This past week at work, I’ve been working on a highway alignment. For all of my non Civil Engineering people, lemme break that down for you. A Horizontal Highway Alignment is the design of a road or highway from an overhead view. It allows the Design Engineer to place the most cost efficient and economically feasible option for a roadway through a given area. In most cases, it make take up to 2-3 weeks just to get all of the preliminary sketches done which have to adhere to Federal AND State guidelines as far as road and curve length, shoulder width, usage of Superelevation and tie-ins go.
I worked on a highway alignment 3 or 4 semesters back as apart of my Transportation Engineering Class. We met up with a person at Maryland’s State Highway Administration and he helped us through the entire design process. This time, it’s a little bit less hands on, and I’m left to my own devices, which I don’t mind at all. Seeing as how these past few weeks have been my introduction to MicroStation (Highway Alignment Plotting Software) I really don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. Granted I’ve learned the basics, but there’s definitely more that I need to learn.
I don’t know what it is, but I’m starting to feel like I’m burdening all of my coworkers with my questions about things. Granted, no one has come across as if I was in fact bothering them, but at the same time, I’m not used to asking THIS many questions about various things.
I’m the type of person that always chooses to work alone when it comes to projects in school or even at work. That way I’m the only person that can be held accountable when something goes well or goes sour. I also don’t have to worry about slackers and I can do whatever amount of work I chose to when I want to. In my Design Group, I’m paired with a TEA (A New Employee that’s rotating through all the offices before settling within their own office) because we’ve been given the same work. We usually bounce ideas about the project off each other, and he has been a REAL BIG help explaining MicroStation to me. It’s starting to feel like I’m getting all my help from him (meaning I’m going to him whenever I have A problem with something, and he usually helps me out), and that I’m using him. Hey, don’t ask me why I feel this way, b/c I sure as hell couldn’t tell you. All this is definitely something I’m not used to experiencing or feeling. I’m used to having a grasp on things as soon as I encounter them, or even within a short period of coming into contact with it. This is FAR from the truth as far as MicroStation goes.
Here’s what I’ve learned this past week at the job:
If you need help with something, ask.
I can’t work in solitude the rest of my life
Even I’ll go through times when I’m the novice when it comes to a project or new software or whatever.
This all one big learning experience. If I don’t ask questions, then how the hell am I supposed to learn anything?
I’ve had this post in my mind since Monday, but I’m just now taking the time to sit and write it out. I wish I could blog at work.
Random Thought of the Moment: “I should have purchased a toenail clipper while I was at Wal-Mart.”
The Song of the Moment: “Read Between The Lines” by Aaliyah