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This is a question Work Experience

We've got a work experience kid in for a couple of weeks and he'll do anything you tell him to... He's was in the server room most of yesterday monitoring the network activity lights - he almost missed his lunch till we took pity on him.

We are bastards.

How bad was your first experience of work?

(, Thu 10 May 2007, 9:45)
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Fuck knows how I managed it but I got a job after uni as a test and installation engineer. This involved assembling chemical analysis kit (GCMS)(£1M each in 1990) in the UK, testing them, dismantling them and reassembling them overseas.

It was stupidly well paid, but only when you were away installing - they had a scale, £25 per day week days, £50 per day weekends 'location allowance', £50 a day on food, tax free. I was on £500 a week after tax, not bad for a twenty year old - hah more than I earn now :(

Sounds great? Only problem. I qualified in Chemsitry, and after the paultry 4 months training it became clear I needed the following degrees/quals:

Electronics engineer, capable of reading circuit and logic diagrams, using a logic probe (whatever the fuck that is)
Sparks capable of wiring up three phase mains etc.
Plumber capable of connecting up the hoses, chillers etc for pumps, water cooling etc.
Engineer capable of fiddly jobs, allen keys a gogo.
Linguist (had to train the foreign customers)
Consummate bullshitter (fucking things were prototypes and didn't work properly)
Sociopath (spending 6 weeks on my own in northern Sweden is not as glamorous as it might seem)

I spent my four months training in the electronics engineering labs with the uber geeks.

One of the scariest things we had to do was work with 50 killer(sic)volt power supplies.

These had huge capacitors for storing the charge, and had silcone sealant (bath sealant) over the two metal contacts to stop them shorting.

The thing was, they used breakdown and to fix them, you had to check they were discharged first. This involved insulating yourself then gingerly removing the silicone. Once the bare contacts were exposed, the circuit board was flipped over onto a metal surface and BANG the charge (if there was one)dissapated.

I'd done this a couple of times without soiling my trousers but I managed to leave a bit of sealant on one, and thinking it wasn't charged (as it didn't bang), I set to work replacing it.

The shock was so violent I ended up hurling it across the room at George, the pineapple faced QC manager. He ducked. I missed :(

They had another chap there, repairing one in situ in a confined space. He got a 'bit of a tickle' off one and his arm jerked back, but because of the cramped space he hit his funny bone (elbow reflex) on a metal bar. The pain from this and the reflex jerked his arm forward, whereupon he got another shock. This carried on for some minutes until the other engineers stopped laughing and unplugged him....
(, Wed 16 May 2007, 12:49, Reply)

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