I sit in my office, alternatively staring at my computer screen, drinking coffee, and typing in bursts. I'm a little sleepy and highly caffeinated. My office is attached to my lab, and the door is open. Because I am an accessible fucking PI. There is a little knock on the door...but it is not anyone from my lab. It is a postdoc from another lab. Here is the exchange (not verbatim):
Me: What's up?
pd: Soooo...I am trying to do an experiment that is tangentially related to things that people in your lab do. With a reagent that you have used.
Me: OK. I used the reagent basically the same way that was published by Other Lab.
pd: I used it in a totally different way, and I'm confused about why it didn't work.
Me: But...that reagent won't even work for the experiment you want to do. That reagent detects process A, but you are trying to look at process B.
pd: Huh. what reagent should i use?
Me: I don't know. I have never tried to study process B. Maybe you should ask the other people in your own lab that study B.
Please explain to me the following: Why? What have I done wrong? Am I too nice? Is that why it should be my job to help postdocs from other fucking labs? AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHH.
Please, students and postdocs of the world. Try to think about what you are saying when you interact with faculty members, especially those that are not actually your mentor. I actually like chatting about your project. But throw me a bone here. It is not my job to do your work for you. I know that perhaps most folks don't know that the next NIH deadline is June 5. That will not stop me from being even more cranky about this interaction because I'm in the midst of grant writing.
Get off my lawn.
that is all