Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's a glamorous job

In case you didn't know, I'm an engineer.  I'm legally obligated to specify that I am only a licensed engineer in the state of Oregon.  There... that's out of the way.

No I do not drive a train.  I design crap.

And it is just as glamorous as it seems.

So far this week, I have checked a truss design, figured out how long it will take me to design a retaining wall, written a memo, and evaluated concrete mix designs.  And it's only Wednesday.

I know what you are saying... "Wow.  I wish I had your job."

I know.  You're super envious.  Try to calm down.

I also get the privilege of working with almost all men.  And they are all way older than me.  That means I often get mistaken for a receptionist or note-taker.  I do take notes during meeting, but only for me.  Not for the other men who are too lazy to write stuff down.

And because I am a woman, nobody makes eye contact with me during these meeting where they want me to take notes.  Whenever one of them does actually look at me, I suddenly become extremely self-conscious.  Is there something in my teeth?  Do I have lipstick on my forehead?  Or was what I just said so absolutely stupid that they couldn't help themselves from looking at me?

But having this job has illustrated to me that I am good at several things:

-  Staying awake despite hours and hours of calculations.
-  Keeping my cool during meetings when I make a suggestion and no one acknowledges it and then five minutes later when a man repeats my suggestion and everyone rants and raves about what a great idea it is.
-  Drinking coffee.

Drinking coffee is almost like a sport for most engineers.  Gotta keep the mind sharp and alert.  You don't want a sleepy engineer.

So back to work I go!  I need to finish that memo.


  1. One of my best friends from university is an engineer. She's learned, over the years, to be very zen around all the gorilla men she works with because they make her crazy!

  2. wait what do you mean you don't drive a train around??
    i thought you did.

  3. I totally identify with you on this! Working with 35 men all day long wears me out. And some engineers (not all!) can be super socially awkward.

  4. I bet you design really awesome crap! Loving your blog, BTW.

  5. You sound like a super professional professional :p
    In a way it kind of rocks to work with all men though doesn't it? It makes the days much much easier. At least it did for me.

  6. Both of my parents went to engineering school, and they almost had me convinced to do it, but I'm glad I didn't take that route! Good for you for representing, though! The world needs some pretty engineers.


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