I pit the bastard who trashed my experiment

I’m doing summer research with my academic advisor. Nothing really complicated, it’s really more of a learning experience than anything. I’ve been working on building a vacuum apparatus for about a month now, and when I walked out of the lab last Thursday to go on a four day weekend, I was almost finished and was looking forward to collecting data this week.

Unfortunately, when I walked in today, I found that some mouth-breathing shit poor excuse for a person had trashed my project. The upper part of the apparatus had been thrown against the wall hard enough to dislodge an electromagnet stuck to a copper segment with Liquid-Weld. All of the wires had been cut with a wire cutter, and a circuit board had been snapped in half. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.

This set me back at least two weeks. And while I plan on continuing this project into the fall, I had hoped to finish this segment by the end of summer semester. At this point, it seems like that isn’t going to happen. Screw you, asshole. I can’t even work up a decent amount of rage because I’m in disbelief that someone would actually pull this kind of shit.

I don’t know anyone who has motive to do this. It’s not like it’s groundbreaking research, with money at stake. The only hypothesis I have is that whoever trashed my project was actually angry at the other person who works in my room, who happens to be the head TA for Physics I. So in other words, not only was this person a complete asshole, he was an asshole to the wrong person.

Fuck. And I was so looking forward to getting data tomorrow.

Your advisor called the campus cops, didn’t he?

Damn, that sucks. I hope you can at least find out who did it.

Yes, but the vacuum apparatus was really for your new Death Ray huh? You can’t fool me Dr. Horrible! Captain Hammer always triumphs!

Umm… do you go to Georgia Tech per chance?

Assuming you do, the fact that it’s Georgia Tech makes it all the more likely that is was a random outburst of rage from, well, going to Georgia Tech. That place is wall to wall pent up aggression, especially with how some professors conduct themselves/teach their classes. I always kept my shit, but I’m not sure how a lot of kids I met kept it under control sometimes.
Also, the rowzers in Atlanta really don’t give a shit about a trashed experiment, and if it’s the GaTech po’s, they really don’t give a shit. Let’s just call it personal experience.

Please don’t use “mouth-breathing” as an insult. Many dudes have to breath through their mouth to due to a medical condition, and it in no case indicates a lack of IQ.

No, I didn’t see my advisor yesterday. Some days he doesn’t come into the lab.

Right on the money. That’s also why we didn’t bother to call the cops. They don’t really give a shit that a student’s project got trashed. They have more important stuff to do, and I say that with no hard feelings.

Sorry, I didn’t know. I’ll try to avoid that next time.

The students who did this are the same types who wreck allotments and childrens youth projects out of school, because they can’t stand anyone being creative or productive, when they are not. It’s probably a little late for whoever trashed your experiment, but these people need to be lured at around the age of 11 to 14, into trashing ‘objects of jealousy’ on CCTV, so they can be identified, and their behaviour nipped in the bud.

Tearing down other people’s achievements is a natural and accepted social behavior, as long as you do it through words, business or politics, and not physical force. Surely that’s just channeling of the same instinct into something socially tolerable.

And what “medical condition” would that be?

A stuffy nose.

Don’t be dissin’ Tycho Brahe.


So how did he smell?

Terrible! anti-perspirant wasn’t big on the shelves in those days! :slight_smile:

This kind of shit is completely unacceptable in an academic environment. I was once a graduate student, and had something like million dollars worth of equipment in my lab, secured with one locked door.

FWIW, if I left my lab for any reason, even to go to the restroom, I locked the lab. The consequences in lost time and money were just too great.

(And I don’t mean to imply that the OP didn’t also secure their lab.)

I am surprised the OP appears to just be accepting this vandalism. I would have immediately called the police myself, personally, and if the campus police didn’t respond appropriately, I’d start screaming to the adminstration until I found someone who did care.

My advisor would have gone apeshit with the police and the adminstration, too.

P.S. I’ll have to remember this about Georgia Tech. This brings the university way down in my estimation.

Sounds like an act of Nature.

I have all the love in the world for my school. The police aren’t lazy, it’s just that there’s not much that the police can do. There are security cameras in the building, but not on this floor. I’ve talked to everyone that worked in the lab on the days that I was gone (presumably when the vandalism happened), and nobody heard or saw anything. All the doors were locked when there was no one in the lab except for a half-hour window that someone took lunch on Friday. It’s not really anyone’s fault except the asshat that did it, and there’s not much to be done about what happened. I just have to move on and get my project done.

How about dust for prints, for starters?

In an open, campus-based lab environment? For prints of a person who may or may not be a registered criminal in the print database? Any one of hundreds of people may have touched the OP’s equipment and can just say “Oh, my prints are on there? Oh yeah, I remember, I was moving it out of the way on the desktop so I could access the shelf behind it” or some such.

And this is a civil case, not a criminal one, unless the OP presses charges. I’ve yet to deal with a police beareau who’d dust anything they didn’t have to.

You were building a vacuum apparatus? Dude, that sucks!

ducks and runs

I can’t have a drop of sympathy for you if you’re going to take this defeatist attitude about it. Preventing the person that did this from ever advancing in academia is more important than your summer project; this behavior was absolutely and entirely beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior.

Don’t be a pansy; call the cops and explain what happened.