• Question: do you get stressed about your work

    Asked by dogs to Alastair, Emma, Hywel, Keith, Vicki on 21 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Alastair Sloan

      Alastair Sloan answered on 17 Jun 2010:

      Hi Dogs

      Yes I do – mainly when I am writing applications for funding to continue some of the projects. I don’t get stressed easily so generally I stay calm

    • Photo: Vicki Stevenson

      Vicki Stevenson answered on 17 Jun 2010:

      Hi Dogs
      It can take a long time to set up experiments and even then there’s usually a wait before you start getting useful results. If I need to give a presentation and the results haven’t started coming in that can be a bit stressful. Other times thngs go wrong or the results aren’t what you expect and you need to think on your feet – that can be stressful but fun too!

    • Photo: Keith Brain

      Keith Brain answered on 17 Jun 2010:

      Yes – some experiments can be very stressful. For example, there is one type of experimental technique we use that involves making some very small glass micro-electrodes (they have a tip size of 0.0005mm or so) and inserting them into cells that we can measure changes in the cell’s electrical voltage. It sounds tricky, but it works most of the time. Some days, however, you just can’t get these pipettes into the cells – they break, and nothing seems to work. Then is the time for a deep breath, a short walk, and a try again.

      The main stresses, though, are about getting money for people’s salaries, and helping my students and coworkers get the type of jobs they want. There are ups and downs.

    • Photo: Emma Carter

      Emma Carter answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      Not very often. It can get a little stressful if I think I’ve broken a really expensive piece of equipment by pressing the wrong button because I’m in a rush – but I haven’t yet and PhD students tend to do much more damage – lol
      Getting null results or realising you have to do an experiment again or make something again can be frustrating – but that’s often the nature of research: if you didn’t try you wouldn’t know

    • Photo: Hywel Vaughan

      Hywel Vaughan answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Good question dogs!
      My job at times can be very… exhausting. I wouldn’t say stressful. As BLOODHOUND is such a fast moving project, most work needs to have been done last week and finished yesterday – it means you have to work very quickly and be very accurate with what you do. That means that work can be quite tiring!
      On the other hand though, as we are such a small team, you act almost like a family – you know exactly how everyone else works and what they are great at, so we all pull together to get it done. It is extremely rewarding when you come out with something that works perfectly!
      It isn’t a stressful job, it is exciting – and I love the excitement!