Office, E. et al.
PI’s have long struggled to keep their graduate students hard at work over Thanksgiving weekend. This year, several investigators tested out a creative solution to the problem. Given how cheap grad students are, it was hypothesized that a lab stockroom Black Friday sale might just be irresistible enough to keep students around.
As expected, at 7 am on Black Friday, the entire first year cohort of a prestigious biology program was spotted outside the stockroom awaiting opening. “We were really impressed with turnout,” said the stockroom manager. “On the average day, students don’t usually roll into their labs until at least 10.”
It was all downhill from there. As the doors opened, a stampede charged towards the buy-one-get-one-free pipette tip boxes. One enraged student grabbed two hefty 1-liter graduated cylinders and bashed her way through the masses. Another student took a sequencing machine hostage, threatening to spill crumbs in it if anyone dared snag the multichannel pipette tips he wanted. The room devolved into chaos until a voice barked out: “settle down or no more free coffee in the break area!” All fights abruptly resolved and as the spilled-reagent dust settled, several students were carried off by EMTs.
One injured student returned to the scene to reclaim her purchases after receiving emergency treatment for a sprained thumb. “They say I may never pipette again,” she sobbed. “I’ll never get to appreciate the mix-and-match BOGO pipette tips I snagged.” Another student with severe finger injuries had a more optimistic perspective: “I’m sick of being treated as an extra set of hands in the lab. But now that I can’t pipette, I might finally have the opportunity to use my mind around here!”
Several hours later, the stockroom was a ghost town. Smashed beakers littered the floor, Kimwipe tumbleweeds swept past the entrance, and a lone undergrad swept up debris. The peace was interrupted only by the quiet ping of a received email, announcing that the upcoming and much-anticipated post-Christmas Falcon tube sale had been indefinitely postponed.