Working harder than my cellphone

Trip Start Feb 14, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, February 22, 2013

Well that's it, the end of my first (shortened, thanks to George and Abe) week of work. I can honestly say that I enjoyed my work, so that is good.

Tuesday was orientation, where I had to sign a slew of forms to prove that I had been shown all relevant information regarding my rights as an employee. I remember every word of everything I signed, and will never come to regret any of it I'm sure.

Also was given the low down on health insurance and the like, mostly simple - I just tick a bunch of boxes and then I'm in the safe hands of the infallible American legal/health/sandwich system.

After signing all of this I was given my "visa orientation" which consisted of some very important information regarding my visa, followed by a (possibly intentionally) hilarious run-down of different customs in USA and NY. My favo(u)rite being the "big personal bubble" that people enjoy here...except on the subway I guess. Allegedly, it's the biggest in the world, for good reason I'm sure.

A few more bits and bobs were tidied up before heading to the lab. Into the door I stepped, bracing myself for champagne and streamers, only to be confronted with an empty building. I walked around until I managed to find a PhD student, who seemed slightly confused that I was here (although later seemed to remember something about a new post-doc from NZ). Bumped into a few more confused-ish people before being given a desk and left to my own devices, nary a sausage roll in sight.

I dealt with this by going for lunch at the cafe (it's reminiscent of the set-up from Scrubs), refreshing my thoughts before coming back to start my work. A few more people were around and introduced themselves. Eventually the boss turned up as well, which was a surprise as I wasn't expecting him back until the next day. Anyway, he was pleased to see me, and glad (shocked?) that I had found a desk given the limited space available.

We went to the bar after work that night which was a good way to get to know some of the people a little better. It's a friendly group, all with their own stories of coming here and "living" in Davenport.

The next day I was shown around the lab. It's a multi-tier house-like building with 3 (maybe more, I get confused) lab spaces, shared between about 25 people. Pretty well stocked with all the things you might need to science to your heart's content. I got some pipettes and did my first experiment - checking that they pipetted the right amount - they did.

The rest of the week was spent actually, really, not lying, doing work. It's a pretty popular field, so there's a fair bit to learn. Fortunately, the other's in the lab are ridiculously on-to-it, made very clear by one lab-mate's explanation of his most recent work, which was...perfect.

Yes...a lot to learn. In other news, my shower gel has returned, however accompanying that delight is the heartbreaking realization that my phone does not receive service at CSHL (despite the infographic on the website saying otherwise), and so I must endure the arduous task of changing providers (or even phones).

NYC tomorrow, if I get up on time!
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