Pry it from my Cold, Gloved Hands

And so today, I start my last week at Aerospace. Man, I really don’t like typing that. Marianne unfortunately called in sick today. Feel better Dr. Harmon! Today, I reported DIRECTLY to Joe in the lab (By the way, I figured it out. His badge says interim worker, so I’m guessing that’s what he is.) Today, he’s testing at what load this little plug thing on the end of a cable detaches from the cord itself. The catch? We’re testing at a temperature of -130 degrees C! Do you know what that means? LIQUID NITROGEN!!! I got to put on the big blue gloves and help fill some canisters full of the stuff, so we could fill a cryogenic unit and keep this cord nice and frosty whilst we tear it apart (scientifically, of course.) Thing is, it takes about 15 minutes to cool down the cryo unit to the right temperature, or heat it up so it’s safe to open. That leaves about half an hour per trial of downtime, where I can’t leave the desk and walk away from the unit so we aren’t wasting liquid nitrogen by keeping this thing perfectly cooled whilst we wander the halls. However, there also isn’t much to do involving the experiment itself; so I find myself volunteering as a shop-boy and fetching tools for people working at benches around me.

Apparently the CEO is going to visit the lab come Thursday. THE CEO! That’s pretty awesome on one hand, but nerve-racking at the other. I hear Dr. Wanda Austin is a very nice lady from every source, but at the same time, AAH! Here I am, most likely the lowest on the pecking order, possibly going to be in the same room as the Chief Executive Officer of the company. If you need some context, the office space I get to use is comprised of 5 or 6 offices which are in turn connected to a “bay,” or large room, that is then connected to the hallway. Since the only space available for a desk for Tait, a grad student, was in the bay, he’s jokingly said to be the “secretary” for our office space. However, my temporary desk is in the corner of the bay space, near Tait’s desk. Thus, we joke that I’m not even a normal secretary, I’m the secretary’s secretary! In reality, I’m extremely happy to have a desk (and permission to be in the labs, a temporary badge, awesome bosses, etc.), but the point nonetheless stands.

So, here I am. Secretary squared, off to meet the head of the firm in 1 (2?) days. Someone remind me to shine my shoes…

2 thoughts on “Pry it from my Cold, Gloved Hands

  1. Liquid nitrogen?? This is a cool (ha!) tie-in with the “dragon breath” dessert that you tried last weekend at Chocolate Chair in Koreatown. Maybe you could mention this idea for Take Your Kid to School Day at Aerospace. It would be a big hit with the kids.

Leave a Reply