Sometimes I wonder if I really thought my choice of career path through. Actually I wonder this every single day. You know that thing called career guidance? Well it didn't exist when I was at school. They told us "Girls, get a career. Never have sex before marriage and get a career." I managed to achieve one of those and I am not saying which.
So no one told me that doing well in exams didn't neccessarily mean I can do Science, because to be a Scientist you need to have practical skills. You need to be good with your hands. There were those pesky practical thingies at university which should have given me a clue, but they were generally disastrous and I just pretended they didn't exist.
I happen to be extraordinarily clumsy, with the fine motor skills of a rhino. And then there is the fact - I may scare off the boys now, sorry- that there are certain times of certain months when I should not be allowed to leave the house, never mind be in the same room with things like machines with acetylene flames that can explode and kill us all.
Despite this, I am proud to say that my disaster list is remarkably bare. Most people I have worked with have had worse disasters than me. I have friends who have poured acid all over themselves, stabbed themselves with glass pippettes, and there were bits of glass and dubious red stains forever impaled to our ceiling after one young man managed to explode the pressure cooker (very important piece of lab apparatus, a pressure cooker).
Here is my disaster list:
1)Shaking a 5kg salt container without remembering to put the lid on first. Hmm, salty.
2) I once put some nasty burny and carcinogenic chemicals in the wrong tubes, and they exploded in the centrifuge (a really fast spinning thingy a bit like a washing machine). But they were really tiny tubes. It was nothing really.
3) Accidentally setting fire to a very expensive acetylene-containing machine which could have exploded and killed us all. Oops.
4) Accidentally setting fire to a very expensive acetylene-containing machine which could have exploded and killed us all. Again.
Let it be said that both times I reacted with a cool and calm head. Well, the first time I froze and screamed like a girl, but the second time I calmly put out the fire and continued as if nothing had happened. Sadly my boss found out about it because one of my wonderful colleagues wrote my name and the date on the molten piece of plastic that was once the bottom of the machine. Thanks dude.
And that is it. See, nothing bad at all. Employers you can employ me with peace of mind; hopefully there will never be pieces of my mind to pick out of the ceiling.