Thursday, May 21, 2009

Our battered suitcases...

I'm back (maybe too soon and I'm sorry if anyone else wanted to post) with a vengeance. Okay I sound dangerous but whatever. I'm mad. Mad. Mad. Mad.

Ten more today. Ten people let go from my workplace. And it hit real close to home because one of the sweetest co-workers of mine, with whom I shared "good mornings" and random laughter/jokes, who sat RIGHT next to me for the past 8 months is now GONE. I saw her packing her stuff into a box and it didn't register until she told me. I'm telling you the feeling SUCKED. I was sad because I'd miss having her around, she was a real friendly person and welcomed me the most when I first got there. And I was annoyed because why does it hit us first always, the engineers.

In the past, I've just denied it when I hear people say engineering is "dead end" but now at the "beginning" of my career I am facing this dilemma. I seriously felt like a loser, like the past 5 years of mind-numbing work was/is a FAIL. Staring at my computer, I kept thinking about getting out of this career, and fast. I thought about my options, kicked myself for not going into med or pharma like everyone else, and for the next few hours I seriously considered calling it quits.

Yet every-time I thought about going elsewhere I got sad and realized I don't know what to do. When I got into engineering and all the way up till NOW I've felt like an outsider. I've had to learn the lingo and literally think/talk like the boys...otherwise I wouldn't have survived. It's been a REAL challenge especially in the beginning, its harder when you have to PROVE to the team before you prove to the proff. that you can actually contribute ideas. I had a few encounters of sexism EARLY on but thank god recently its been great.

But now, especially now, when I finally am becoming comfortable in my skin at work, in my classes I get this blow (I forgot to say this isn't the first layoff its round 2 and yes 10 people doesn't sound like a lot but considering I work in a small firm, its 10 too many and who knows how many more after this??). I've never even considered switching to something medical but today I felt like that's the only thing that ever survives. And good for them but its like a slap in the face to me, I lost the race, because when I went into this I set out to prove to everyone that girls can do just like the boys and BETTER, that engineering is NOT dead end, and that there are more OPTIONS out there (this was more for my daughters in the future, I didn't want them to think science or pre-med is the only way to go).

I'm so mad I can't explain. You know in China (and probably elsewhere in the world) there's a 4 to 1 ratio of engineers to lawyers, they're VALUED there. And here its the opposite, there's so much red tape in all the industries and emphasis on BUSINESS appeal, marketing, management, cost reduction. What about the intelligence of the company?? Why are we always last when we MAKE the company? (Sorry I'm not saying that non-engineers are dumb, I just mean engineering firms that put out a product or an idea revolve around the engineer's work).

I don't have any automotive experience but from ALL the classmates I've had that ever worked in auto tell me the engineer is basically the last on the rung in that industry. We're treated as the "money takers" because putting out products that are safe and user friendly AND appealing takes money, research, and trial-and-error. Companies don't want to deal with all that.

So, have I lost the battle I set out to fight? I don't know, it sure feels like it today but I know one thing, I can't fit in anywhere else. Not now. Not ever. I hate thinking that I'd be compelled to shift directions. Depression is setting in right now, people.

I'm sorry to anyone who felt I was rude in this post, believe me I appreciate ALL fields from cooking to art to medicine to teaching to law, everything has its own place. But wake up WORLD, you can't run without the engineer!!!!!


The original photo on Flickr was titled "Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."


Asma said...

ohh dear .. this laying off/termination is probably one of the worst feelings in one's professional life. I know this dilemma of trying hard to get a job after graduating ... prays that you don't have to suffer from one. But even if it does come your way ~ take it head-on. No worries ~ things will get better some day IA. After all .. you need engineers to run this world, no? ;)

BTW in UK do u know which job is highly in shortage .. I mean people are invited to come in .. Ballet Dancer. MEH.


AT times when I see the price quotes photographers ask and get ... I sadly think why I chose to be an engineer as well :<

Good times will come :)


Anonymous said...

hang in there. we do need engineers, and dammit we need smart LADY engineers. good for you for succeeding in a male dominated field. the economy sucks, and the lay-offs suck, but you still have a job.

so keep on doing what you do :o)

damn economy.

Mrs. Cullen said...

i'm sorry. sigh. maybe you should move to china. k bye.

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

^ lol!

I hear prostitution is recession proof. Actually I hear most anything haram is recession proof. But, you gotta ask yourself recession in this life or in the next? After you make that decision everything else if pretty easy.

*cue Sami Yusuf/ Native Deen music*

Falling Up said...

Hey, hopefully we hit rock bottom or will soon because then things can't get any worse from there. Be patient. And Think of you doing this for your daughters and nieces and all women. SHowing them that we can do whatever boys can and better!

fuelMybrain said...

In the industry I worked years in the only ones who were paid rediculous amounts of money were the faces of the industry; the salesmen/marketing....GRRRR, if we left, they'd fall an their @sses. Whatever though...

Well, get creative... I'd start looking for a new job before you find yourself jobless. Sorry, I'm too much of realist. Stay in control!

Constructive Attitude said...

I have faith things will get better.iA. dont change to another field unless its YOU KNOW WHAT. (the thing im always harassing you about, MY dream for YOU) and definitely dont do medicine. blech.