I was watching an episode of C.S.I. the other day and like any good scientist, I was pointing out to my wife things that obviously were not true of labs in real life. "There is no way you could get any work done in a lab with that type of lighting", I would say. "How on earth could they tell that that paint chip was from a 1982 Oldsmobile? I have never been to any lab that does that much testing and is that clean!" The truth is, although an actual working lab will never look anything like the labs on television crime dramas, that does not mean that we should not strive for excellent housekeeping habits in the real world. A clean lab is a safer more productive lab. If everything has a well-defined place, it is easy to spot when something is not in its place. Random bottles of unknown chemicals lying about are incidents waiting to happen. A commitment to good housekeeping practices does not take too much time either; five minutes at the end of each workday does wonders for the overall polish of the lab. In the end that time investment pays plenty of dividends in the productivity and attitude of the technicians that work there.
-Garrett Rowe, Lab Manager