Pros: good introduction to techniques, field work
Cons: poor management, favourtism, lack of opportunity, long hours, low pay
Maxxam was founded in 1995 after a merger between Chemex Labs
Alberta and two labs from Toronto and Montreal.
I was one of three original employees that started the environmental
section in Calgary, AB in the mid 1970's. Most of my early duties
included wet chemistry, basic instrumentation, and field work.
During the early 1980's, I expanded my role – more... in inorganic chemistry
by utlilizing AA, FIAS, Technicon, and IC. By the late 1980's my
expertise in spectral analysis including ICP and GTA was complete.
I was at that time senior chemist specializing in heavy metal
analysis in water and soil chemistry. I also instructed other chemists
in techniques, safety and lab operations. Many of the new chemists
technicians and management were woefully unprepared for the rigors
of commercial chemistry. Some were placed into positions of
authority where they failed miserably. Many seasoned employees
with years of experience either quit in frustration or were forced out.
I was selected in 1998 to travel to Bangkok, Thailand and set up a
Spectral 700 AA in early 1999 for one of partner laboratories. The
project was cancelled due to a regional currency crisis.
They tried to force me out but I endured their disrespect and
professional misconduct. They laid me off in November, 1999
without warning or proper cause.
I sued for Wrongful Dismissal and within a week had won a out
of court settlement for a hefty sum. The legal action begun by
my lawyer created havoc in the head offices in Toronto as
everyone from the CEO to the board of directors, the Western
Regional Manager, and my immediate manager were liable for
I'll be starting my own consulting business in 2014 related to
I'd recommend another line of work, perhaps something with the
Oil Sands – less