Old 11th December 2002, 20:00   #1
Aquila Blue
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Work can be hazardous to your health

I was working with PMSF (quite a toxic chemical) today and it got me thinking. What would you say is the most dangerous/toxic/disgusting thing that you have ever had to work with? (co-workers and colleges don't apply I'm afraid)

Also, what's the most boring work related thing that you've had to do? Endless meetings? Number crunching in a cube? or something that brings work place boredom to a whole new level. Any particular way you eleviate such workplace tedium?


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Old 11th December 2002, 20:04   #2
patroclus22
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Sorting 5,000 jackpot/fill slips into serial # order. This is the single most boring thing you can possibly do.

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Old 11th December 2002, 20:05   #3
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the worst thing ive ever had to work with was genclean (tri-chloroethalyne), its one of the things that can cause cell mutations (eventually leading to cancer), the boringest thing ive done, was probably sitting in a medical room at school for 9 hours because they fogot i was in there :/
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Old 11th December 2002, 20:07   #4
John M
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most dangerous had to be that electroplating project i did in 8th grade. all kinds of nasty shit, like sulfuric acid and some kind of cuprous vinegar-epsom salt-sugar solution i worked up to do the actual plating in.

missyob made me post this.
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Old 11th December 2002, 20:07   #5
Aquila Blue
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Quote:
Originally posted by patroclus22
Sorting 5,000 jackpot/fill slips into serial # order. This is the single most boring thing you can possibly do.
>_< ouch! my brain in shutting down just thinking about doing a job like that.


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Old 11th December 2002, 20:11   #6
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The most dangerous work related thing I've done is measure an enormous concrete ramp on a decomissioned military base. The ramp is on the side of a hill and is at a 45 degree slope, which is a lot steeper than it sounds. When I was working on it, all the railings for the stairs had been removed. I had to start at the top and work my way to the bottom, measuring how high above the natural ground the ramp was. If I slipped, it was a 250 foot slide on slippery concrete down to some rocks at the bottom of the ramp. On the off-chance I survived that, the nearest person was about 10 miles away, and no one would have missed me for a few days, since I was there on a Friday. The government was trying to decide how much it would cost to totally remove the ramp (turned out it would be too expensive).

I rented "Behind Enemy Lines" a few months ago, and there the ramp was, near the end of the movie - Owen Wilson was sitting at the top when he gets shot at and starts to slide down. They had put barriers across the ramp every 20 feet or so, which the stuntman broke as he went down. Those barriers weren't there when I was there - lucky stuntman!
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Old 11th December 2002, 20:19   #7
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how about you aquila?
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Old 11th December 2002, 20:27   #8
Aquila Blue
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Quote:
Originally posted by raydream
how about you aquila?
well, since you asked

It was a tough call deciding what's the most toxic/dangerous thing I work with. Radiation is pretty bad, but at least you can detect it with a geiger counter so you know if you've accidently made yourself hot, so in that respect it's not so so bad. There are a lot of chemicals like SDS (a detergent, yes detergents can be dangerous), PMSF (general protease inhibitor), phenol (melts plastic), but I don't use them that frequently, so I'd have to say one of the most dangerous things I use is Ethidium Bromide. It's a powerful carcinogen. It's flat so it intercalates (fits in between) your DNA base pairs and causes mutations. The thing is that we use it all the time to visualize DNA on gels and whatnot and we use it right at our benches too. Also, it's pretty much totally permeable to latex so those sorts of gloves offer you no protection. Overall, pretty nasty stuff.

As for physical danger, not much really, except maybe falling down the stairs or getting frostbite from rooting around in the -80 C freezer.

For the most boring thing? I think I'd have to say column chromatography. First you have to pour your column, wait for the beads to pack, then wash it, apply your sample, elute, etc, mainly it's all drip drip drip drip and you can't not watch it, because if it dries out, it's ruined.


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Old 11th December 2002, 21:52   #9
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The worst substance that I have come in contact with was when I was working at a grocery store while in highschool... The boss told me and another stocker to clean out the area between the wall and the dumpster that was around back. We went around there and couldn't get within 30 feet of the dumpster, let alone the 1.5 foot wide crevasse that the dumpster made with the wall, without gagging (this is in the middle of a sweltering summer, I might add). After taking turns holding our breath and running in there to see what was there, we saw the most horrifying thing ever. Large blobs of orange "stuff" that originated from months of old deli refuse that had been thrown out and missed the inside of the dumpster. Millions of maggots swarmed throughout the substance and even looking at it made us gag. Once we jabbed it with our broomsticks, it made a noise and maggots and orange stuff oozed everywhere. My friend that poked it ran out and hurled. We had to stand at least 50 feet away from the damnable thing before we could even breath. We just went back inside and told the boss that we cleaned it out and no one was the wiser.
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Old 11th December 2002, 21:54   #10
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All of them involved my work at the local hospital. The most disgusting was changing soiled beds at the Physio department. The most dangerous and most boring were rolled into one: filing X-rays at the imaging department. Kind of unsettling to see the techs walking around in lead vests, and I've got nothing. The most aggravating was working front info desk, but it was also the most pleasurable. I got to tell people where to go

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Old 12th December 2002, 00:03   #11
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Cancelling batches of telephone services, for ntl, was damned boring. The system was an ancient internet-based effort (accessed using Telnet, FFS). It involved the same eight keystrokes over and over and over, for hours on end.

