Monthly Archives: June 2007

Contained Explosion

My new job…oh my god, my head is constantly on the verge of exploding. Not a day goes by that my eyes don’t glaze over from being overwhelmed by new information. It has been a long time since I’ve needed to use my brain to hold bits and pieces of minor and major data. My old job was mostly physical and partly figuring out what a machine was doing and how to make it do it better. Once the weekend hit, I forgot the week; now I don’t really have that luxury. It will take me a long time to rebuild the mental faculties that I’ve let slip away in the past N years. I guess that’s the hardest part of the new job: the trying to keep up, trying to not crack. Gives me pause to wonder.

But the job is good, more or less. Pay is respectable. Coworker environment is pleasant but determined, hurried. We have a product hitting the market in a few months, and right now my lab is busy trying to come up with performance numbers that will go into the finalized product. The longer we take, the later the product ships, so we’re pretty damned busy. Helluva time to start training.

I’m wrapping up my second week, and I’ll admit that my manager’s words are true: “The first two weeks are like sipping water from a raging firehose.” I’ll most likely feel that way for another two weeks as I’m taking the time to get up to speed on things. I’m catching little bits, jumping in and helping my trainer by doing some of the more mundane things; but what I’m missing is the bigger picture, the outline of the workflow, what is expected when testing a new part, what numbers are required, what tests are required to get them. I’ll learn all that in due time naturally, but I sense that I’ll have to insert some initiative to learn them faster. It’s not really a job where all relevant data is fed to me automatically. I have to ask the right questions.