That was something.
I arrived at work at around 2:00 PM which was pretty much when I'd said I'd be there. No problems entering the building even though the security guard looked ascance at me.
So far so good.
The Dr. showed me around a little more, to the computer station where apparently I will go bored out of my mind doing silly little computations that numb the mind and rend the soul, and some of my fellow volunteers including a fellow from Trinity college in some other state. I repressed my elitism.
After that we went up to where the animals are stored and things got intimidating. First of all to get into the area where the animals are there's a security system involving magnetic keycards and ominous warning signs. Apparently animal rights activists tried to "liberate" some of the subjects of the experiments and security had to be put into place to keep them up. I felt like I was walking into some sort of high-tech weapons facility. All that was missing was the armed guards. Then, as if things weren't surreal enough, we had to put on decontaminated scrubs because nobody's allowed on the ward without sterile clothing. We're not just talking about a piddly little smock either, we're talking mask, hairnet, shoe covers, everything but sterile pants. Clad ominously in a strange mix of yellow blue and white we continued forward to the room (past all sorts of signs like "Danger radioactive material, Danger: Baboons with communicable diseases", etc) which was wall to wall full of cages of rats. I was informed that we were going to do some long overdue weaning, then given a yellow cart and the Dr.s key card and sent off to the tenth floor to fetch some rats and clean cages. I went off not really knowing what to do but assured that "I'd be able to figure it out". Headed up to the tenth floor, swipped my card and entered yet another ward. This one had more of an industrial feel to it since it had a bunch of guys washing tons and tons of cages (presumably of rats who had been sacked)
I got 12 clean cages from the stack over by one door and headed towards the room I'd been told to go to. It was one of those rooms with a letter added to the end of the number, something I hadn't been told, so it took me quite awhile to figure out that hey there WAS no room 10xx but only a 10xxA. I went into 10xxA and as warned the rats were not there. They were in a room attached by an adjoining door. The only issue was that that there was a whole case of rats in front of that door and I didn't know if I was allowed to move it. I really wish that people would just TELL me these sorts of things. In a sterile scientifically controlled place you don't want to just play it by ear. You want a procedure. Anyway after a few more minutes of searching, hemming, and hawing I finally decided to move the case and open the door. I went in and the right rats were there only there were three more than I'd been told there would be. I just grabbed the number I'd been told about and headed back out, finally figuring that I had completed my chores and would be able to get back to where I was at least near somebody who knew what they were doing.
That was when I checked my pockets for the keycard, anally, and found out that I had dropped it. There I was on my first day, in my first hour, on a locked ward with a cart full of empty cages and 4 cages of live rats and I had lost the bosses keycard. Then I noticed that my right glove had split open meaning I wasn't properly sterilized (Damn my monstrous hands. It was a large glove but I need an extra large to contain these monstrosities) At this point I seriously thought of making a dash for it. I mean I figured I was screwed anyway and since the place where I was wasn't really attached to my school I could run for it and nothing would happen. But then my conscience kicked in and I realized I couldn't do that. I also couldn't leave the ward because even though there's a red button that lets you leave without a keycard I couldn't get back in on the other floor to return the animals! Thus began the process of wheeling a cart full of cages and animals around a ward asking random people if they'd seen the keycard (which wasn't even mine!) I started with the washerpeople because they're low on the totem pole and it doesn't matter if they think I'm incompetant and worked my way up. Fortunatly before I got around to asking the head guy on the ward some scientist from a foreign country mentioned that he'd found my keycard. Unfortunatly he'd given it to the head dude! I screwed up my courage and went to his office to tell him what had happened and hope for the best. Unfortunatly he wasn't there. So I waited for about 10 minutes till he returned. Fortunatly he turned out to be a really nice guy, returned the card without many questions or even a "Don't ever do that again" and even helped me re-stack my cages so that they would fit in the elevator better. I should have used Delores' name but frankly I didn't think to at the time. Anyway I went back down to where the Dr. was, apologised for being late, didn't tell her what had happened with the card since she didn't really ask why I had been late and I figured "No Harm No Foul" and we got to work.
For the next few hours I filled out a lot of index cards with rat family information and learned about the breeding of the various strains of rat. It was actually quite interesting. We weaned a bunch of litters (although I'm not allowed to touch the rats yet) and sent an awful lot off to be Sacked. I also learned about rat tattooing and identification. It was interesting. I never mentioned the keycard, maybe I should although it seems the time has passed. Hope that doesn't end up biting me in the ass. It's not like I was HIDING anything per se, it's just that it was a bonehead mistake and I DID fix it so...
Tomorrow I'm going in to get my ID stuff sorted out. It promises to be a beauraucratic nightmare but at least I'll have my own keycard.
Oh well it's late. I guess homework in the morning. I really hope that working doesn't kill my GPA this summer. I should be able to survive...I hope.
That was definitly not what I expected. I thought I'd be at a cushy desk crunching boring numbers. Not standing around in scrubs sending rats to Rat Aushwitz.
At least I managed to get through it. Discipline young Jedi. Discipline.