Fail Chain
Monday, August 16, 2010

Begin misery: "Hey, your co-worker is too busy (bored) to do this project you've been helping her with, so despite your gross incompetence and lack of experience, it's yours now! start swimming."


1) Began writing workplan (more than a year ago)
2) Rewrote workplan... ten more times. (one year later)
3) Staked sample locations at site, in thunderstorm, bombarded by hail.
4) Massive screw up on bid contracts, renegotiate with finances and bidders and get acceptance (three months)
5) Six hours spent yesterday getting ready for today and an efficient departure.

1) Miscalculated time to pack jeep.
2) Forgot sampling plan.
3) Forgot to apply sunscreen.
4) Forgot to put trip blank in cooler.
5) Left paperwork in cooler to get soaked by ice, later have to lay out on desk overnight to dry.
6) Late to meet with driller.
7) Unable to reach driller's cell phone.
8) Apologize to driller. Receive unfriendly stare.
9) Pool for one set of the surface water samples has dried up.
10) Frantic scrambling to log first two wells.
11) 90 degree weather plus thick cordoroy over-alls.
12) Well-02 explodes. Covered by geyser of landfill water.
13) Waiting for decon, crew having trouble finding next stake. Volunteer to find it.
14) Can't find stake.
15) WHERE THE #&@% IS IT?
16) Find stake in obvious location. Feel dumb.
17) After returning to crew, unable to lead them to stake after having found it once already.
18) Groundwater samples? Today? What? ...Shit!
19) Scramble improvization, using sample containers for surface water samples of pond that has dried up.
20) Only needed to do one of the sample collections, as opposed to all five for the set.
21) Have argument with self, out loud and rambling, about whether entire sampling job is compromised.
22) Apologize to driller for being neurotic. Receive more unfriendly stare. COWORKER TOO BUSY LAUGHING.
23) Find out no longer have skin on arms, collarbones, and scalp, but rather red chitin exoskeleton. Legs also mildly burnt, but rather by oven-like chemical splash resistant boots.
24) More sampling table confusion. No longer sure if labels have the correct sample number and location...
25) Shown location of a Fed-Ex location requiring navigation of confusing series of interstate on-ramps. Ditched at work, told to find Fed-Ex again on my own.
26) Told by boss, passing by, that I've packed the cooler wrong. Told to ask someone to help me repack cooler. Someone smarter than me.
27) Told that loose ice in cooler can (and has) made very important labels on samples become smeared and illegible.
28) Attempts to relabel (wet) plastic covering around samples met with little success. Hoping not all samples are illegible.
29) Find Fed-Ex again, realize I don't have all the information I need to fill out forms. Back to office.
30) Printer ISSUES!
31) Back at Fed Ex. Forgot to put something in cooler, have to rip off duct tape. Reseal.
32) Can't find custody seal, concerned accidentally left it inside resealed cooler. Tear off tape again.
33) Find custody seal in car, where left it.
34) SENT. Surprisingly non-triumphant feeling.

Wake up this morning - 5:30 am
At work - 7:00 am
Time of completion - 7:30 pm

Pride, skin, remaining life expectancy, acute dehydration (been thirsty since noon, no matter how much attempted to drink), possibility that samples are ruined and entire day was wasted.

Have to go out to site two more times this week.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010 3:23 PM


I made an entirely new set of mistakes today (not bringing a shovel to take soil samples... A-DOI). But the mistakes were more easily remedied, and far less in number.

Have more time to plan Thursday trip and gather together materials. Coworkers today helped me put together a list in car-ride. Everything will go more smoothly.

Also, label thing might not be bad: I had a set of groundwater samples, two sets of soil samples. On one set of soil samples, I did manage to put marker labels on the outside, so hopefully the lab will be able to figure out which sample location the other soil samples are from by the process of elimination.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 9:36 AM


I'm not going to comfort you. *slaps* I'm not going to encourage you. *rabbit punches* PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER SOLDIER! *boots in stomach*

P.S. Thanks for the most hilarious blog entry I've read in a long while.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 5:12 AM


Don't worry, with the other trips to the site you'll know exactly what you're doing and all will go well ^_^

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 4:46 AM


Ouch! There are few things as frustrating as having to do someone else's job and having it go badly. You have my sympathy.

Monday, August 16, 2010 6:58 PM


If this were in the Blue Sun Room, I'd give it a "10". Hang in there! 8-)


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