Hey, X! What did you used to do for a living before your brains got unscrewed from your head?

Last night, I started getting homesick for my job. I had the best job in the word. When I got the job, it was the boss, me, and the secretary in an office. Soon after, the boss asked if I would “mind” working at home. MIND????

So, for about eight great years, I went to work down the hall from my bedroom. My commute was about 10 feet. In that perfect job, I was able to put everything I learned in 30 years of working in civil engineering to use. It was the ideal situation. I provided the room, and my boss provided everything that was in my office before we both left to work out of our houses.

I was in charge of my own empire. My boss trusted me to plan my work in such a way so that everything got done in an efficient manner. I got to plan my own day, unless there was something the boss needed right away. But, usually, I would be given the assignment to prepare a set of construction plans for road and bridge and that’s what I would do. It would take weeks, maybe months, depending how involved the project was. I really, really liked my set up.

Imagine having a job where you would see your boss maybe once or twice a year. We communicated by fax, phone, and email. We hardly ever had to see each other, plus, we were at different ends of town.

As you might be able to guess, I really loved my job. The bummer is that two years ago, I started forgetting how to do it. I used a bunch of fancy-dancy civil engineering software for the calculations, and I could not remember how to do stuff. It took a bunch of months of embarrassment and frustration to find out that my brain was not getting enough oxygen to think properly. By the time my lungs got bad enough to show the symptoms, it was too late. I had lost my job.

What a messed up way to end a long and successful career…..

I’ve been out of work since. My lungs ended up getting worse and worse until we found out that my house had mold in it. There had been a leak in the bathroom, and gradually, without our knowing it, mold had built up under the fixtures, and was seeping in under the carpets to the adjacent rooms.

Guess what the adjacent rooms were: my bedroom where I spent a third of the time, and my office where I spent a third of the time. My hubby was not affected since he did not have the exposure I had. My hubby has since torn out the carpeting and cleaned out the mold. We have lovely industrial concrete floors now, right down to the concrete slab. That’s all there was under the carpeting. We can’t afford new floors, but we are used to this, now. Just right for Better Homes and Gardens magazine….

So, my lungs are gradually getting better, but I can’t get around much at all, and my thinking has gone all to heck. I forget what I’m saying in the middle of a sentence. It’s really frustrating. I have an oxygen hose up my nose all day, but I suppose that brain damage was done when I was oxygen deprived.

So, anyway, I was thinking the other day how I used to be a productive member of society, and was getting homesick for my great job that I lost….

I found out today that I kept a souvenir screen shot from this job. That picture below is the plan and profile page of a set of construction plans. The top half is the bird’s eye view (plan) and the bottom part is the side view (profile). This type of sheet was in all the sets of plans, but each one was unique. There were a zillion other sheets in each set of plans, but this sheet was the most fun for me. I remember it was fun even though I don’t remember how to do it.

Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most…..

X

Plan and profile sheet

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Hey, X! What did you used to do for a living before your brains got unscrewed from your head?

  1. Jen

    To have been able to have done something like this, then, to have lost it makes for harrowing reading. Sorry, X. That\’s how I find it. How much more-so must you find it? Bless your heart.

  2. X-Evolutionist

    Jen, Yep, you understand how I feel exactly. Thank you. I just thought I\’d take a few minutes today and sit here and feel sorry for myself. I\’m finished doing that now. Time to do something else…My hubby just got off work, and he is bringing home food from our local Chinese greasy spoon restaurant. Yum. Having Chinese food for dinner, oh, and being with my hubby, makes all the world\’s problems go away. I\’ll be offline when he comes home. Have a good day, Jen! X

  3. X-Evolutionist

    Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most….. X

  4. Richard

    I almost suffered the same fate. I\’m an auto technician by trade. 12 years ago I started loosing memory, I\’d forget what I just got out from under the hood for, I\’d forget to call in parts after the diagnosis was made, spend 30 minutes looking for a wrench or socket that was laying right in front of my eyes… Silly but costly mistakes. After going to the hospital I learned I was suffering from a carbon monoxide build up in my body. The count was so high I was told if it would have gone any higher I would be dead. Fortunately for me, merely removing myself from that environment for a month corrected the problem. I\’m sorry to hear that you were\’nt as fortunate. About being a productive member of society… you were creating plans for roads and bridges.. something that is being used daily.. you will ALWAYS be a productive member of society.. long after those roads and bridges disappear… and then some.

  5. Mandy

    I was a draughtswoman before I lost my mind, but I lost it because having babies, 4 of them – and the ensuing nurture into adulthood. By the time I was able to get back to work, CAD had taken over, and I just didn\’t feel like retraining Besides I loved drawing, pen and ink stuff, laying out everything, scaling, etc Having it all done for you by a computer program just didn\’t do it for me. Then came the serious love of my life Diving and becoming an instructor, that gone too now, the fitness level needed just not attainable at my age anymoreSo comisserations X, I sort of understand!

