my lesson about how much I need a Blackberry (and a human personal assistant) yesterday. Here's the setup: This weekend was my sister's bachelorette party up in 'City to the North.' I live about four hours drive from this city, and the city where I did my postdoc ('Big City') is about halfway between. My new department head was hosting a "New Faculty Welcome" reception at his house for me and the other new professor on Sunday afternoon/evening. I had it in my head that this was starting at 5 pm ET and going until 7 pm.

I figured this weekend was as good a time as any to kill an extra bird (mole) and pick up all my frozen cell stocks from Postdoc Lab. I could go up to City to the North, hang out with the sis and fam (mole #1), drive back through Big City and pick up cells from Postdoc Lab to bring to New Lab (mole #2) and make it over to the department head's house in time for the reception to hang out with all my new colleagues and meet some of their spouses (mole #3). I especially wanted to bring those cells by hand, because the last shipment of my cold stored stuff that my lab manager tried to send from Postdoc Lab got totally screwed up by FedEx--two boxes got mysteriously returned to her with no notes or info from FedEx on why, and the other two made it to me but three days late and all thawed out. I was NOT gonna take that chance with my cells. So I had the perfect plan. Nevermind that it involved a total of about 12 hours driving over the course of two days and multiple time zones and social events, hey I could do it.

I got a vague foreshadowing of my moronitude when I realized last Friday at about 3 pm that I didn't have my LN2 storage set up yet, so where was I going to put these cells once I got them here? Luckily my downstairs colleague was extremely helpful and offered me some space in his storage tank. Knock that problem off the list, mole whacked.

Everything else was fine (drive to City to the North, Bachelorette Brewery Cruise fun, etc.) until I got (i.e. actually arrived onsite) to the part where I pick up the cells. I found out a) my ID card no longer opens the door to the building and remembered b) oh hey, I gave my lab keys back! How do I get in here? Everyone I called from Postdoc Lab was voicemail-direct. Thank goodness for my lab setup consultant, she had the phone number for my favorite undergrad, who was able to bike over and let me in. It gave us a nice chance to catch up, too! Mole captured, de-frazzled and placed in whacked area.

Drove back to New Lab, got into colleague's LN2 space, put cells safely away by about 4 pm. Went back up to office to hang out until husband arrived for transport over to reception in my honor at boss' house... phone rings at 4:30.... it's the host, my boss, asking if we were coming... "Yes indeed, [Husband] should be here any minute--it starts at 5 pm, yes?" ... "No, actually, it started at 3..."


The mole I had carefully put in my pocket, labeled with a 'fragile!' sticker and kept fed for the last few weeks (I was really looking forward to this, I like my department and wanted to hang out with people--I even remembered to tell my husband about it RIGHT AWAY, so he knew it was happening and that he had to be there, I am not always so very good at that), had TOTALLY ESCAPED and was now biting me on the finger because I had gotten it completely wrong! We ended up being an hour and a half late to our own party, and I feel like a complete tool. Everyone was very nice about it, but I still feel so dumb. I am now in the process of full electronical integration so that something in my bag will help me better manage my moles. It's Blackberry time alright.

8 thoughts on “Doh!!

  1. I know, I love iPhone, but we're not on AT&T, so it costs too much to change and my extremely frugal husband just can't bring himself to comfortably add it to our joint expenses (and it's not worth it to me to pay for out of my fun money). I can get a Blackberry for a couple hundred dollars and stay on T-Mobile for just $30/mo. extra. I did sign up for Plaxo, which can sync up my iCal onto my Blackberry, so I plan to use that big time. I know my husband would let me get an iPhone if I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted one, but it's more work than it is worth to justify to his thrifty Scottish sensibilities.

  2. Me 3, iPhone. Although this has not happened to me, it has happened that I have difficulty integrating both my kids schedules with mine. We have been known to show up for birthday parties on the wrong weekend, because someone's mom a- wasn't paying attention when she read the invitation, and b- didn't iPHONE. Save yourself now.iPHONE!

  3. I am thinking about getting an iphone when I start my lab. right now, as a postdoc, it seems like it would just be a toy...but when the whack a mole begins... it seems to be much more important.

  4. "Lab setup consultant" is my former lab manager, who I contracted out part-time to set up my lab. I went from having a completely empty set of rooms to one filled with instruments, cold storage, consumables, supplies, light equipment and reagents within about 3-4 weeks of starting on 8/18. Here's where I have talked about her before:

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