Let's Make Robots!

Nerd

So, I've been to London, UK.

The entire department at work went there for "seminar" which means we did two 30 minutes meetings, And spent the rest of 3 days shopping, sightseeing, going to concerts and other touristing...

Our plane back was delayed and the bunch of us spent the time talking about what we'd done. Some had bought shoes and clothes, one girl had bought jewelery, one had bought records, and so on..

What about yourself? -someone asked me:

"Oh" I said "I bought these really accurate calipers, they're digital! With a precise readout down to 0.01 millimeter!! It's smaller than I can see! I mean I'll notice 0.1 millimeter, but i probably wouldn't bother me. With the stuff I usually builds 1.0 millimeter is over-enginering it, so with this awesome piece of..." 

By the time I get this far I realize that there's no more than four other on the room that knows what calipers are, maybe only half of those again have held one, and I am probably the only one owning two of them... Those still listening are just looking blankly at me while smiling sheepish. The others has broken into smaller conversations and written me of as winner of The Nerd Champion of 2009.

Just thought I'd share the story...

I bought a cheap multimeter as well, cause my old one broke when I tried to check the power socket without switching it over from Ohm's before plugging it into the 240Volts. I didn't bother to tell my colleagues about it... 

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This is why instead of launching into a techinical description of what I do for a living, I tell people that I nail Jello to trees.

It's not technically accurate or descriptive, but it gets the idea across that I do something that is challenging, requires great patience, and often winds up in a mess.

Challenging: Laptop stolen, 1 months work lost, customers want samples within the week. New laptop was loaded with viruses.

Requires patience: Engineers and Boss change my designs without notice

Great Mess: Samples don't work because of design changes without my knowledge.

For all the challenges, if you love what you do, it is worth it. Most days, I love what I do. Some days, it is harder to remember that than others. ; j

Been there done that! Too many times!

I've gotten to the point I just don't talk much anymore. That way I don't get written off instantly as a nerd. But on the other hand, people now think I'm hostile or stuck-up or something. :-(

If I do say something even remotely technical (or they find out I build stuff) - then comes the "can you come fix my computer?"

A nerds life... :-()

Skilled barter is where it's at man.
If someone wants me to come over and use my technical skills to fix their computer, they have to offer something for trade.
Like mowing my lawns. Or washing my car. Something more suited to their talents =D
What if it's that cute blonde from accounting?
Well, I'm sure she has some 'special talents' that would be of interest to you =P

Sure know what you mean ;)

On the other hand whenever people start talking about TV shows, celebrities, pop/rock concerts, sport, art, cars, house reconstruction/decoration, the latest flavour of bubble gum or other stuff I don't give a crap about, I'm the one drifting off with blank eyes and a sleepish smile...

Happens quite a bit too :)

As a computer tech and IT Engineer, I get that alot myself. And I get people always asking me the same question over and over again [in one form or another]. "When is a computer obsolete?"
I used to be a computer/printer tech and got the same question. I always told them it was obsolete 2 days before they bought it.