  6. ThisIsMyHomeRightHereWithYou

    Oh X i so feel for you, i read and has i read i thought \’That is what i train to do today from my home WOW X used to do CAD too! (mine is more building related) but has i read that turned into..i cannot think of the word,… dismay that you could not carry on with the job you so loved doing. Must of been such a heart wrenching time and still painfull today, i know it would be for me if i had to give the CAD and Design stuff i do today up for any reason. Like Just Mandy posts i too gave up back then my career to have babies, although today am carrying on where i left off back in the Design world. and like Just Mandy started with designs on paper. The learning from ArchiCad 12, Photoshop, CorelDraw and many many design software that i use out there i have learned on my own. years ago inbetween nappy changing and bottle feeding, today whilst the girls are at school, once i have gotten out of this addictive place right here of course hahaha.X, nothing stops you getting out that CAD software and tinkering with it once again, even if for 15 mins a day then save you\’re project till next time you feel up to doing some more, Maybe turn you\’re expierence of CAD into a hobby, a pastime, make you\’re own projects up and work on that ….A learning curve for those out there still learning or wanting to learn could learn from you\’re knowledge and you can have the enjoyment of CAD back once again. Just a thought X, Take care

  7. X-Evolutionist

    Richard, thank you for calling it to my attention that the roads and bridges were built from my plans, and are being used today. And because of that I\’m still a productive member of socieity. Wow, I never thought of that before! I should have my hubby drive me on a tour of the projects that were built. Thanks, X!

  8. X-Evolutionist

    @Mandy, I started with pen and ink too, in about 1977. When CAD came out, I took night classes so I would be prepared if my company ever got it. When my hubby and I moved to a new state, and I went looking for a job, EVERYTHING was CAD! There was no ink slinging in Oklahoma City. I was so happy I had taken the classes to be prepared. Over the years I\’ve used AutoCAD, Microstation, and EaglePoint. X

  9. X-Evolutionist

    @SweetSunnySide, As you suggested, I just opened Microstation. It\’s kind of nice to see it again! I thought the license was expired. Hmm. Since my boss sold me my work computer, I still have MicroStation. I also have Eagle Point (civil engeering software) That that license IS expired. Maybe I will play with Microstation a bit and see what I can do. Thanks! X

  10. Jen

    Could it be a little like riding a bicycle again after some time off it? Good luck with Microstation, X. Cor! All this software I\’ve never ever played with. Probably coz I\’ve either never heard of it before coming here, or the urge just isn\’t there! Blog something, X. That would be well exciting:-D

  11. X-Evolutionist

    Jen, I\’m not surprised you have not heard of the software I used. It is specifically for making construction plans. I\’ve you\’ve never worked for a Civil Engineer, you\’d have no reason to hear about them. Plus, it is really, really expensive. Thousands of dollars, plus the license to use it has to be paid every year. That\’s why I\’m surprised I can still open Microstation. Maybe I will see if I can draw a site plan of my backyard. That might be fun. Just microstation was not too hard. It was all the engineering calculations that I used Eagle Point for. I had it all memorized how to set things up. I did it the same way for every job. I had made my civil engineering software my slave. When I started to forget how to do that stuff, everything just started colapsing around me. You have to do step one before you can do the other steps. The really funny thing is that my boss did not know Eagle Point. Only I knew it, and it was really, really necessary to the entire job. Anyway, so maybe I can still play with microstation. It\’s drawing lines, circles, text and lots of combinations of them. If I ever play with Microstation, I will blog about it, don\’t worry about that! X

  12. Mandy

    Yes X my children have a lot to answer for!!! (just kidding, I love them to bits (The youngest 26 and the oldest 37) and wouldn\’t swap a moment for all the auto cad in the world! )I do mess with drawing though, house design and plans,( I was architectural stream) I have a couple of reasonable design software, which allows me to follow a dream just a little!

  13. X-Evolutionist

    Mandy, that\’s fun you still have software to keep your hand in it! X

  14. Mandy

    yeah well it takes up less room than a drawing board! Only a moderately priced ones – but I still love to play now and then! Who cares if no one but me sees them, and I can use CAD (self taught) just not very efficiently! I left school in 1969 age 16 (I hated school) went straight into an appreticeship, it was all I ever wanted to do.

  15. ThisIsMyHomeRightHereWithYou

    :-)) So happy you opened up you\’re CAD software once again, the idea of doing plans for of you\’re back garden sound good to me, look forward to reading any future blogs you may want to do :)Maybe this link may be of some use to you, has you\’re licence has expired on the Eagle Point Software and i know only too well how dam expensive the full software is to buy, this place was my first design home on the net 🙂 .. http://www.icivilengineer.com/Freeware/ I started years back with A9CAD before i went onto college courses. Hopfully it is of some use to you and can bring you the enjoyment of CAD back again.

  16. ThisIsMyHomeRightHereWithYou

    Also wondered if these may be of some use, http://download.cnet.com/windows/cad-software/?&filter=licenseName=%22Free%22|&tag=ltcol;narrow Not Eagle point but may be something similar to download in there, and if you look on the left it has a button for all those free. A forum to refresh any memory that may need refreshing X, http://www.cadtutor.net/tutorials/ i find this the best place for those \’haaa am bloody stuck\’ momments, and my today home…apart from right here of course, i have live open in one tab, many design software open on desktop and this forum open in another tab, …Great place to learn, or refresh over that coffee.***Scan any files you download ** had no problems fro CNet myself, but always best to be on the safe side.

  17. X-Evolutionist

    @Mandy: Ahh, drawing boards! I sat at one for many years. I miss cleaning my technical pens! I miss having India ink under my finger nails. (or do I) X

  18. X-Evolutionist

    @SweetSunnySide: I appreciate your thoughtfulness in giving me those links. The engineering software was only for designing the roads, and such. I don\’t have any more roads to design… One day, soon, I will see if I can play with Microstation and draw something. The stuff I really lost was all the steps to do all the calcs with Eagle Point. I think I could still draw pictures with Microstation. Stay tuned…. X

  19. X-Evolutionist

    @Mandy: It seems like going right into apprenticeship was a good idea for you. I\’m all for it. I graduated college before I decided what to do! I learned drafting on the job, and then added job skills in additional college classes at night over the years. In my humble opinion, starting at the bottom of a company and working your way up is like apprenticeship. Free job training! X

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