Monday, March 06, 2006


I don’t know if this whole working for corporate America business is for me - it's too emotion- draining.

When I first got here, I was doing documentation. It was cool because I was merely a student worker. I expected to get mediocre assignments. However, when I finished school and was hired as a *clears throat* Research Engineer I was dissapointed that I was still working on the exact SAME thing. - But I reasoned, I am a new engineer and it won't be like this forever. Besides, since I had been the only person working on the documentation, I am probably the most qualified to finish it in a timely manner.

But when I was finished with all of the documentation, the next assignment I was given was something EXTREMELY tedious. Well, the lead engineer giving me this assignment originally asked me to try to order LabView and figure out how to use it to take the measurements. But somewhere along the way the assignment was changed to me doing the calculations (and recording them) by HAND! Are you kidding me?!? He was unsure that I would be able to figure out how to automate the calculations in time - and that it would be easier and more time efficient if I were to just do it by hand.

Everytime I thought about doing all those calculations (20,000+) and recording them all in excel BY HAND - I had a mini-panic attack . I kept trying to convince him that doing it by hand would be EXTREMELY inefficient and would take FOREVER, but he insisted that it may not even be POSSIBLE (even if I could figure it out). Not possible! Are you kidding me? Pretty much anything can be automated. And because I had started the research, I KNEW it was possible.

Well, because he had other things to do before he could set up the station, he gave me a little more time to figure it out. During this time, I had to ask to order a *special* cable. This cable was not inexpensive - it was about $500. When I asked the boss (not the lead engineer - his boss) to sign the papers giving me permission to purchase it, his response was: "Do you really think you can make this work?" Maybe I shouldn't have taken it personally - but of course I did. What kind of question is that? What am I supposed to say?! "Ummm, I hope so..." DUH! Why would I even be trying it if I didn't think so? My response was maybe a bit snappy. I asked him: "YOU don't think I can?" I feel like bosses should ENCOURAGE thier employees - especially since my success will benifit him directly. He quickly reassured me that he thought I could DO it - if I had a ample time... Yeah, SURE! Practically ANYONE could do it if they had 'ample' time. But whatever...

So I reasoned, that as a manager he HAS to ask his employees questions like that- to make sure they have really thought about what they are attempting to do - to make sure they don't waste company money. But when I asked for him to purchase LabVIEW itself which is about $2400 and he asked me if I could have it done in about a week. As I was trying to explain to him exactly what needed to be done, he interrupted me and mumbled, "You're not going to have it done in a week" (in a smart-alecky way). Because I thought I may have misunderstood what he said - I said "You don't think I can do finish it in a week?" He stated: "You're not going to have it done in a week" more clearly. The worst part about it was that someone else was in his office. How is he going to tell me what I CAN and CANNOT do!

Although I didn't say anything, from that moment on, I was determined to do everything I could to finish it within a week. It was really stressful - but I did it! I did everything I could to get it set up and the program designed before a week was up! And it worked! So the day after I got it working, I saw the boss in the lab and he asked me did I get the software (He thought the software wasn't even installed yet!). So imagine my joy when I was able to tell him, yes I got the software and the program is working and running! He was like "Are you just that good?" I was soooo happy, but I just shrugged my shoulders and grinned a little.

So when I explained to him how it worked and showed him that it worked he apologized for 'doubting me'. Inside I was so excited!! I was sweating! But to my boss I tried to play it cool and just replied, "It's okay... It happens".

Anyway, the whole ordeal was very emotion-draining. If every assignment is as emotional as that, I will be crazy (well, crazier)! Whenever I talk to E about work, he has virtually no emotion about it. He treats it like it should be treated - impersonal. I wish I could be like that - not be too affected by people at work. But I am a personal type of girl. I take EVERYTHING personal - even when I know I shouldn't. That's why I don't know if working for corporate America is for me...

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