Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

the second floor

Good day. In the morning, I tried to crank out a drawing revision in record time but failed because some people came up to learn about flight management system programming from one of my cube mates. He had difficulty getting the system up and running, and kept getting a phone call every six seconds, so they bugged me. There was one guy from the line, and a man and woman from the completion center. All technician/mechanic types, it was funny. They said they'd always imagined that up in engineering we wore party hats and danced in conga lines 40 hours a week and ate free food, or something like that. They said it was nice to be out of the cold. They said it was too damn quiet. One of the completion center guys told me he'd give me a dollar if I stood on my chair and screamed really loud, and I smiled and said I'd think about it. To be honest, I did think about it. Sometimes I think that's what an office needs.

It's strange to feel like we're in different worlds, when we do the same thing. Make airplanes. We all have to know how to program an FMS, we all have to know how the systems go together. Yet they worry about union regulations and layoffs and forced overtime. Neither the man nor the woman had had a day off in over 20 days. And I worry about pantyhose and not cussing and keeping my desk clean.

I thought about how if I had an airplane company, everyone would do everything. Like, it would really help me if I could spend some days out on the line hooking wires up and testing voltages, and I could learn to do it very easily. And there's no reason the line folks couldn't compile a parts list or revise a cable assembly, it's not that hard, I haven't had to use any of my higher electronic theory to do it. I thought about what it would take to make an entire company where everyone would do everything, and you really get paid based on what you accomplish, not what's on your resume. I wouldn't just be an engineer, and I'd get to wear jeans, and go outside, and cuss. And the line guys wouldn't just have to do our designs, they could make their own designs, and spend time on a computer, and work in the air conditioning some days.

Then I thought about what we'd have to do when it got to the advanced concepts. Like, zoning an airplane for lightning analysis and arranging systems to gaurd against high intensity radiated fields is something that really does take some engineering. You have to know calculus to really understand some of the electrical concepts behind these systems. These guys don't know calculus. I knew a lot of people who tried to take that class and didn't make it. It's sort of the dividing factor.

So we'd have to have some HIRF guys for that, and where would they be? Would they have time to do line work?

There's some way to meet in the middle that I can't figure out. I feel much to segregated from the factory workers right now. I don't want to be a "suit". In my head, that entire notion represents someone who has no idea what's going on and just wants to save money and do what they think is right because they're sure everyone below them is too stupid to know better. I don't think any of our engineers are like that at all, to tell the truth, we all have a lot of respect for the line guys. But we're still seperate, I still don't feel like we're on the exact same team.

Anyway, it was nice to talk to them, they work on my airplane so I'd seen them a lot but hadn't ever gotten to have a whole conversation like this, hear about their kids and ambitions and ideas for the company. I'm glad I did it. I sometimes wonder if our CEO ever does the same thing, really sits down with people paid by the hour. If I'm ever a CEO (heh), I'll make a point of it, I know that.

We went out to chinese buffet for lunch. We invited the factory workers, but they aren't allowed to leave unless they clock out. We assured them that we really only go out to lunch on Fridays... I'm not sure if they believed us or not.

We came back and I really got some work done, finally cranked out the procurement notice I'd been dreading and got some help from another aircraft team on calling out some headsets. That was cool.

Took Dave to a hockey game after work, that was fun. I got free tickets through work! The Wichita Thunder totally lost, that was sad, but the game was awesome, it's been forever since I saw a hockey game. Makes me want to go back often.
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