New technicians and scientists starting in a lab are often given initiation tests and are the butt of jokes from experienced staff, as with many other workplaces. A number of the jests have been posted on Twitter.
Whether you find the pranks pulled on new graduates entering laboratories amusing will depend upon the nature of the prank or your experience with a laboratory as a working environment. There are, however, quite a few different ones out there, as revealed by the magazine The Scientist.
The revelations have come about because scientists are using the Twitter hashtag #labhazing to report on the different tricks played on newbies.
Some examples are:
John Rennie @tvjrennie
Clean out the -80 without it getting above -76, and without throwing out anything "important". #labhazing
Janet D. Stemwedel @docfreeride
Please bring me the left-handed scoopula and the metric weighing boats. #labhazing
Get new student to go get a bucket of steam #labhazing
Jeffrey Perkel @j_perkel
Did you taste-test that culture medium? #labhazing @tvjrennie @scicurious
Matthew R. Francis @DrMRFrancis
Cleaning fossils in class with hydrochloric acid, and I told an annoying guy to add baking soda to help make it go faster. #labhazing
Jamie Lynn Wood @JamieLynnWood
What do you mean a #Drosophila flew out of the vial?! Search the lab until you find it!! #labhazing
Commenting on the latest "craze," one scientist wrote on the blog The Gleaming Report that: “If nothing else, during the long hours that scientists and technicians often spend waiting in their labs or doing mindless tasks, their imaginations have plenty of time to conjure up fantasies about pranks they could pull but probably never would.”
Seems that many workplaces are the same, no matter what the profession.
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