Monday, August 17, 2015

Quick Thinking at a Job Interview

After several uneventful weeks, I once again have things to talk about.  Carlisle just turned SEVEN, which means he surpassed his expected lifespan after rescue by about five-and-a-half years.  Julie and I just took the dogs camping, which meant that Ruby saw the forest for the first time.  Also, my friend Mick just celebrated his birthday.  I've also got a new personal project in the works that I'm very excited about.  For now, I will share the best story I have from Saturday morning.

The short version is that Julie had a job interview.  The interview was for a position as a research associate for a new lab at UCLA.  It's very similar to the position which I currently work, except using mice instead of cells in a plate, and also with better pay.  The lab even studies the brain-gut axis, as does our lab.  This isn't really a huge coincidence, since that's a hot topic right now.  Specifically, this new lab studies "The Human Microbiome", which is another HUGE topic in biology right now.  The short version is that our bodies host millions and millions of helpful bacteria, which we previously thought just helped us digest food, however we now recognize as having profound system-wide effects on our health and behavior.  I'll let this presenter explain further.

Anyway, it's a great opportunity.

So on Saturday morning, I drove Julie to UCLA's campus and dropped her off.  After parking, I went looking for the building she was in to wait in the lobby.  The campus was nearly empty and I was about to ask two women sitting on a bench for directions until I noticed that it was Julie and the PI.  I changed course and continued past.

Afterwards, Julie told me that she'd instinctively waved at me, prompting the professor to ask if she knew me.  She realized that "He's my boyfriend" sounded ... diminished.  So instead she said, "Yes, he's a lab manager at Cedars-Sinai".

"Oh!  Do you collaborate with Cedars-Sinai?"

"Yes, we've got some mice from them in quarantine right now."

To clarify, all of this is factually true.  The PI was overall very impressed with Julie, and told her that she would hear from her very soon.

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