Friday, February 15, 2013

Engineering - 6 Weeks In

I've now had a real engineering job for 6 weeks, and I think I'm starting to settle in. The first few weeks were mostly setting up the field office, buying desks and chairs, getting the tech up and running, setting up the paper trail, etc. The last month though, I've really started to get into things. My job consists primarily to two areas: Technical drawings, and being a conduit for questions (from sub-contractors to the official design engineers. In the past month, I've learned some things.

1.) Affter 4 years to get an engineering degree from Purdue, I know basically nothing about what is done here in the real world. I'd be frustrated except that I've realized that really...

2.) ...Entry level engineers are basically sponges. Or at least, good entry level engineers are. Sponges in that most of the job really is just soaking up knowledge and trying to learn as quickly as possible.

3.) The "Final Version" of a project schedules isn't complete until the project is. (Additionally, MS Project sucks.)

4.) In-company politics do happen, even especially at a small company. (One reason that I'm so low in the hierarchy at this point; I'm almost still an outsider, so I watch rather than participate).

5.) Fairness is a great thing in a boss. Everyone screws up, and I'm certainly no exception. Getting my ass chewed out after I do doesn't really bother me. But getting yelled at for doing what I was instructed to do (or not doing something that I was told not to bother with) gets old real fast. Having a boss that yells only when it's deserved is a treasure.

6.) Never buy a car from Hubler Chevrolet in Rushville. They'll pressure you, they'll lie to you, and they'll try to slip in $2400 in extra cost, hoping you won't read the contract. (Not directly related to the job, but I only bought a car because I have money from the job).

7.) Windows XP sucks.

8.) Computers that run Windows XP and are a decade old suck.

9.) 2013 HP Probooks running Windows 7 are wonderful.

10.) ALWAYS keep phones numbers and business cards.

11.) In the field, lamination is almost a necessity.

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