(Well, not really a lab rat, since these are my confessions, and I’m not a rat. I don’t even work with rats. It’s an idiom. I hang out in the lab a lot. Anyway…)
– I use pipette tips from the box in a pattern. I’ve tried diagonally, and my longest run has been removing alternate rows and columns so the group remaining looks like a square, but I’ve really settled on removing one column at a time. (Someone else analyzed this! Kindred spirits!)
– I pray for my blood samples. Well, I pray for the people they belonged to. The blood samples themselves don’t need much prayer, except, Please, Lord, let my experiment work.
– I secretly love the 1.5 min breaks I have between experiment runs. It’s impossible to get any real work done in 1.5min, but I can sure surf Pinterest!
– Optics tables are grown-up tinkertoys. ‘Nuf said.
– I take my 3D-printed parts out of the heater early so I can play with the wax. I do think it goes faster my way since I help the process along, rather than letting the oven melt all the wax. And afterwards, it feels like elementary school, when you put Elmer’s glue on your fingertips just so you could peel it off. (Anybody else?)
– I’ve contemplated taking a nap at the microscope. Think about it: with your eyes in the eyepiece, it’s (1) totally dark, assuming you’ve turned down the lamp, and (2) no one will assume you’re doing anything but very important science.