oh shit... what place? where am I? what are we talking about?
So my family accused me of losing my mind (they're really nice like that) and I figured they were right until this week, when I started thinking about my environment. I work in this gigantic room, and all the desks are in rows, but there are 4' dividers so you don't have to stare at the guy across from you and tables in between you and the people on either side (the goal, by the way, is to take over both tables with your work to prove superiority). Anyway, the guy to my right talks on the phone all the time, really loudly, and always faces MY DIRECTION when he does it. I've told him it drives me nuts but he forgets. Everyone else is just always talking. At any given moment, my productivity depends on my ability to focus in and tune out at least 15 other conversations going on around me. It's like working in a football stadium. People will stop four feet from my desk and scream at one another and I just deal. Then I go to the test lab and work right next to where they're building an airplane, which is loud (you can't quietly drive rivets).
So basically I've lost my ability to have a focused conversation with an adult who is not talking about airplanes. And people wonder why engineers seem a little off? It's not us! I was totally normal before this job! We are victims.