Friday, March 08, 2013


The past week and a half have been a turmoil. The move from the north to the south, the apartment hunting, the new job, my exam results, etc.

Everything went very smoothly, to my complete and utter surprise of course. As a pessimist, I was expecting everything to go wrong: I wouldn't get an apartment in the south so I'd have to go sleep in a barn somewhere. The new job would be a nightmare, with horrible bosses and grumpy colleagues, and everyone would be calling me "The Intern" as if I didn't have a name. I would be in charge of the copy machine hours on end as well as making coffee for everybody.

But no. The apartment is perfect. It's smallish, yes. But everything is spanking new, and it's really close to work and not that far from city centre which is a perfect compromise. My job is awesome, and I am on first-name basis with everybody. I am surrounded by extremely smart people all day long, and I can see airplanes take off and land all day long from my office. I serendipitously found out that the aeronautical town where I currently work is the twin city of the German town where I used to work last year, so I guessed it has all come full circle.

My colleagues are all young engineers, but amazingly a lot of them hold a PhD. Never in my life have I felt so inferior. There is even this one guy who cannot possibly be over 27 years old, but he is already referred to as The Expert because well... he really is an expert in thermal analysis of airplane interiors. The average age in the office is somewhere around 30-35, so the place is vibrant with energy. A young work environment means a lot of room for innovation and progress. I respect the elders, but they usually are set in their ways and leave no wiggle room for change because "I've been doing it this way for thirty years and it works fine". In an ultra high-technology industry as aeronautics where every boundary of science is pushed to its limit, everything is susceptible to constant change. New discoveries are made every day, new patents are being filed ceaselessly, and new groundbreaking ideas are thrown across the meeting table on a daily basis. The only aspect that can afford to be rigid in aeronautics are the security norms.

Well to be completely honest, work has been a bit stressful. Not because of my job scope itself, but because of this inferiority complex I am suddenly feeling. My bosses are super smart and experienced. My engineer colleagues are nerds who can point out exactly why there is a temperature difference of 4 centigrade between the cockpit and the cabin during the flight and correct it. Even their jokes are first-class nerd jokes that I do not get, and I consider myself a huge nerd as well. I mean, if you can incorporate the terms "thermal boundary conditions" in your one-liner and make it funny, you are a first class nerd. A funny one at that, though. Now I know how Penny must feel amidst her smart friends in The Big Bang Theory.

When I told this to a colleague, she said, "You'll be fine. In fact, if you must know, a lot of people applied for this job but you got it because F. (my boss) thought that you had an impressive résumé and your telephone interview was solid."

She thought she helped, but somehow that extra bit of information added more pressure. What if I don't measure up? What if I am only good on paper? What if they suddenly think that I am not cut out for this job and fire me?

It is all only in my head, I am sure. But there were times when I wished I was surrounded by dumbasses so I could feel like the smartest in the group and feel superior again. Yeah, I am full of shit like that.

Good news is, I just got all my final exam results, the last exams of my life. Verdict? Well, I don't mean to brag but my foot is sore right now because I kicked some serious ass! Looks like I am heading straight to Graduation-ville for both my Masters, and I couldn't possibly be more proud.

As per usual, this post follows my classic pattern of: jumbled up shit -> story development -> conflict -> arrogant ending.


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Nazira said...

I don't know you personally, only by reading your random writings. But I too am so proud of you! Envious, but proud. Good Job Kahuna!

Kahuna said...

Thank you, stranger!