I am a undergraduate student working with an awesome lab director from whom I've learnt a LOT. He is a very knowledgeable and energetic person, and is generally available for help. The lab atmosphere is full of helpful grad and PhD students.
Even though I have been working for over three years with him, he is unwilling to give me the key. Says that I should contact the other senior lab members, and ask for them to open the door.
An issue that came up today that made me vent off some steam on the Academia StackExchange. Instead of going home, I stayed after my morning class so that I could go to the lab and get some research done. However, no one was in the lab. I called my lab mates, but they either had work, had their key taken from them, wasn't answering, had gone on a trip... You get the idea. I ended up investigating the lab equipment of an adjacent lab.
This isn't the first time either. One time I had arranged with two people to come the next day: neither came nor informed me. This is especially inconvenient when the lab is on a remote section of the campus.
I have explained the situation to him, more than one. Once, he said that he would give me the key, but only if I came to the lab more often. I explained that as a human I do get tired and need rest: as much as I love research, I don't want burnout either. I'll add that several times I wanted to go to university, but since no one answered the phone, I headed off to another university to study. In the evening, I was able to contact him, but he called me lazy and only doing stuff that wanted.
How can I approach my professor about this? And more importantly, what is it that I am doing wrong? I don't need the key per se, but I do want to perform research. And for that, the lab needs to be open. While the lab mates are helpful, I do understand that they have a life. I cannot force them to come at 7 in the morning only to open the door for me, can I?
I'll add that my work has led to two conference proceedings and both me and my professor are optimistic that it will lead to a high-impact article. This wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for my professor's help and guidance.