The worst bit was, you had to evaluate several different screens worth of information in order to decide which accounts to cancel - this involved a lot of careful thought. As a result, the work was not only excruciatingly tedious, but you had to really concentrate on it otherwise some people were going to get very upset (the consequence being they would have no phone for ten days). My workgroup and I decided it would be more productive to specialise on one job per person. That just meant that the work was tedious, but you could have trained a monkey to do it.


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Old 12th December 2002, 01:00   #12
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My most dangerous position would have been working in a personal computer factory and having to dive for cover as $750,000 of motherboards crashed around me after falling from a very high forklift.
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Old 15th December 2002, 16:36   #13
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The most disgusting thing I work with is the cases of abused children, either physically, sexually, or through neglect.

I don't really work with anything toxic, and the nature of the role I perform within social services doesn't put me in too much danger, so there's no real problem there.


The dullest thing I've ever had to do at work is the archiving of closed case files. It had to be done, so I did it Now there's actually a full-time county archivist been appointed. Now that's a really dull job, I should imagine...
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Old 15th December 2002, 18:57   #14
Aquila Blue
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Quote:
Originally posted by c2R

The dullest thing I've ever had to do at work is the archiving of closed case files. It had to be done, so I did it Now there's actually a full-time county archivist been appointed. Now that's a really dull job, I should imagine...
I wonder if that job comes associated with a high suicide rate...

Does anyone know whether it's true that dentists are the profession with the highest suicide rate, or is that just a myth?


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Old 15th December 2002, 19:29   #15
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i'm a video clerk. the most hazardous, most stressful, AND most boring part of my job is the customers. like the great randal once said, "this job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking customers!"
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Old 15th December 2002, 22:42   #16
Bilbo Baggins
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The most dangerous thing I guess I have been near were the thermite bombs that our chemistry teacher made in the labs and then exploded for us.
The most dangerous thing i have been near personally was the caustic soda we used as weedkiller. the effect that stuff has on live animals is frightening.


The most boring thing i have done is titration calculations. Made better though by a multitude of Tit Ration jokes...
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Old 16th December 2002, 00:08   #17
White Raven
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Re: Work can be hazardous to your health

Quote:
Originally posted by Aquila Blue
I was working with PMSF (quite a toxic chemical) today and it got me thinking. What would you say is the most dangerous/toxic/disgusting thing that you have ever had to work with? (co-workers and colleges don't apply I'm afraid)

Also, what's the most boring work related thing that you've had to do? Endless meetings? Number crunching in a cube? or something that brings work place boredom to a whole new level. Any particular way you eleviate such workplace tedium?
Damn... I was gonna say Gavin Markowski... But in that case, I've had to work with preserved sheep's brains, preserved cow, pig, chicken, rabbit, and rat embryos, dead frogs... (I refused to dissect the frog, by the way. They were going to make me put a substance inside the jar with the frog in it to kill it... I said no.) I saved my frog and let it go in a pond near my school.

The most boring subject is math. Period.

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Old 16th December 2002, 00:48   #18
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One job I had was quite boring.I worked in a factory that made metal tins. One of my job's was to sit in front of a machine, place a tin on it, press a pedal, and two hinge holes would miraculousy appear.
try doing 5000 of these a day.
Most dangerous? welding a fire escape into place in torrential rain as it was SUPPOSED to be needed for the next day it was'nt and talk about electrifying I'm sure I went around glowing for a naffing week after!
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Old 16th December 2002, 01:00   #19
MetallichicA
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Re: Re: Work can be hazardous to your health

Quote:
Originally posted by White_Raven

(I refused to dissect the frog, by the way. They were going to make me put a substance inside the jar with the frog in it to kill it... I said no.) I saved my frog and let it go in a pond near my school.
All you had to do was put it to sleep? We had to crush our frog's brain with a little pith hammer Disgusting and cruel. I didn't really enjoy dissecting fetal pigs, either.

I've never really worked with anything dangerous. Ummmmm, I did have a lab partner in high school who accidentally broke a mercury thermometer and was about to just wipe it up off the table with her hand before I screamed for our teacher to come over.

Most boring, though? I've had a few of those.
1. Using a microfilm copier to copy probably 20 paper boxes full of tax forms. I was in a room about 6 feet by 6 feet, with a bare bulb over my head, at the end of a long hallway. It took me a week, and at the end, they said, "How'd you get it done so fast?!" YOU GUESS.

2. At the same place, entering in tax info for hundreds of people. We didn't have a chair at the computer, it was just up at the counter at the city clerk's office, so I had to stand for several hours, just entering in numbers. And that's how I learned to 10-key

3. Data entry. 3,000 entries per day of the short entries, 1,000 per day of the long ones. And I was the fastest person there


I guess I haven't done anything disgusting, either. How boring lol
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Old 16th December 2002, 04:08   #20
stttafffy
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the most dangerous thing was probably working heavy construction around drunken machinery operators who didnt know i was there. i was relatively safe though

the most boring thing was working at chuck -e- cheese and listening to kids all day long saying the arcarde game ate thier quarter. i loved it when they wanted a refund for thier washer on a string, little assholes.


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Old 16th December 2002, 11:27   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aquila Blue


I wonder if that job comes associated with a high suicide rate...

Does anyone know whether it's true that dentists are the profession with the highest suicide rate, or is that just a myth?
actually, it's farmers in the UK at the moment >_<
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Old 16th December 2002, 16:42   #22
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most dangerous - i had to restock a stand-up freezer at my old work, which took about an hour at negative 25 degrees celcius. that ain't nice.

most boring - we had to sweep a cobblestone courtyard (an exercise in futility) every night during the edinburgh festival...

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