A little list

In the context of ‘Monday Meltdown’, part of my new weekly writing schedule, I will discuss the stuff that bothers me. So buckle up, it’s time for a rant.

You know what bothers me?

Fuck, today’s gonna be a little list of shit that bothered me.

1) Sleep deprivation. I can’t tell you exactly why I woke up at 4am and couldn’t fall asleep again, but it already put a negative stamp on my day. I’m on a string of interrupted nights, and all I need right now is one solid night. An uninterrupted eighter. Will it happen tonight? Maybe after writing off these most bothersome of things…

2) Wear and tear. I think it’s normal that things that are heavily used, over time break down every once in a while. This week it’s a climate cabinet in one of our labs… It’s not the breakdown that bothers me. Shit happens. Shit can be fixed. What bothers me is that everything always seems to break down in exactly the wrong moment. (I needed this thing now more than ever before, exactly this week). What bothers me is that replacement parts are in short supply for some reason (or another). Perhaps what bothers me most is that everyone I speak to about the breakdown of this cabinet acts as if this thing is down all the time (two minor issues, and now one slightly more major issue, in three years…). Wear and tear is normal. Especially in a machine that runs 24/7. In my view, the company that produces it is still recommendable and has been nothing but professional in my interactions with them.

3) Unnecessary explanations. Some people just feel good about explaining the shit out of even the silliest things, regardless of whom they’re talking to. These people treat everyone like they’re goddamn morons. There are a whole lot of these people in the German system that make every process a whole lot longer and more horrible. Cut the crap. Tell me something nice instead.

4) Parasitoids. (I’m sorry Jeff). I’ve worked quite a bit with various parasitic wasps in the past. They’re lovely creatures. But I may have killed a few too many, and now they’re plotting to kill me. Or at least kill all our aphids. We’re trying to establish some proper colonies of Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria, tansy aphids, but we’re struggling to find individuals that turn out not to be parasitized. These buggers can ruin your plans for sure, but Lina and Annika, the two PhDs on the projects, are on top of it. Let’s hope for some freshly pooped out aphid nymphs on our leaves tomorrow.

I guess four items in this list is enough for today. Just had to get them off my chest. I’m either having a reasonable day, or I’m too exhausted to remember anything else.

There were also good things today! My two semester projects have been officially kicked off, and are up and running. We are also one step closer to establishing plenty of plants for our summer experiments. There are some things that are okay in the background. That’s for another day.

What bothered you today?

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

2 thoughts on “A little list

  1. Parasitic wasps do not sound like pleasant neighbours.

    What’s bothering me today is that my brain doesn’t want to concentrate, but it’s not wandering off to anywhere interesting; it’s just soupy inside my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, that depends. Most gardeners love them, as they get rid of pests. I love them too, but today they just needed to piss off.

      Head soup sucks. My job doesn’t work well on soupy days. But I have them – more than I like to admit…

      Liked by 1 person

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