The Unsung Engineer

Of late, thanks to placements happening, friends (and others) seem to be taking a keen look at their own resumes and those of others, especially at the resumes of the ones who bagged good gigs with packages of above 10 Lakhs. Somehow, a lot of people seemed bemused and amused by the fact that by some twisted logic in the universe, I am an engineer. I still shudder at the thought and have chills run down my spine when I think about it. But then, only I am allowed to hold my own sarcasm. Not others, and well…I feel a little offended.

People stare at my resume, and say, “ YOU are an engineer?” Most do a double-take, point, snigger. Some are polite enough to hurt the great one, by merely smiling and muffling any signs of laughter. One friend the other day started explaining a concept to me saying “let me show you this thing which is taught in engineering courses….” Taking offence, I say “ Dude! I am an Engineer…and I understand this!” Friend goes,” YOU’RE an Engineer? Don’t joke yaaar……”. Another friend goes saying, “Dude….non engineers like us have major issues with placement…all companies want engineers”…figure out my response to that one.

What makes an engineer? Apparently – not what I have to offer. I don’t blame the peeps, I am hardly the quintessential engineer one would expect. I don’t talk like an engineer looking at the scientific aspect of things; I am hardly the rational being one would expect of my kind. I worked for barely over a year in the engineering domain, and quickly moved to a role where I quickly gave up most of the engineering mindset I was expected to harbor. But still, I don’t think I am that far down the road of being labeled a lost cause.

I still get very excited…sometimes to the point of being called a geek…when I come across any new technology. I still enjoy rolling up my sleeves and getting dirty dismantling stuff. It’s probably this behavior that led the parental unit to believe that I am engineering material. But then, that is another great debate all together, and I am hardly in the mood to open up old wounds and begin whining. In fact, just the other day, when the professor at the MBA course put up some sort of graphs with lines that were criss-crossed, and he asked us to interpret, I was pleased with myself. Somewhere, those 4 wasted years of engineering kicked in and I sort of figured it had something to do with the triangles that I was seeing and the area they covered. While I did not hit the nail on the head, I was close. I still doggedly sit and figure out aspects of any new gizmo I get, many times at the cost of skipping meals. I am giving up food here…so imagine the love. I love looking at how things work and love to understand the same. So at the core, I am the inquisitive eager beaver and curious cat. But I particularly despise dabbling in formula and excessive technical ‘paralysis by analysis. I love seeing the features thrown up by electronics…but don’t really enjoy it when you tell me what thing-a-majig they did to some electrons to make them go faster defying some universal laws of attraction while making sense of the derivative of the tangent of the angle at impact.

Oddly enough, I want to go through my engineering course now….YIKES! What did I just say? Do I really want to go back to all those electrons and protons and transistors and other jargon I never could relate to. But I would not mind going back and doing it in a discipline of my choice. - maybe automobile engineering or aeronautics or something cooler.

Anyway, before I start to frighten myself with this idea or sow seeds of self destruction, let me conclude. Yes, I have and engineering degree, I do at some twisted level think like one. No, I am not particularly proud of it. But I still will not be written off as an engineer. I request….no…I demand respect for the torture I went through over 4 years. I demand respect for the absolutely mindless delivery of education and evaluation of competency I had inflicted upon myself. Most of all, I demand to be included in the extremely large subset of engineers owing to the money my parental unit had paid for that degree I received from the VTU in the form of fees. If you still believe I am not worthy of carrying the tag…please question the university on their evaluation techniques and their entry criteria.