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View Poll Results: How wouold you describe yourself
Engineer/scientist 68 56.67%
Artist/writer etc 3 2.50%
other 49 40.83%
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:37 AM   #81
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Let me describe the past 2 weeks to you:

I had a meeting with my boss at the end of July. He is a management-type who thinks he has a talent for chemistry (not).

Him: sooo, I was thinking about a new product concept last night...
Me: great...
Him: I want you to synthesize this new product (call it product A).
Me: Not possible until early next year. The group is already working 24/7 and product B development is the company's top priority right now.
Him: I want you to work on product A NOW!
Me: We will have to reassign people from product B to product A.
Him: just do it, you have 2 weeks to synthesize product A.
Me: It's too short. We have to order the new reagents and it's going to take at least 1 week already. Then the multi-step synthesis will take at least another 10 days and that's if everything works fine.
Him: Not my problem. You have 2 weeks. Work day and night if needed. Product A is top priority. You do what you have to, but product A better be ready in 2 weeks.

So we bust our butts for 2 weeks, and 2 weeks later this is what happens:

Me: here is product A.
Him: Who cares about product A. Where is product B?
Me: F*ck me...
Him: The CEO is breathing down my neck about product B. If it's not ready by next week, there goes your bonus!
Me: F*ck me...
Him: who told you to reassign people from product B to product A?
Me: F*ck me...

So I go home and send 67% of my paycheck to my ER account.

Yeah, I want my independence from crazy people. Ideally, the boss would come once a year, set the objectives, go away and let me do my job... Then I would actually look forward to work everyday!
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:42 AM   #82
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Sounds like you could be w*rking for a public transit outfit, like my former empl*yer, just before taking early retirement.. Cold do the j*b with half a brain. It was egos and the PC requirement that killed the fun of it.

My condolences.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:47 AM   #83
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So I go home and send 67% of my paycheck to my ER account.

Yeah, I want my independence from crazy people. Ideally, the boss would come once a year, set the objectives, go away and let me do my job... Then my job would be great!
So you are saying you don't like ineffective management who refuses to take responsibility for their actions and who throw you under the bus if/when the opportunity arises? I feel your pain, bro!
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #84
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Let me describe the past 2 weeks to you:
Sorry your management is like that. This sort of thing has happened more often than not with my previous supervisor and motivated me to LBYM and work very hard towards retirement.

Be sure to *document* - - when he verbally tells you to work on Product A and to give it a higher priority than Product B, send an e-mail to him summarizing the conversation, for CYA purposes, and save the e-mail. At least, I have found that to be helpful.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:04 AM   #85
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Be sure to *document* - - when he verbally tells you to work on Product A and to give it a higher priority than Product B, send an e-mail to him summarizing the conversation, for CYA purposes, and save the e-mail. At least, I have found that to be helpful.
I do that already. I make sure to keep everything in writing, just in case (emails, meeting minutes, etc..). I took the habit to document everything in graduate school because my advisor seemed to forget entire conversations (although he didn't do it in a malicious way, he was just forgetful).
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:08 AM   #86
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So I go home and send 67% of my paycheck to my ER account.

Yeah, I want my independence from crazy people. Ideally, the boss would come once a year, set the objectives, go away and let me do my job... Then I would actually look forward to work everyday!
And laypeople who see Dilbert cartoon may not believe it reflects real life, heh heh heh...

I was on the technical ladder - a career path for people who did not want to go into management - and reported to managers who were of course less technical than myself. But thank goodness, my immediate managers used to be fairly geeky themselves, and they acted as a buffer between myself and their higher bosses. I tried to stay away from these higher bosses, lest I shot off my mouth and said something un-PC. Between the lower managers and ourselves, we could freely speak our mind.

The places I had been were all megacorps, one of the Dow 30 or in the S&P 500.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:51 AM   #87
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I do that already. I make sure to keep everything in writing, just in case (emails, meeting minutes, etc..). I took the habit to document everything in graduate school because my advisor seemed to forget entire conversations (although he didn't do it in a malicious way, he was just forgetful).
Good! I thought you probably were doing that, but didn't know.

