Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day Two

Summer Placement - Day Two

I cycled into work today, and found it slightly easier than I had expected. The headwind must have been lighter than when I went out on Saturday. So I arrived a little early, but no matter.

My supervisor's original plans for today were thrown out of the window almost immediately due to some unexpected business requiring immediate investigation. So we got into our overalls and went out to work in the Turbine Hall.

Nuclear Engineers wear only boxers underneath their overalls. Bet you didn't know that! I soon found out the reason why. The Turbine Hall is incredibly humid and the air is uncomfortably hot. My poor supervisor sweats so profusely in the heat that it looks like he's crying, that is no exaggeration!
It is also so noisy that you have to actually leave the building in order to communicate with the person standing next to you. Quite a difficult place to work for a long period!

Being in places like the Turbine Hall is rather unnerving because the conditions impair all the senses you normally use to read the environment and people around you. Your hearing is useless because of the noise and your earplugs. The ability to feel vibrations in the floor is useless when the two sets of giant turbines make the entire building shake. So a person can stand right behind you and shout, and you probably wouldn't notice. It is awareness of this fact plus the sensory overload that makes me keep 'seeing' people behind me and turning around to find no-one there. Then there was the time I sensed nothing but turned round to find two men standing behind me in the tiny space where I was working!
Fortunately, after a while my ears began to filter out the background noise and I was more able to understand people 'talking' (shouting). I imagine that people who have worked there a while are used to this.

For lunch, I bought an egg salad sandwich only to find it had cucumbers in it. Cucumbers are my no.1 most hated foodstuff, so I was not pleased! Tomorrow, I'm making my own sandwiches without any damn cucumbers!

In the afternoon, we spent a long time discussing the morning's findings. I was struck by how much this meeting resembled that bit in House where they write the symptoms on a board and then discuss possible diagnoses. All we were missing was a sick person, a flawed genius and the cool transparent glass blackboard. I must try to persuade them to invest in one!

Yesterday I said I hoped I'd see some real work soon. Today that wish was granted with a vengeance!

PS. Made a nice lasagne for dinner to make up for yesterday's lunch. It's a bit big, it'll last me three days at this rate!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day One

Summer Placement - Day One.

Today was my first day at the new job. I had no idea what my job would involve beyond the fact that I would be working in the Plant Efficiency department. I have yet to learn the answers to most of my questions, because I spent almost the entire day filling out forms! The only exception was training on how to undress when leaving a Contamination Controlled Area - a very daunting prospect, but the trainer had an excellent sense of humour and the whole session was quite fun.

In the morning I was chatting to one of the security guards while he was searching me and discovered that his son is a friend of mine from uni. Such a small world!

At lunchtime I sampled the delights of the site canteen, and had a very overcooked lasagne. I think I should make a decent one myself to make up for it!

I hope that tomorrow I might get to see some real work as well as getting a real discussion of my role for the summer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bloggy Blog

Once again, I've been gone a while and lapsed into blog silence (I bet there's a smartarse word for 'blog silence' on the internets).
However, now that uni's out for the summer and I am starting work once again, I think it's time to have another crack at this 'web-logging' lark. Lets see how it goes.

I expect that most of what I write will be somewhat work-related, although I can't post actual details of what I'm doing because of various contractual and legal obligations. It's unfortunate but unavoidable, and besides, I think the technical details of Nuclear Engineering would bore most of the few people that read this.

So expect a bit of random waffling from me for the next three months or so!