Monday, April 06, 2009

What ever happened to...

Miss Pink Post-Doc?

Glad you asked.

Way back when, on my then favorite project a young post-doc was brought onto the project. She was a recent Ph.D. grad, newlywed, optimistic as hell, go getter chemist extraordinaire and newly employed by our project.

And she drove me insane. She wore pink, she had a pink phone that she would prop up so that she could see her dog’s picture during teleconferences. And she carried a big pink water bottle. She was na├»ve, laughed way too loudly, wore too tight of clothes, and was just plain annoying.

This was a few years ago.

She came onto that project at its height. We were busy and happy and well funded.

As all successful projects do, they end. Miss Pink Post-Doc was unable to obtain funding to continue her post-doc at the lab and then she found a job at an external lab. A year after she brought her pinkness into our project, she was gone. I thought I would never see her again and surprisingly enough, I was a touch bummed by this.

She kind of grew on me. She was incredibly smart and made me feel like a slacker chemist around her. She never failed to ask about my kids and she nearly always had a smile on her face (though the gafaws still occasionally made me cringe).

A few months ago one of the guys on that project, now a manager, hired her into his group to help a couple of guys working on my big project. They needed help and it was an opportunity to bring Mrs Pink back. So thanks to the concept of matrix management... Mrs Pink now works for me.

She still laughs too loud for my tastes (yes, I tend to be quiet), she still wears her clothes a touch too tight (but apparently she likes them that way because they are new clothes), but I like her. I really do like her.

She is sharp. She is punctual. When I ask her for data she gets it, or she walks to my office and tells me why she doesn’t have it. We talk about marriage and kids, her desire to have a baby, where to get the best coffee and we trade “so I heard…” statements.

She sits beside me in our monthly meetings. I know where she started from, I can see her ambition and potential. I don’t expect I will ever be best friends with Mrs. Pink. But I like her and appreciate her free spirited nature.

So do I have much to write about Mrs. Pink? Not really.

She’s cool.

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