Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘professional

Am I a “professional“? How long can we cling to denial?

Note: Re-edit of “Am I a professional? Am I a generalist scholar? Who am I?”

Aside from obtaining a Nobel Prize or a “recognized” organization... can you feel a professional in any field?

Do you think if you feel fully cognizant of the array of your emotions or your lack of talents (passions) in many aspects of the living that you are set for a boring death?

This post is based on facts that you can gleam in my transcripts, documents and autobiography…

With 14 years of university study, a PhD in Industrial/Human Factors, a couple of Masters in Operations research, physics and chemistry.

With taking many graduate courses in psychology, marketing, accounting,economy, higher education…

Can I consider myself a professional?

I still cannot claim this title: I didn’t work for a company for any substantial duration and just taught a few courses at universities.

Reading 3 hours per day at libraries, taking notes, reviewing books, writing posts and articles (about 9000 articles by now on my blog in 45 categories), and keeping track of the political systems in countless countries, human rights performance, ecology…

Can I consider myself a professional?

At least, I should come to term that I am a generalist scholar

By mastering 3 languages, English French and Arabic (reading, speaking and writing), and being able to understand the written Spanish, I’ll be a fool to deny myself knowledge of 3 cultures and civilizations

Most of all, I have an experimental mind and read and comprehend scientific papers in many fields and can evaluate the extent of their research or scientific validity.

I had to learn and get trained on various types of designing and conducting experiments with objects and subjects in many fields (engineering, psychology, marketing) and I am familiar with the particular statistical analysis packages that each of these fields feel comfortable applying and interpreting results. (That was some time ago)

Can I consider myself a professional?

And yet, I cannot claim to be a professional in the restrictive sense that hiring companies evaluate that term.

At least, I should come to term that I am a generalist scholar

I discovered that “professionalism” makes me physically sick, with sustained stomach aches and recurring periods of catching cold… I would have died early on.

I am enjoying this freedom of expressing my opinions and feelings, and taking positions as a free man: Frequent confrontation with bullying people and the powers flaunting my rights and human rights

I don’t miss “professionalism”, excepting the lavish retirement money

 “Okay, who can afford to hire Human Factors professionals?”

Who in his right mind hires Human Factors professionals?

This is a very interesting question that even the developed countries were wondering about even recently.

I can conjecture, or frankly I am offering an expectation, that in the last five years the Human Factors profession has managed to get the message through that many job descriptions apply to the technical skills and training of the Human Factors graduates.

This article is basically targeting the students in the less developed nations where the Human Factors discipline is unheard of or the knowledge is so minimal that major universities are still reluctant to include even one course in their engineering curriculum.

In Lebanon, only one university offers a single Human Factors course required for the industrial engineers and optional for a few other engineering disciplines.

Actually, it is the only university that offers industrial engineering as a discipline.

In general, there was a perception that the main tasks assigned to Human Factors engineers or formerly known as Industrial Psychologists required experimentation, testing and evaluation of systems.

System used by human subjects are evaluated for performances based on errors committed, safety usage, reaction times, health effects, subjective feeling of acceptability, reliability and usability.

Most of these assignments are geared toward the cognitive aspects of the users, which are basically the domains of psychologist because they are better trained to designing experiments based on human responses, collecting data, setting the proper questionnaires and selecting the right statistical packages for the interpretation of the results.

Many of these assignments are similar to the marketing professionals for generating likes and dislikes of users, the acceptability and tendencies of users for any new products.

This time consuming discipline is not very appreciated by profit minded companies.

So, who hires the thousands of these fresh graduates and why major companies agree to hire a few of these professionals?

Why are governments the main sources of retaining these graduates?

Prior and during major wars powerful countries badly need human factors professionals.

Why? Here is the story.

The main reason is that every able body has to be recruited for the war effort.

Running extensive psychological, physical and mental tests to allocate the right person to the appropriate task, equipment and department are not feasible financially under the time constraint.

The army and the nation need these able bodies to interchangeably fill the losses anywhere and any place.

One excellent option is to design equipments, tasks and procedures so that almost every soldier can perform his duties without extensive training or the need to go about selecting soldiers with the appropriate characteristics.

