If my constant complaining about my equipment at work bores you, you can skip this one.
Last week my boss came in on Monday, but had Tuesday through Friday off.
So, of course, Tuesday morning, when he wasn't there, the plasma wouldn't light. Again. It gave me the same error message as before. Again. I e-mailed Agilent Dude and explained what was going on. We chatted a bit, and he had me try a few things to see if I could get it working by myself, but it WOULD. NOT. GO. So, he said he'd come in Wednesday afternoon.
He didn't say what time...
He got here pretty late in the afternoon, just about when I was leaving. We talked and strategized a bit, and he got to work. He had ordered some parts in and was thinking that it was the matching box, which was the same part he had replaced a few weeks ago. Apparently, the new one he put in was defective! Yay! So he was at my lab until 7:30 that night, and then he sent me an e-mail that I got the next morning saying that once he had the new matching box back in, it started giving him a whole new set of problems. Joy.
He was able to come in Thursday morning and try a few more things, but he couldn't get it to work, so he ordered some more parts and said he'd be able to come in again on Monday (he had a service call to Colorado he had to make Thursday and Friday. I feel sorry for this guy, having to run all over the place so much!).
Fortunately, we have a method for heavy metals on the ICP-OES that kinda sorta almost works, so after Coworker was running all of his samples on that instrument we were able to throw mine on and let them run overnight. Then, in the morning, we figured out which samples didn't work and sent them over to another lab in the area (because they're super super awesome and nice and helpful) (plus we help them when their instruments are down) (it's all about back scratching) and we were able to keep up with everything that way. Thank goodness, because having an entire week's worth of samples to catch up on would have been pure hell, let me tell you! As it was, I could only run our company's samples this way, and had to save up all the samples from outside clients.
He was able to come in Monday and it was fixed by about 1:00, so we were able to jump on and start getting things done! All I can say is that by the time I left work yesterday, there were still about 90 samples in the queue to be run overnight.
I was so afraid that I would come in this morning to find that something had gone terribly wrong and nothing would have been tested and I would have DIED. But everything worked, and I am just about caught up. Yesterday, however, was the most stressed at work I've been in a very, very long time. I forgot to eat lunch, I was so stressed and busy! At the end of the day I came home and just kinda let myself go brain dead.
But I'm alive. And today things are working.
KNOCK ON FREAKING WOOD.