When my supervisor was promoted away from my part of the organization, and I got my present supervisor (the nicest supervisor anybody ever had), I had probably 10,000 e-mails saved. A huge percentage were CYA e-mails but they really came in handy when (often months or years afterwards) these issues would resurface.

Since I no longer need these CYA e-mails, I have been going through them during the last two years and it is amazing how many of my e-mails I could just delete.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:53 AM   #88
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I enjoyed engineering classes in college but didn't like what I saw of the actual jobs, so I went to med school. (My choice was actually a bit more complicated but that's the gist of it.)

Now I'm a retired federal employee (didn't much like a lot of the bureaucracy) and I spend part of many days analyzing and reporting on medical information. My favorite part is "engineering" the computer supports that let me do it accurately, efficiently, and with mobility.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:28 PM   #89
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I was on the technical ladder - a career path for people who did not want to go into management...
Oh, they told you that was a ladder? And you believed them?

Heh. One of my first employers had that two-ladder system. The hiring manager was careful to point out to me the senior engineer that was on the technical track. He was the guy that spent his days tweaking an obscure stack of FORTH code used in a product that was about to be discontinued.

At my last employer, I actually voluntarily hopped off the management ladder onto the 'individual contributor' ladder, so I could telecommute instead of enjoying a daily 72 mile (each way) commute. Arguably career suicide, but my FIRE plans were already coming along nicely. And yes, I spent my last year effectively doing maintenance programming.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:33 PM   #90
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I graduated with a science degree but never used it. I am a paralegal now so definitely non scientist. I decided that my perfectionism was insufficient for lab work and put it to use in my current field. Still wondering what my next career will look like since I have a lot of interests but not a lot of time.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:36 PM   #91
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Oh, they told you that was a ladder? And you believed them?
No, not really. One does not have to be bright to see that those ladders are pretty short. But it suited me fine not having to deal with higher managers.

At these megacorps, getting into the tech ladder is like obtaining professorship tenure at universities. About job security, at least at the megacorps that I had been, these geeks are more secure than the managers they report to. Heck, they are the one doing the work. Upper managers know that they can fire middle managers all the time, but fire a proficient geek and they find themselves in deep doodoo. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:56 PM   #92
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Sorry your management is like that. This sort of thing has happened more often than not with my previous supervisor and motivated me to LBYM and work very hard towards retirement.
Oh boy...BTDT BTDT BTDT
3 changes of civilian supervisors in a row during a multi-year reorganization. The blue, red, and yellow marbles just kept getting shaken around in the box. The rank and file techies just kept shaking their heads and continued what they were doing to begin with unless specificially removed and reassigned to another project.
My condolences to you all who have to (had to) deal with this.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:15 PM   #93
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My BA was math & I ended up working ~20 years as a mainframe COBOL programer. Was able to retire early because I just don't care about status symbol/stuff.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:46 AM   #94
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Currently responsible for quality assurance and food safety for a large food processing group. Ready to retire next year and do no consulting. Dealing with USDA and FDA these days is a PITA.
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:30 AM   #95
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I was the teacher for a long time then I worked in the computer firm
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:17 AM   #96
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Interesting poll. I have an accounting background and DH has an engineering background.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:33 AM   #97
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Ex-lawyer, ex-HR manager. Aspiring to be American-English proficient and mediocre guitar player. The rest of my time at the disposal of my wife. Not too busy
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:51 AM   #98
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My BA was math & I ended up working ~20 years as a mainframe COBOL programer.
Well, now you know you aren't the only ex-COBOL programmer here. It was my first position out of college, right as they were phasing out punch cards. Still had to create punch cards any time we wanted our operators to run a job with special JCL, though...
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:04 AM   #99
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A diffeq & Fortran survivor here too (did not dislike them at all - but not as loved as for WTR - physics was more phun!) - but only finished 3 yrs towards a BSME...ended up back in USN as a recruiter (LOVED it...) and currently half way done with my BSHRM. So, as a USNR HR officer and Dept. of Labor employment specialist, I checked the "other" category. Working for two government behemoths has taught me to just roll with it all...besides, there will be another crisis tomorrow!
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:06 AM   #100
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JCL

EEEEK!

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