The other reason is that women had to fill the gap in the industries when the men are out to waging wars.

For production to be efficient, such as error free with minimal accidents, it was good sense to redesign production equipments, machines and workplace to fit women who have different capabilities and limitations physically and cognitively

“Routine”: Not such a bad Schedule (March 5, 2009)


The term “routine” has a bad connotation:  It confers a sense of boredom or a boring person who goes to a boring job and just waits for retirement. This is mostly true for public jobs and people content with steady public jobs. Many private jobs are boring, but economic performance usually sets the tone for heavy turnovers. 

“Routine” is not such a bad schedule for people who love every stage in the daily routine process. I know many professionals who enjoy and thrive on routine.  They wake up by 5 a.m. and read, write, and review their daily agenda and files; they exercise, jog, or swim before leaving to work.  Their workplaces are no further than 15 minutes drive.  Any one who has to drive one hour to work is a tainted “professional” in my dictionary. 

I cannot imagine a conscientious and genuine professional who is willing to submit to long driving trips and wasting precious morning hours battling with traffic and burning their nerves.  I also submit that a genuine professional should respect his physical and emotional well-being.

It is well-documented that human brain needs about 10,000 hours of practice-sessions by age 20 in order to become a top expert in anything, such as music, computer programming, singing, acting, dancing, fashion designer, architect, math, chess-player… It is your consistent  practice for what is your passion that generates a top expert, genius, and a top professional.  You cannot score 10,000 hours of practice sessions without a Routine…

I recall that I knew not a single work of French at the age of 12, before I joined a private French school.  I used to read French books for at least 6 hours a day, seven days a week. Within a year, I wrote far better than French-born students.  Mind you, I didn’t write or read aloud, or spoke fluently French: I just wrote better.  Another proof that it is not feasible to write well before you make the routine of reading a lot, and consistently.

For example I love the routine schedule of my days. If the weather is clement and warm, I wake up early before 6 a.m. and write till 8:30; then I exercise for 45 minutes, I work in the garden, then I spend my morning at the library to publish and check my emails and read and select books for borrowing. I have lunch  around 2:30 and siesta or a nap for an hour. I then remove to my study and resume writing and reading,  I watch the news and movies on cables, and then I sleep soundly with dreams.  There are no useless slack times such as driving long distance or getting bored at any chores.  I accommodate my schedule with nature because our public electrical power is rationed and we have no clear idea of its schedule. In winter season, I prefer to wake up by 9 am as the air has warmed, and my naps are longer…

I sometimes wonder if I enjoyed normal “electrical delivery regime” of 24 hours a day, as in most States, that I would have been as productive in writing and publishing.  I doubt it.  It seems to me that external challenges increase determination for those who love their work and set the tone for better time management of work and leisure schedules.

Note 1: Lebanon used to export electricity to Syria and Jordan in the thirties.  80 years later, Lebanon import electricity from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The populations of all these States have quadrupled in 80 years while Lebanon barely doubled, due to massive immigration, and we could not even double our power production.  Lebanon has plenty of water and rivers but we failed to invest properly on our natural resources.  Not only we have not enough electricity, and none of it is hydraulically generated, but we have no running water.  We receive water twice a week for a few hours and we have to filtrate and purify what we receive. The Lebanese family has to pay twice for electrical power and for water by supplementing their needs from the scalpers of private providers. The main culprits are those “Christian” Maronite political parties who claimed that the power of Lebanon resides in its military weakness.  Implicitly, those sectarian and isolationist political parties meant that Lebanon should not challenge the dicta of Israel on the planning of our water resources because Israel purpose is to divert all our rivers toward its own Zionist State).


Note 2: I have many relatives overseas and most of them are successful.  I love them all with a caveat: When I meet with my overseas relatives, after many years of absence, they love to play the role of the successful immigrant condescending with their “indigent” relative.  They love to reminisce about the “good all days” when we were kids.  As if I have never been overseas (as if I was Bush Junior who never felt the urge to apply for a passport.  Bush Junior was elected president of the USA twice and he never ventured outside of the US before being elected in order to broaden his horizons




June 2022

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