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Engineers have no Life

  1. May 11, 2013 #1
    "Engineers have no Life"

    Hey young people. When I was at university and came across that phrase, I thought what could be a better life than an engineer. He is doing what he likes best at his profession. Sad, I had little grasp of the reality of an engineer's life that time.

    Well, I work in semiconductor industry and IT IS BLOODY TIRING !!! I work 8hrs + 1hrs extra in my office (some guy works 8hrs + 5hrs extra) 5 days a week. I dont have any lunch hour. I just rush out to grab a subway and rush back to my seat. Apart from this, everybody I talked with including me, work the whole night and Saturday/Sunday using remote login. Some might say you dont have to work so much. But they are not in my boots. We have time-limited schedule of work and it follows that you have to work all the time just to meet the schedule. If you dont you will get a lazy slacker vibe thrown at you. It may be invisible but you will feel it. And the problem complicates when you are in a field which is not your expertise (often you'll find you have to do what the company thinks you need to do and NOT what you can do best). You have to overwork and you wont love the work either.

    So let it be a warning to you about what your life will become (8hrs + 3hrs avg. + commutation time + housekeeping) IF all or some of the above happens to you.

    ------
    Disclaimer: All the above are my personal ideas and thoughts and not endorsed by my company in any ways.
     
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  3. May 11, 2013 #2

    AlephZero

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    I don't understand the problem.

    Engineering = life. The stuff that happens in between doing engineering is boring sometimes, but hey, life isn't perfect, even for engineers. :biggrin:
     
  4. May 11, 2013 #3

    MarneMath

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    Somehow you still have more free time than I had when I was in the army, and you get an office! Sounds like you are living a rather great life :].
     
  5. May 11, 2013 #4

    Bandersnatch

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    Hey, you should change career to my field. I get so much free time it feels completely devalued.
     
  6. May 11, 2013 #5

    Danger

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    And he probably gets shot at less frequently.
     
  7. May 11, 2013 #6

    jim hardy

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    Where I worked we considered twelve hour shifts just half days.
     
  8. May 11, 2013 #7

    nsaspook

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    Well, I've been in the semiconductor industry for 23 years with 12+ hour days when crap hits the fan so you can cry me a river about the amount of lost sleep, family time, etc. After a while you learn to have an internal work switch that blocks the existence of work when you leave the front door.
     
  9. May 11, 2013 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Many companies now abuse their employees. And it isn't just engineers. Part of the problem is that there are always some people who are willing to live for their job, so it sets a high bar for others who wish to have a job and an actual life.

    There is a certain amount of paying your dues that comes into play when you're first starting out in life. But I think a person needs to take a good look at what a certain career path leads to as a lifestyle, over the long term.

    We make many choices in regards to our careers - the work we will do, the hours, the pay, location, benefits, the size of the company, commute time... If a person wants to go for the best paying or high profile jobs [big company with status], there may be many other sacrifices required. If you are willing to sacrifice some pay, you might be able to live a better lifestyle in terms of time or location.

    I chose to start my own business and to live in the wilds of Oregon [literally right on the edge of civilization]. While it isn't unusual to work 80-hour weeks, and I have worked over 100 hours a week many, many times, I do get breaks and have taken as much as a month off before after a long profitable run. It has allowed me to live a lifestyle very few people get to enjoy. But in other ways it comes with a huge price. I guess the hardest part is being a one-man show. If I'm stuck, or sick, or overwhelmed, there is nowhere to turn. It all comes down to me. No worky, no checky! That can be both heaven and hell - it is also tremendously rewarding.

    My biggest complaint as a one-man show is that the boss is a jerk and all of the employees are idiots. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  10. May 11, 2013 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Commute time - 30 seconds
    Dress requirements - long underwear, shorts, sweats... no shoes required
    Schedule - whatever it needs to be
    Office environment - TV viewing optional while working, no rules, no politics, no interruptions, nonstop coffee. Workouts allowed whenever I feel like it.

    Typical alarm clock setting - not applicable most days.

    Just outside my office door is what amounts to a State Park, a small creek, deer.. though I have had a bear visiting my office from time to time. Normally engineers don't have to worry about bears visiting. And I do worry a bit about being eaten by a cougar when the grass is five-feet tall. That is an atypical office hazard.

