Good Chemist vs Bad Chemist. Which One Are You?

Being in field service for the past two decades, I’ve come across so many unique situations that turn out to be not-so-unique.

Back in 1999/2000, I entered the industry via Gentech Scientific, before moving on to PerkinElmer and Agilent. The early years were spent seeing what happens to instrumentation after years of use and neglect. It wasn’t pretty!

Moving on to the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), and installing new equipment I quickly realized that not all chemistry is the same, so to speak. There’s “good” chemistry and “bad” chemistry. One was far less detrimental to instrument health than the other. On top of this, individual training and understanding of the instruments can create issues.

The longer I spent in the field, the more opportunities I found to help preserve instrumentation over the long-term (especially since OEMs were not producing as robust instruments… the Agilent 1100s and 6890s were awesome, but how much income did Agilent lose due to their robustness?).

Generally speaking, any repair call that wasn’t electronics related, was almost always related to training or chemistry issues. And this always opened up an opportunity to add value. I talked with the customer and end users. Always trying to understand the method and usage. Passing on small bits of knowledge (sprinkled in).

My challenge for you is, next time you have a service performed, ask questions and be informed. This goes for in and outside of the lab/work. You’d be surprised how much time and capital you will save.

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