GTFO (that includes YOU)



  • This one is pretty minor, but if any of you work with scientists, you can probably relate. 

     I work at a public university in a city that is just now getting slammed by flood waters (after a few north of us got slammed) in a state that is getting slammed all over by flooding.   See if you can guess which one.

     While at work today (I do programming work for a research group) we received an email saying that all non-essential employees should leave and stay away until further notified.  Maybe even until June 22 ( and still get paid! )  About an hour later, we got another email specifically targeting researchers that told us to stop all research, power everything down, and go home.

     In case you were wondering, the WTF is that the research staff needed to be told that they were non-essential.  I'm sure there are professors and PI's and RA's that are still trying to justify continuing their work.

    "But... but... my work is essential!"



  • Somebody please give this man a mug already...yawn...



  • @Dude said:

    Somebody please give this man a mug already...yawn...

     

     

    Sure, Dude here's your mug ...

    Enjoy. 



  • @Dude said:

    Somebody please give this man a mug already...yawn...

    I found the story funny. Not as on some feature articles, but a actually laughed a little. So, he won't get the mug from me. Sure, it's not that much of a WTF when you have to explicitly point out what the WTF was. I liked it nonetheless.



  • Heh, this one made me laugh a bit too.  It's not EPIC, but the thought of researchers at a public university braving floodwaters just to prove their worth is pretty fucking hilarious.  For this, I award you...   um..  looks around the room ...  The Book of Postfix Award for Excellence In... um...  Journalism.
     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Heh, this one made me laugh a bit too.  It's not EPIC, but the thought of researchers at a public university braving floodwaters just to prove their worth is pretty fucking hilarious. 
    Me, too. Enjoy your gum.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    For this, I award you...   um..  looks around the room ...

    THE SIGN!! How could we forget about that one?



  • @whoisfred said:

    I'm sure there are professors and PI's and RA's that are still trying to justify continuing their work.

    I don't know whether this would be the holidays where you are, but based on what my profs are like, they would just consider this a good opportunity to get some work done without any undergrads around.



  •  Somehow I understand that differently than everyone else:

    1. First mail tells all non-essential staff to leave
    2. Second mail tells researchers to leave as well (because the situation got more critical or for some other reason)
    Obviously I do not know the mails, but for me it sounds as if  the second mail targets people who are not targetted by the first mail, i.e. the essential staff i.e. the researchers...so no WTF here for me.



  •  Are these the same floods that have claimed 25 lives and left several thousand homes without power and/or drinking water? Because that kind of puts a different complexion on things.



  •  To play a little bit of devil's advocate, imagine, say, a medical or biological researcher who had samples he had to tend to which had been growing for several months.  When you research is something you can drop and pick back up somewhere else or right away it's one thing, but if your research involves time sensitive work or work that can be undone it's a completely different case.  



  • I have to agree with SD's scenario.  Much of the biological and medical research being performed simply cannot be easily suspended once it begins, and often when emergencies such as these arise (as they did en masse in the wake of Katrina), research projects need to be aborted.  For students working toward an advanced degree, such an event can easily lead to years of thesis work being rendered useless.  For PIs, years devoted to preparatory work, funding acquisition, and experimentation are jeopardized.

    As a personal anecdote, last year a major blizzard closed the university at which I worked, as well as all roads in the area.  Immediately prior to the storm, several RAs (myself included) and the PI arrived at the lab with sleeping bags and a weeks' supply of food; we remained there until conditions improved the following week.  Leaving the laboratory unattended for several days would have ruined the project, a 10+ year endeavor that was weeks away from completion.  Was our not being designated 'essential' relevant?  Of course not.

    And so I profoundly disagree with the OP that the actions of the (presumably) midwest researchers constituted a "WTF," and the several posters who derided their their conduct as being somehow ostentatious, or "dum" as whoisfred so eloquently insinuated.  Indeed, it is a veritable tragedy, and my condolences go out to them.



  • @bstorer said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Heh, this one made me laugh a bit too.  It's not EPIC, but the thought of researchers at a public university braving floodwaters just to prove their worth is pretty fucking hilarious. 
    Me, too. Enjoy your gum.

    Dammit, I was looking for an excuse to use that one. :(



  • @derula said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    For this, I award you...   um..  looks around the room ...

    THE SIGN!! How could we forget about that one?

    you mean this one?

    Cuz I don't think it's appropriate.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    you mean this one?

    Nope. You could have clicked the tag, and it would have lead you to this pstorer post.



  • @drf said:

    And so I profoundly disagree with the OP that the actions of the (presumably) midwest researchers constituted a "WTF," and the several posters who derided their their conduct as being somehow ostentatious, or "dum" as whoisfred so eloquently insinuated.  Indeed, it is a veritable tragedy, and my condolences go out to them.

    I realize that I didn't make clear in the post the reason people were asked to go home.  It isn't an issue of access to the buildings, but consumption of resources ( electricity, hot water, and chilled water for AC) that caused the university to shut down research.  Education must be the primary concern for a public university and for the university to reinstate summer classes quickly and even to be prepared for classes in the fall, certain facilities and services must take precedence.  There was a huge effort to save the main university library and the main IT building (which houses the computer systems that are necessary for a modern university to function) and I believe that both were successful.  The university administration, maintenance, and IT departements NEEDED to be able to operate in order to coordinate the efforts necessary to accomplish these things.

    Most of the researchers gladly dropped their petri dishes and microscopes and shut down long running computer simulations to pick up a shovel to help.  I am sure that the only researchers complaining are the same one that whine about needing to teach in order to have a FACULTY research position at a public LEARNING institution.  In light of the 25,000 people who were displaced from their homes in a city just north of here (36,000 statewide) who may not have their homes restored for weeks or even months, all those poor researchers can take their 'veritable tragedy' and shove it.  Most of the researchers I work with would agree.


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