    I've ended up working for free, for weeks, and I've also made as much as $2K a day. All in all I do as well as I could working for most companies in this part of the country. But when the economy took a dive, I took a HUGE hit that I'm only now getting past. On the up side, I survived. And I didn't have to relocate to get a new job, as many people did.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  11. May 11, 2013 #10

    russ_watters

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    So you're complaining about working 45 hours a week? Really? Just be thankful that you have a good job and don't need to also work a second one!
     
  12. May 11, 2013 #11
    My work does not end even after I walk out of the front door.
     
  13. May 11, 2013 #12

    nsaspook

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    I would fear for my long term sanity and health if that's true on a continuous basis. I'll bust my hump to the point of physical exhaustion while working but I learned in the military long ago that taking your work home means long term trouble.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  14. May 11, 2013 #13

    Evo

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    That's not unusual, a 90 hour work week was the norm for me, and since I also had an office at home, I would work in the middle of the night and on weekends. Lunch? If I had time to think about it, it was one of those little meals you toss in the microwave, there was no time to leave and buy lunch.
     
  15. May 11, 2013 #14
    Entitled lazy people, there is a major societal problem from the point of view of someone who grew up abroad. This is very sad honestly. You are talented enough to become an engineer : grow up and live up to it. There are many people more talented than you who were stopped in their track by a life tragedy. Think about it.
     
  16. May 11, 2013 #15
    Gotta agree with this.

    You're living the dream for any STEM major. Most people don't have the luxury of working a job they like full time, let alone get paid for the overtime hours.

    I have never had a full time job that involved working just 40 hours a week in a sustained fashion, every job has required overtime, same goes for everyone else I know. Most people have to work more if they want to keep their job.
     
  17. May 11, 2013 #16

    lisab

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    I chose to work in a well-established (read: old, well-established, stodgy, usually uninspired and frequently banal) industry. Sometime I question my choice, but at least I work predictable hours and I get to leave my job when I leave my office. I don't make nearly what I would have if I chose to work at Boeing or Microsoft, but I get lots of time off and I sure love that I *own* my life outside of work.
     
  18. May 11, 2013 #17

    George Jones

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    For me, work-life-balance is worth a lot. Here is what I did today.

    Got up early (by choice), and banned a couple of spammers and made a few posts on Physics Forums. Went to Tim Hortons, drank tea, and laid some of the groundwork for a cosmology project that I have just started (for fun). Came home and had brunch. Went out with wife and six-year-old daughter: daughter's soccer game; shopping for daughter's scooter; grocery shopping; returned library books; family tea coffee and dessert. Had supper,and did a few arithmetic drills with my daughter

    Soon, I will put my daughter to bed, and then my wife and I will argue about "who done it" while watching a murder-mystery movie.

    Physics; family activities; downtime with wife. Work (even though I love my work) has been the furthest thing from my mind today.

    I can't win them all, though; tomorrow, my wife will be on my case to clean toilets.
     
  19. May 11, 2013 #18

    Evo

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    I happen to be a workaholic, so working long, hard hours is something I thrived on. Plus as there were more and more cutbacks, only the people that could pick up the slack without missing a step survived.

    It's nice that people that enjoy a balanced life have been able to find that. I was lucky that ever increasing work demands didn't bother me, But, of course, with handling ever increasing workloads came greater financial rewards, I was making over 6 figures a year, large bonuses, expensive gifts, awards of trips and lavish resorts for me and my significant other. You worked hard and got rewarded well. It's not for everyone.

    Now, if you are being dumped on with no rewards, not as much fun, but it sure beats not having a job.
     
  20. May 11, 2013 #19
    Fortunately and unfortunately, I have a life (not "life") outside four concrete walls. And my greatest rewards are those that I do for myself by myself. So forgive me for not giving my full potential to the society and be a wage slave. I do what I want. I do not want justification. And this is just a view of an engineer's life. I'd say the most accurate one. It is supposed to be helpful for prospecting people to get a look inside to decide for themselves.
     
  21. May 12, 2013 #20

    Borg

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    This is probably closest to my life. However, the managers where I work make all the difference when it comes to job satisfaction. They will all tell you that family comes first and it isn't just words to them. I have enormous freedom in my schedule and, when it's available, I can choose whether or not to work overtime. There are good companies out there.
     
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