Emotionally, I suspect I’m about to have one.

I apparently lied when I wrote thought I’d be able to recharge. That was a couple days ago, despite only posting it last night (I think? a day ago?).

Couple the intense physical exhaustion from the weekend with four straight days of failures in the lab, plus several “well, what the hell did you do that for” comments by the postdoc, and my mental state is somewhat precariously balanced right now.

Balanced where, I don’t know, but somewhere over a chasm. Good word, chasm.

A sure sign of this is that I’m no longer finding the lab jokes funny. As the grad student, I’m lowest on the totem pole (lower even, apparently, than the undergrads–go figure!). Thus, there are lots of jokes involving me, and I tend to get blamed (not really, just jokingly) for everything.

So-and-so’s gel went wrong? Blame Sarah.

Whosit’s cells overgrew? Blam Sarah.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I’m still managing a stilted smile, as I know it’s all fun and games, and I haven’t had to go and fight back tears yet, but the snippy comments are lurking just below the surface, and I don’t want to change the interactions in the lab (which I generally like) just because I’m having a bad time currently. Normally I like the joking atmosphere, and help it along with my own comments about sabotage and whatnot.

Example:

“The scope light’s burned out. Do we know if the lab manager will be in this weekend?”

“No idea. Replace it.”

“How? Do we have bulbs?”

“In the bulb drawer, of course.”

“Of course. Thanks. Nevermind.”

Thus, the scope light’s still burned out, and I’m feeling burned by the exchange, although it’s nothing out of the ordinary. We normally joke around like that, and the normal, okay me would have an appropriately snarky comment to come back with.

Another good word, snarky.

But today, and for the last couple of days, I’ve found myself just walking away muttering. Feeling snarky, but in a mean and not good way.

Maybe things need to go right in lab for a change. Fat chance, as it’s all cloning and I’ve had horrible problems with cloning.

Maybe I need to stop being told post-fact that I shouldn’t have done something how I did it. I ask an insane number of questions, I’m sure, but I try not to bother people. So if you don’t tell me something in the directions, and I fail to read your mind (yes, I know this is only a small percentage of the time, but still), then I will probably fail to do it what you think is correct!

I guess in my current state, I’d feel better about a “next time try this” instead of “why the hell did you do it that way?”

Case in point: (Technical, sorry)

I’ve always order primers to cover about 800bp. I was taught this by the lab manager. Then this last set I ordered to set up a HUGE number of reaction only covers about 500-600. And when I was muttering and was asked what was wrong, I got the response “primers never really cover more than 600.”

Thanks. The lab manager taught me otherwise, so nice of you to give me that tip when you told me I needed to sequence the entire damn thing! (Okay, a bit of detail that could easily be overlooked, but I’m feeling sensitive.)

So yeah. Pretty burned out both physically and emotionally and mentally right now. Physically is improving, based on two nights of sleep from when I get home to the morning, thus waking refreshed, but that wears off mid-afternoon.

Mentally? Only getting worse, and might continue to do so until things improve in lab.

Emotionally? Probably dependent on the mental state right now.

I almost wish I was to the point where I could cry, cause that might actually improve things. Not sure what else to do.

I haven’t been drinking for awhile, as I’ve been having trouble dropping more weight after going off the medicine, and I can easily maintain but can’t lose any more, and so was cutting excesses like alcohol. However, right now alcohol may be an easy, quick answer. And that’s never a good thing.

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