Tuesday, August 17, 2010

can't be done!

I used to work with someone whose motto was "can't be done!". It was pretty annoying, because I could usually identify several solutions to do whatever I needed...I just needed some technical or logistical help to make it happen.

I do enjoy problem solving, but I never felt like my creative solutions (or the stress I went through trying to get the solutions to actually work) got any real appreciation. I did get the odd "good team player comment" come review time, but that wasn't really enough to make up for all the extra work. Meanwhile, Mr. Can't be Done cruised along his career path, annoying all and sundry but with no real consequences.

I'm reminded of this because I just spent four hours today trying to do some amateur mechanical and electrical work to get a critical instrument functional enough so that it would provide decent data. It was pretty tempting to throw up my hands and say "can't be done!", but I do have the satisfaction that I got the damn thing to work...for about 15 minutes, or long enough to get the data I needed, more or less.

When I was growing up, I had visions of doing creative stuff for a job. Like writing. Instead, I'm a creative amateur mechanic. Oh well, at least I'm not creatively fudging data, right?

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