Never before have I been an engineer. The inner workings of electronic instruments and high technology often elude me. However, I now work in a place where alienated specialization and complex digital knowhow is the name of the game. Now, don't get me wrong, I need my quiet time. But what do you do when nobody can help you out?
Within a space of only about 20 x 40 feet, there are over twenty machines running here, in this room where I sit. They come in triplets, and so to operate them, there are usually about five or six people in the room. I am surrounded by printed and digital information, on all sides, and over my head; most of it is static, but is also used frequently. This is a confusing place. I don't know how to operate almost anything. For some reason they keep me here hoping I will eventually make it easier on the many other busy people.
Now for those of you who know about this sort of machine, many of these were built before M.C. Hammer had a mansion
and when Mitch Williams
hadn't yet moved to Philadelphia. When I asked the fellow employee responsible for the upkeep of these machines, he said he actually didn't understand how they could possibly be still running. Nearly twenty years later. He knows how to run them, but says they're 'on borrowed time.' The point is, everyone here has a fair bit of expertise and is able get a lot done in most situations. But nobody is fluent enough with every system, every bit of machinery and information in order to solve problems on the spot. When one piece of the process gets out of whack, you see, we're up the creek, s.o.l. At least I am.
Got to work. Nothing worked. I made it work. I certainly made me work. And it worked out in the end. So what happened? Unadulterated impossible exchange
. I took something that appeared irreplaceable, no way out, and gave it new life, if you will. (It's a lucky thing I was once schooled in the fine arts of /p's, /w's, etc etc). Instead of waiting for someone else, I happened upon a new way of tweaking my work so that it would end up, well, working. It was like bringing a cd player, vinyl and a tape deck all through a tv to record onto an ipod. (Actually that doesn't sound so hard....) Anyway, in this particular instance, I was kind of lucky... I knew what to do, just not in what order. Try, try again. Motto of the day. This place has been frustrating at times, but I'm getting better, and today was a breakthrough, of sorts. I hope that this gets easier... otherwise I may be relegated to developing film and sorting file cabinets...