the Great Freezer Debacle


Subtle reminder: it’s my birthday tomorrow 😉
So yesterday I was at work until 8 pm. Now normally if I stay that late it’s by choice, since the internet here is infinitely faster and more reliable than the dialup at home (which I randomly feel bad about, since my parents are actually paying for it) and I’m working on a layout or other some such time-waster. But not last night. No, it was the Great Freezer Debacle.
So there’s all this construction going on in the department…some new lab is moving into the labs just recently vacated by the Core Lab and they’re demolishing all sorts of things. A fine layer of dust, etc is all over the stuff in my ‘office.’ And every so often there’ll be random clangs and booms as someone drops a large piece of ceiling tile or slams a door. Erg.
Anyway, in the course of this demolishing, it transpired that the room we keep the human samples freezer in was set to be taken apart, therefore the freezer must move. But not before the changed the core of the lock to the room, and almost wouldn’t give us (the lab) the key, since it was the main constructin core lock. But we were like, hello, that’s a freezer we always have to use, and we can’t move the freezer until you put tile back down on the floor of the room it’s going into, so yeah. Key.
Anyway, once they finally got the tile down it was time to move the freezer. It took a good five people…it’s a heavy-ass -80 deg C freezer that we store serum and plasma and -gasp- urine samples in. Lots of fun. Yes, urine can be good but in these quantities…Erg.
So it’s got a key that turns it on and off, so we turned it off to unplug the freezer from the wall…and we left the key in the lock. This is a huge mistake in hindsight but no one was thinking of the key (which was always kept in the lock anyway) when we had to try to squeeze it through the doorway. So, I bet you can guess what happened to the key…

yep, it broke off in the lock. In the OFF POSITION! AGGGGH! We had to keep moving the freezer though, since it was in the middle of the hallway once we had shoved it through the doorway. Once we got it down the hall (no mean feat I assure you) we looked at the lock to see if we could get it out, but only succeeded in pushing it in further. Did I mention how this happened right around 5 o’clock? So no one was answering their phones when we tried to call facilities maintenance or the company that fixes the freezers. Finally we got ahold of someone who could come in, but they were out in St. Peters and there was a mother of a storm going on outside, so we had to wait quite a while for him to get there. THEN…
we realized there had been a miscommunication and the repair guy thought we just needed to get into a ROOM that the freezer was locked in and not the freezer itself, and that he couldn’t get to the key in the lock because there are no screws on the front panel. Which is good if your freezer is prone to being randomly turned off and on, I guess, but it means that the locksmith (who we just ended up calling and should have probably called from the first) will have to go from the back of the freezer and literally push the leftover key out of the lock. Ugh.
But the real fun part came when we had to move all the stuff out of the non-working freezer into another one in the room. Luckily there was another lab that had a bit of room in their freezer so we were able to move our stuff into that one. We almost had an entire extra freezer to ourselves but it hadn’t been turned on until we found out about this mess and obviously took a while to cool to -80. It had only gone to -15 when I left a few hours later. So once we filled the other lab’s freezer with the human serum and plasma samples, we still had all these bags of tubes of urine. Egad. You have not had fun until you’ve had to move urine popsicles. Those samples ended up spread out among three freezers, two of which someone else let us use. Damn -80 is cold. Cold metal burns, man.
Last night when I left the borrowed freezer kept alarming because we’d kept it open so long…it was having trouble cooling back down. It alarmed three times before I left, and the last time I just stood there in the dark with my backpack on, ready to leave but hating leaving the freezer since it was now imperative that it cooled down, since it didn’t have just our stuff in it. I mean, it’s not like losing our stuff would have been acceptable, but it would have only been our stuff, and we wouldn’t be responsible for ruining anything else.
So I finally left after I silenced the alarm for the third time and just prayed that it would get back down to -80 and all would be well. I stressed about it all night though…which is probably why I stayed up so long working on my portrait of Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. Took my mind off things.
Today I got in and the empty freezer had made it to -80, so when I had to find a serum sample it just made sense to move everything over there. Then at least the other lab had their space back and we had all our stuff in one place. It’ll need to be reorganized, but hopefully the locksmith will come by today and work his magic and we can move the urine a THIRD time back into our own freezer. Sheesh. See why it was a debacle?
I still managed to get home to see the finals of the womens 100 and 400 hurdles (yay USA for the 100 HH, and Greece for the 400 IM) and the womens 200. My races! Yahoo! And I started the aforementioned HP portrait. We’ll see if it gets finished before tomorrow; if so I’ll enter it into the Hogwarts Challenge Fanart contest. If not I’ll just keep working on it for my own pleasure…I’ve wanted to do an HP pic for a while and this sort of gave me impetus.
No softball game tonight. Too much rain lately. How ironic. Our rain-out make up game gets rained out. Gosh it’s hot outside. Hot and humid because of all the rain. Ugh. yay for typical StL august weather. *sarcasm* Softball just seems to keep going and going…not that I’m sad, it’s just like, it was supposed to be done two weeks ago but now it’s even going past Orgo. Yikes. I won’t even start with that. Can’t think about it or I’ll freak out.
Wow, that was a lot. Guess I should get to work on that CRP elisa now.

music=Switchfoot, Gone (The Beautiful Letdown), John Mayer, Split Screen Sadness

2 thoughts on “the Great Freezer Debacle

  1. Well, that definitely seemed stressful. lol… gasp about urine samples…nah. I clean my son’s hands off when he somehow sneaks in the bathroom to touch the toilet water…rofl. Nothing icky about pee…rofl
    I imagine no softball…so much freakin rain…even out here in Centralia too… our street in front and alleyway in the back was forming an addition to Lake Centralia…rofl. Thank goodness though Thursday was sunny…. a bit too humid for my liking…I think you said sticky…which fits it perfectly…lol

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