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Need advice for research lab

  1. Nov 11, 2012 #1
    I am an undergraduate student that started working in a research lab this semester and started out as a volunteer. It's my first research experience in a lab outside of the classroom and at this point, I have no idea how things are going. I work for the postdoc in the lab and have so far been shadowing him on the different procedures he does/that I will eventually be doing. Otherwise, I also work with the undergraduate that's been in there for a lot longer to learn the basic techniques that I'll need to know. This is where I know I only have myself to blame for taking on so much. I only go in twice a week and there have been a few days where I've had to take off with having a lot of exams/papers going on. Anyways, my postdoc and I had a conversation a few weeks ago where we laid out end-of-semester goals and whatnot and at one point, he asked if I would be needing to take off every time I'd had an exam and I explained to him at that time that I had been trying to figure out time management for each class and what-not and it would no longer be an issue. Well, last week, I had a relative that ended up going to the hospital with an unexpected health complication that came up and I emailed my postdoc to let him know about it and that I would need the day off to visit this relative in the hospital. Came home to find later that he had not bothered to respond and I am worried about him addressing it as a problem when I go in this week and I'm not sure what to do at this point. I more than understand where they could potentially come from in thinking I'm not reliable or anything and not trusting me but this was an unexpected family event that suddenly came up...:frown: Any input is appreciated and thanks for reading through all of this post!

    Edit: One more question, should I consider to maybe send a follow-up email explaining more in-depth the situation with my family or just leave it be? I'm going through a lot at the moment and to reduce the stress with the lab would take a lot off my shoulders...Thank you all again.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2012 #2


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    Hi Violagirl! :smile:
    (i'll just give my two-cents worth on this last part …)

    Yes, you should certainly send him a follow-up email immediately.

    You've taken the day off, and it's only polite to tell him what happened at the hospital (and whether you're likely to have to go again), and to thank him for understanding.

    Take the opportunity to give him more detail about the condition, and why you had to go (and not some other relative).
  4. Nov 11, 2012 #3
    Thank you so much for your input, I emailed him right away to explain everything. That will definitely to reduce any worry or stress for when I go in this week. Thank you again!
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