Pure Gonzo Engineering

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Operation Impending Doom 2

I've always fancied myself a pretty good engineer.

Not necessarily the kind that will ever be recognized in any way for greatness, but one that is creative. I think I have the ability to come up with elegant creative ways to address a problem. Something you can't necessarily teach or become good at through study or even training.

I see the forest for the trees. I'm a system designer with the big picture in mind, other people can worry about the details.

Last week I got the warm fuzzy feeling that my boss also thinks I'm a pretty good engineer.

He came up to me and asked to talk privately with him. I initially got struck by that cold bucket of water of fear. Had I been on the internet too much? Did I do something wrong?

We sat down as I started to sweat a little.

"First," He said, "I want to ask you to sit in on interviewing candidates for a senior test engineering position."

Ahhh, fear washes away.

"I think you can ask some intelligent questions to any candidates that come in."

A little ego stroke once in a while feels good. His second agenda item in our little talk took me a bit more by surprise.

"What interest do you have in being a test engineer on this machine?"

I wasn't really ready for that. I kind of just started talking out load to him about how number one I don't want to travel all over the world for months on end to test this behemoth. (South Milwaukee doesn't really have any open pit mines in it.)

I kept blabbering a bit and finally made my way to the real reason I didn't want to test this machine. I'd be set up to fail. I know the time lines they are looking at, and I know what it takes to test a machine that isn't much bigger than a Ford F250, so this thing would be a monster task. This companies upper management does not understand that right now.

Plus, with opposite of dog taking over in 6 months who knows if that sort of position would be relevant in 6 months.

My boss seemed to respect what I said. Overall I think I turned down the proposition pretty gracefully.

I sat in on the interviews on two clowns they wanted to run test. Neither really impressed me. We are kind of looking for a Unicorn of an engineer though. Too much experience and breadth of knowledge required (I don't have enough on paper.)

I had never been on the other side of an interview table before. It was kind of surreal, especially asking the guy who was like 50 years old some tough questions and watching him dodge them.

I feel pretty good about what people think of me after 6 months of working here. It's just a shame this shadow of corporate evil is looming in the future. My only purpose at work now is to get this machine designed and built and working before our new corporate overlords take over.

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