Monday, September 08, 2008

Me 1: Mass Spectrometer 0

As most people would know...I am almost always right and when I am not "right" it is usually just an anomaly and the universe soon corrects itself :P. Today was no exception. After spending my whole weekend at work trying to get the Mass Spectrometer working I proudly got to pronounce it DEAD to the managers out in the front office passed the "Blue Door" this morning.

The Blue Door: where time bends and reality takes a walk into the ridiculous once you pass through.

This door is amazing...once you pass through it from the "Workers" side to the "Managers" side it's like a whole new universe where scientific fact has no value and your IQ apparently drops from .. say..A Ph.D. Qualified Scientist to that of a small unimportant minion who couldn't possibly know what they are on about or can be believed on any topic (I am calling this "Thermo Engineer Syndrome"). So anyway, I went through the aforementioned door today to pronounce the Mass Spec dead and was greeted with such re-assuring logic as "It can't be dead, it's too important that we use it this week!" and "Are you sure? Is it turned on? Does it have petrol in it?" etc. After giving up my entire weekend to battle the illnesses of this machine I was so over trying to justify anything that I just said some thing along the lines of "Yes, it's dead, it doesn't work, here is the output, see that big squiggly line that looks like a guy having a heart attack was holding the pen? That's the background noise from the detector. See that nice sharp peak at 3.8 mins corresponding to the injected standard? NO YOU DONT..BECAUSE IT'S NOT THERE DUE TO THE BROKENNESS!!!" , but was probably less funny and along more apathetic lines.

So, true to form, no one believes that 3 days of me troubleshooting and improvised repairing only to have the repairs break rendering the machine useless for the purpose of measuring mass spectra (which for a machine called a "Mass Spectrometer" should seem like a major flaw) even with print-out showing what was wrong and why I can't fix it were presented. The higher ups decide that it couldn't possibly be broken and not fixable and they'll come out and tinker. Fast Forward 4 hours and we arrive at "I think it's actually broken and there is nothing we can do to fix it. Why didn't you bring this to our attention sooner Michael?" IDIOTS. Nowhere on my job description does it say I have to telepathically predict future events and have ESP abilities??

So I now, in my professional opinion, pronounce that the Thermo DSQ-II mass Spectrometer is Dead :)

The Worlds Most Expensive Door Stop. The Thermo DSQ-II Mass Spectrometer.

Now, I wonder what answer I get when I ask for the 29th September off as time in Lieu for working all weekend flogging a dead horse will be?

Late Afternoon Update (5:30pm): Found the culprit of the leak (just so you all can sleep tonight knowing the drama has ended). Turns out it was the Vent Valve solenoid, I should have been able to spot this earlier as it's photo was quite a pointer that something was wrong...but sometimes you just can't see the Forrest for the other bits of Forrest.

1 comment:

Admiral Bayls said...

Bahahahaa, look at that solenoid. :)