Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So Donald, what do you do for work??

Wow, it has been two weeks since I posted something. Time flies by when you are busy doing things I guess. I have been trying to ignore politics for a while, and give myself a break before it gets hot and heavy when both parties have a nominee. I am also trying to stay calm about this bullcrap that is man made global warming. I will talk about that in another post. But there were two stories that came out the last two days about global cooling! You can read them here and here. Now, global cooling sounds worse to me than warming, but it further cements in my head that the world is always changing. And as soon as scientists are able to predict the weather accurately, I will start puting more stock into what they say. Like in Back to the Future Part Two, when Doc tells Marty that the rain will stop in 17 seconds. And it does.

Ok, time to get down to what this post is about. I can't count how many times I have had someone ask me what I do for work. It is quite funny, because I know what kind of reaction that I will get from Lisa when I am asked this question. She usually rolls her eyes, speaks up, and tells the person they don't really want to know, because it will bore them. So, first I will tell you what I do. I am a Chemical Technologist, and my main job that I perform is Non Destructive Assay. (NDA) In a nutshell, I use specialized equipment that can detect any kind of radioactive element. The building I work in is most concerened with Plutonium, so that is what we look for. The detectors we use can find pretty much any radioactive element, but since Pu is the main concern, we concentrate on that.

Here I am working the computer during a job, and letting you know who is #1. Not only am I giving you the sign, I am also counting a waste package, talking on the headset, listening to music, (I have to have music while I work, it gets me through the day) and entering the data into the spreadsheet. How is that for multi-tasking?

I can see most of you thinking how boring this sounds, and how do I make it through a day without falling asleep on my keyboard. But we find ways to entertain ourselves. One of the things we "shoot" with our detectors are gloveboxes that are being cleaned out, so they can be disposed of. We will make a shot plan, and then place stickers on the box, so we know where to point our detectors. Some of the places we have to shoot are high up, and if there is not scaffolding around, and we cannot safely reach it with a ladder, we have to find other ways to get to it.

So about a month ago we were stickering a box, and there was a spot at the top of the ceiling, and over a railing about 7-9 feet away. It was in a contamination area, so we could not just put a ladder down and mark it. Enter in our 30 foot metal tape measure. I was busy taking pictures of the box (we also do a powerpoint presentation so people can see where we are shooting, hence the need for pics.) I looked over, and one of our scientists was about to attempt a feat not seen before. I switched the camera over to video, so people could see what lengths we go to to get the job done. (Ha, did you catch the tape measure humor there?)

The moral of this post? Just because my explanation of what I do for work every day sound mind numbingly boring, I still fit in a little fun and frivolity in my day. Until next time....


Fairchild Family said...

Pretty much none of that made any sense to me . . . but then again, what does?

Alisa & Jared said...

I think I understood about 25% of that. The 25%?...

1. You have a job!
2. It makes no sense to me!

But hey, at least I have a "better" idea of what you do, now!

I'm glad you can find the humor in the day to day things...and I'm also glad that there are people out there to do jobs that I simply don't understand :-)

The Garden Maiden said...

I feel safer just knowing you are out there! :) I love your blog-paper? In my dream life I sit on a board all day out on the blue Hawaiin waters, catch an occasional wave, but mostly rays. Maybe in my next life.