Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘engineering reliability

“What is your job?” (December 3, 2004)

When striking conversation, people are not usually interested in the details about your line of work.

This behavior is not conducive to explaining what could be my job because my discipline is a vast field that encompasses a wide gamut of knowledge that renders the graduate more akin to a generalist than a specialist that employers prefer.

For that reason I feel inhibited when the first unsolicited question asked is: “What is your job?”

You may agree with me that in general people are interested mostly in the way you generate money for your survival.

Explicitly, they need to judge your social status from the level of your education.

Implicitly, they want to know whether you are earning plenty of money.

If you are rich enough, then how do you go about making money?

If you indeed are well off, then do you have a job for me?

If not, then: “Nice talking with you, I’ll have to mingle a little; I’ll see you later on.”

People know in advance what the purpose of your opening question is.

They are ready to blurt out:” I am sorry that I cannot help you find a situation.”

Many times, people just want to have a conversation;

They are not that interested in your social status, as long as it is somehow decent.

They need to know what books you read recently;

What are your hobbies that swallow your time and keeps boredom at bay?

What are your opinions on current hot issues that are preventing sleep to visit you?

Anyway, this is my excuse to being basically asocial.

The other nagging difficulty is the responses generated to the question about my profession such as:

“You said that you are an industrial engineer? You mean like a mechanical engineer?”

“Certainly we don’t have many industries in Lebanon to keep you busy.”

“What are you jobbing exactly? Are you actually a technician or a maintenance man?”

“You are saying that you also majored in Human Factors engineering, like splitting genes and DNA and manufacturing clones? 

“Yes, I heard about ergonomics, like designing comfortable chairs?”

“You said Agronomy? You mean like your specialty is in agriculture or designing gardens?”

People are not aiming at investigating what this profession is supposed to do.

Would you tell them that a sound industrial engineering curriculum is multidisciplinary?

Would you tell them that it should expose you to managerial skills, to marketing, and the importance of knowing your competitors in the same line of business?

Would you tell them that it should make you acquire excellent presentation skills in order to get promoted and writing skills because no company is going to assign you a secretary to help you out constructing a few complete sentences that make sense?

Would you tell them that you may have to gather data on employees’ performance, quality control of products, time measurements to adequately finish a job, minimizing unwarranted inventory expenses and to optimize revenue or profit or cost or time or wastes by using sets of mathematical equations that await validation to see if the result actually works?

Obviously, it is not relevant to venture into the esoteric courses that the undergraduate curriculum forces upon you, like stochastic processes or integer programming or lately engineering reliability that you may never use or have any inkling to approach.




January 2023

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