coffee shots & random ramblings

translating my current state of mind into words and pictures, one cup of coffee at a time
Randomness | Reality

Work is Life

June 21, 2010

Part of my job as an engineer is revising forms used by Production, which I have been doing quite a bit of these past few days. All forms are in Excel format and each one must be printed and photocopied to be used on the production line. It may all sound real simple–and I suppose it is at first glance–but it really isn’t. Well, not for an O-C like me.

You see, all the data has to fit in a limited place. That’s a whole bond paper, plus the back if you really must. But each form must take up only a single sheet. All the necessary parameters must be there, plus ample space for the data to be written on. I emphasize ample space because all those parameters would be for naught if you cannot write the actual values needed to check if the process is running correctly. No offense to my fellow engineers, but sometimes this is something taken for granted. Workers are forced to squeeze their (sometimes large) penmanship into a minuscule space that wouldn’t fit half the stuff that needs to be written. The result is unreadable handwriting, rendering the whole thing pointless.

So what has this got to do with life? Just like the parameters and the spaces, in life there are rules (or protocols or SOP’s or standards or what-have-you) that need to be followed but there must also be enough leeway for them to be followed. Just as every right has an obligation, the reverse also holds true. That for every obligation, there must a be right–whether to chose or to decline or whatever. If you tether a horse to a cart, you oblige it to pull the cart. But just the same, the creature has a right to some degree of comfort so you must not tie it up too tightly. Get my drift?

Now back to the forms. Not all parameters are equal. Some are more important that others. Some take up a lot of space while some needs only the merest box. But all of them must fit, and in a cohesive and logical way. And believe me, this is the hard part. Of course, you can do a bang-up job and just throw them together with nary a thought for how the whole looks like just as long as everything that’s needed is there. But forgive me, I am a visual person and the sight of disproportionate boxes and contents really makes me cringe. As much as possible, I want everything arranged such that the whole form is easy on the eyes and anyone looking would be able to figure out what needs to be done when in what process. It’s not easy, but it can be done with a certain amount of creativity and patience.

Life lesson? Every now and then we need to look at the big picture and assess if the sight of it makes sense or not. Are there dead spaces that you must fill? Too many stuff that need a bigger space, or a reduction of the excess perhaps? Unnecessary items that can be deleted? Like they say, there’s always room for improvement. Nobody is and will ever be perfect, so the journey to become a better person is a never-ending one. It may not be pleasant or easy, but it would pay off in the long run and someday you’ll find yourself thankful that you made those steps to a better you.

So that’s it for now. Might be more to follow, when the mood hits me again. Right now, I gotta go to sleep because I have work tomorrow. Ü

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