http://www.davylaboratories.com/

Davy Laboratories

Lab Technician

March 2018 - August 2021 • La Crosse, WI

What I liked

Good lab experience, and many nice people work here.

What I wish was different

It's a pretty toxic work environment; lots of double standards. Employees that have been there 10+ years are pretty much allowed to do and say whatever they want with no consequences, while entry-level employees are raked over the coals for tiny mistakes. If you're in your 20's expect to be treated like a child.

Advice

Your actual job performance doesn't matter here, you'll be judged more by how well you gossip with and suck up to the right people. Many people in management positions are good scientists with poor managerial skills. The strategy seems to be to promote and invest in the most mediocre employees who aren't likely to leave for a better job offer; then they wonder why they can't retain good employees. Not a bad place for an internship or a little bit of experience right out of school, but don't plan to make a career here. Low pay, tiny raises, average benefits, fairly generous retirement profit sharing plan.
1 person found this helpful

Water Quality Technician

May 2021 - February 2022 • La Crosse, WI

What I liked

Pros You can play any music you want on the lab computer during work hours, some coworkers are really great, but it's usually because you are all unhappy about the same things (mutual dislike I guess).

What I wish was different

Cons Poor management, meager pay, toxic and stressful environment, lack of respect for younger workers, no discipline or control over veteran workers, rather than fixing problems they make them go away

Advice

This is not a healthy place to have a long-term job. Maybe for a view months or as an intern, but not any longer. Turnover is incredibly high (5 people gone within the past 9 or so months in a lab that only has 10 people to start with). You'd think a 50% turnover rate would cause some review of management, but rather than deal with veteran employees causing problems, they sweep it under the rug and sacrifice the younger employees who aren't buddy-buddy with upper management. Training is subpar and you basically have to figure out your tests on your own and how to run them because the SOPs are so old and misleading that they look nothing like the EPA or Standard Methods documents which they are legally supposed to be based off of. But if you mess up you are toast, even though no one told you what to do and you're basically in the dark. No matter your experience or training, you will be subject to degrading comments about your work and told to take on more and more tasks at a faster and faster pace. A heavy workload is one thing, but for meager pay is just insulting. You will be taken into meetings randomly and berated for things you didn't even know you were doing wrong because your lab manager doesn't communicate with you and doesn't tell you there's even a problem to start with. How are you supposed to fix anything if they don't tell you about it? You feel like you're walking on eggshells everyday. The most enjoyable part of your job is when your lab manager isn't working that day, which is sad. There is no work-home life balance and you are expected to structure your home life around the tests you are running at work, some of which finish at all hours of the night. People in higher-up are constantly talking badly about coworkers and it causes dissent within the lab. People who speak up and question things are let go, and those that don't say anything are too scared to do so for fear of being fired. If you are not liked by someone or haven't worked there for 20+ years, you will be pushed out. Lab managers are ill-equipped to run a lab and do not have any communication skills. They also have no control over their emotions and will lash out, causing everyone in the lab to feel scared and on edge. It drains you mentally and physically so plan on being sick at least once a month. A typical day involves trying to stay under the radar of your lab manager so that you don't get screamed at or treated like one of their children. There is no respect for anyone. Stay away from this place if you care about your mental and emotional health at all.
1 person found this helpful

Microbiology Laboratory Intern

August 2017 • La Crosse, WI

What I liked

I liked the Laboratory environment and the experience that came with it.

What I wish was different

Sometimes days were long because samples would not come in. Receiving samples was up to delivery services or the clients themselves.

Advice

Even though it seems like a lot in the beginning, stick with it and you will get into a routine.
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