Thursday, December 23, 2004

Good grief, vacation and holidays at last

In 6 hours I will be heading off to my last day of work at Loctite Canada. For those of you who don't know (read: everybody), Loctite a leading supplier of industrial adhesive solutions. My job essentially consisted of reporting to 5 engineers who can each tell me to do just about anything involving harmful, toxic products I have no idea how to use. Sounded fun at a passing glance. But the main point is that I'm done, how exciting is that? The job was pretty great, it exceeded my expectations by far, but that doesn't mean I'm not waiting to get the hell out!

Each time I have a work term I can honestly say that I learn more valuable, real life lessons than when I'm in school. While at my previous co-op job, I came to the conclusion that - while it may be amazing work with great potential - management is not something I am going to be able to do. It involves being cut-throat, demanding, authorotative, responsible, timely, and a whole slew of other traits which I definitely can not say apply to me.

This time around I learned the pain of working with real engineers. Now it may be possible I had simply come across a bad sub-set of these creatures, but from what I dealt with over the last four months, I am not too endeared by the profession.

First of all, engineers, above any other group of people I have met, love the sound of their own voices. Not one of my co-workers knew when to just shut up, stop talking about trivial and irrelevant technical nonsense, and face the facts that I could deal with a problem myself given a very short set of instructions. In the time it took them to go over exactly what they meant by their work instructions to me, in precise scientific deatail mind you, rewording it several times, I could have been halfway through the damned project.

Secondly, engineers are intrusive. They stick their inquisitive big noses into my cubicle a few times an hour to make sure I know they have higher expectations of me and that they would know how to complete any task I'm working on more effectively. If I pick up a tool or some product or a friggin piece of paper to do some work with then they immediately want to know what work it is I'm doing, and then offer their opinion as to why what it is that I've picked happens wrong. And it always is!

Now despite these examples of co-worker grief, I remain impressed with what I've done on the job itself. I dabbled in robotics, CAD, machining, project design, materials engineering, and a number of other fields. It's been more technical than any of my other jobs, so that's a step in the right direction.

Counting the hours until it's all over...

"Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems." - Scott Adams, Dilbert Author


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