Thursday, September 3, 2015

Summer Intern Offers To Pay For Broken Vacuum Dewar

Boston, MA

Sources within Boston-area technology firm Syntadyn indicated that Alexander Jepsen, a co-operative transfer student from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, graciously offered to finance the replacement of a 2.5-liter glass-lined vacuum dewar flask after inadvertently shattering it while performing his laboratory duties earlier this morning.

Mr. Jepsen, who will be beginning his junior year as a chemistry major next week, was cleaning glassware in the lab sink when he knocked the vessel to the ground causing it to implode violently.  Fortunately, Jepsen was not injured in the incident.  After sweeping up the glass shards which littered the lab floor, Jepsen reported the breakage to his supervisor, Dr. Kelsey Smith, stating he had broken "some light-bulb looking thing," which he elaborated made "a wicked loud noise" upon shattering.

When reached for comment, Jepsen stated he apologized profusely for the incident.  "I went over to Kelsey's office and was like 'I broke something downstairs in the lab, I'm so sorry.'  Then I offered to pay for a new one.  It looked like a bunch of metal and glass; couldn't cost more than a hundred bucks, tops, right?"

Fortunately for Alexander, who in his brief experience as a co-op has not had the opportunity to contextualize the exorbitant cost of scientific equipment, glassware, and reagents, Dr. Smith declined his gracious but ultimately naive offer to "take a dock in pay."

C&EN Onion reporters reached out to Jepsen's supervisor, who indicated this was not the first incident involving broken equipment.  "Some people are just all thumbs, I guess.  I've got a laundry list of stuff this guy has broken: round bottoms, NMR tubes, a couple beakers, even a Schlenk line."

As of press time, a one-liter graduated cylinder had escaped from Jepsen's grasp and was rapidly accelerating toward the floor.

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