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January 12, 2007
I'm nearly finished with two manuscripts to send out before departing the Wonder Drug Factory. One is the last paper from an earlier project - it's interesting stuff, but now I'm one of the last people on the author list who's still (nominally) with the company. Everyone else left (or was laid off) even before the final act. The other paper is the "Vial Thirty-Three" work, which has been a fair amount of work to bring together. But it makes a pretty good story now that I see it in one place, and I'm very hopeful of finding a good home for it in a high-end journal.
These will both be going out very soon, mainly because I'll be going out very soon myself. The last possible day for anyone in research is January 31, but the site is well on its way to emptying out already. As you go down the halls, there are people scattered here and there at desks, working on presentations or finishing up manuscripts or notebooks. But there are more empty spots than occupied ones, and the labs themselves are almost all darkened. It's an odd sight - like a perpetual 6 AM. You feel like you're the first one in the place all day long.
Some folks have found positions, others are out interviewing, and others are still waiting for the phone to ring - but not all of that needs to be done from work, clearly. Between the departures and the people who have no need to show up, the research organization that used to be here is now like a box of marbles spilled on the floor. The really difficult trick would be rounding everyone up again. One side effect of all this is that all of us are going to end up with contacts all over the industry, which could certainly come in useful. (The networking sites like LinkedIn are filling up with ex-Wonder Drug employee profiles these days, including mine).
I've polished off my notebooks and done some lab cleanup, but the rest of the lab (and most of my office) have been waiting on these manuscripts. Now that they're nearly ready to submit, it's about time to empty out the file cabinets and clean off the shelves. The end is most definitely in sight. And like a lot of people around here, I'm more than ready for the beginning of something else.
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