If you’ve known me for a while you know that I am a very random person. But since not many of you know me in real life, you didn’t know that, right? I’m very random. The way I walk, the music I listen to, the way I start or end conversation, my thoughts. All have a certain degree of randomness. Since I have so many of these thoughts I’ve decided to start sharing them with y’all.
The first one is … do PIs fart in their office?
I know, right? You’re probably looking at the screen right now thinking, WTF? Where the heck did Dr. 29 come up with that?Who thinks about that stuff? Me, alright? Me.
One of the thoughts that pops into my head sometimes is, well, you know, that PIs are human, they have a life outside the lab, their offices, the department. This means that they have the same needs, wants and bodily functions as other living creatures.
I fart. And so do you. And don’t deny it. After you’ve had too much Tex-Mex loaded with beans. After eating from that dingy place down the street. If you have a stomach ache or some sort of intestinal problem. We all fart. It’s a biological function. Yes, even girls fart. I’m sure Paris Hilton farts. Obama? Farts. Glenn Beck? Farts. The Queen? Farts. They all do. And so do you.
What brings this to mind is that, as people who work under the wing of the PI, we have to go into his/her office a few times a week, or maybe a day. When I was in grad school I probably went to the boss’s office 2 or 3 times a day, especially during crunch time or thesis writing-time. Lucky for me, it was never stinky, even when the boss was eating while we were discussing a new research-strategy or debugging a script (boss always brought homemade, vegetarian/vegan food so it was never stinky, plus I don’t think boss ate tuna, yuck). Boss’s office was also a closed-door one and separate from the lab. Because we had so many computers and backup equipment, the lab was noisy, so any “funny” sounds were muffled.
My current boss’s office shares a wall with my office. I can hear if a pen drops, if paper is shred, and when he comes and goes. Which brings to mind …. if the boss had stomach/intestinal issues, and needed to fart, would I hear it? Is he mindful enough of the lack of insulation that he keeps them inside? If so, does he ever release them? That would lead to a serious stomach ache. And what about “leaking” gasses? No seriously. Because my office is always open and it is shared with students who need to hand reports and grades back, I’d never even dream of farting. A former student admitted to going to the cold room and releasing the intestinal pressure there.
So, if I may ask, have you ever pondered the same? If so, was it because of something you or a labmate or PI did? Have you ever had the “privilege” of hearing your boss or immediate supervisor fart? To me it would be a bit uncomfortable. I remember that hon was visiting once and had to go to the bathroom. He said that just as he was about to wash his hands one of my committee members came in and released some of his inner-most noxious gasses like it was just business as usual. Hon couldn’t look at the guy’s face for the longest time. I guess that the PI didn’t realize that the BF was still there or something … but it was awkward for the BF and super hilarious to me. I wonder if I’d lose a bit of respect, or at least, inability to keep a straight face in front of the boss for some time. What about you?