Lab Fatigue...

Mary Tang mtang at
Fri Feb 28 18:49:09 PST 2003


It's awfully tempting to work long hours in the lab, without break, if
you're on the verge of a breakthrough or if you've got an impending
deadline...  However,  we've had a couple of incidents (or
near-incidents) recently in the lab which could have been avoided if the
people involved hadn't been excessively tired or hungry.  In fact, one
of the most common explanations for simple mistakes is that we staff
members hear is "I didn't know, it was late, and I was tired..."  As I'm
sure you know, such mistakes could result in damage to your experiment,
damage to equipment, or worse yet, safety hazards to you or your fellow

At the risk of sounding like I'm practicing for the "mom" thing...
Please take a break from the lab every few hours. Don't work without
eating regularly (the hospital cafeteria, like SNF, is open 24/7).  If
you're tired, there are several comfy couches located throughout the
office area...  Also remember, we do have a "buddy rule" -- don't work
in the lab unless there's also someone else in there too, or at least
someone nearby who knows you're in there.

Thanks for your attention --


Mary X. Tang, Ph.D.
National Nanofabrication Users' Network
Stanford Nanofabrication Facility
CIS Room 136, Mail Code 4070
Stanford, CA  94305
mtang at

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