I interviewed for that type position. Didn't get the job. S'ok, I make
more now, more challenging work and better machines than they had there.
They had nice benefits, though. Your kids get a scholarship, attractive
wimmen around, etc.
Yeah, but on the first date, you gotta show up w/ a recent blood test,
resume, portfolio/financials, BCI check, oh, and a transcript that better
show a GPA > 3.5--or Mensa membership..
Oh yeah, and a proven track record of support of wimminsis rights.
Here in Yonkers, or in Brooklyn, to be a highly eligible bachelor, all's you
gotta be is un-incarcerated.... yo.
I got so bored w/ Mensa, I started my own group.
The IQ requirement is substantially higher than that for Mensa, and is
geared more toward brite cranky people, w/ headaches, cramps, and generally
It's called Menses.
formerly Droll Troll
I have thirty plus years at University of MI - Flint (Computer Science,
Engineering Science, Physics Dept.). I have occasional academic duties,
as needed (I hold a Master's degree in Physics), but mostly I'm Lab
Supervisor and Shop Supervisor. As senior "Professional Staff" I make
more than most junior (non-tenure-track) faculty, so there's not a lot
of incentive to teach (unless I feel like it).
The pay is terrible by industry standards. The fringe benefits, however,
are decent (good retirement, decent medical benefits, stable work
environment, five weeks paid vacation, flexible hours, usually nice
and/or interesting colleagues, interesting work with LOTS of variation,
less 'pressure' than an industrial environemnt, etc.). Plus, working
with the students is often very rewarding (and occasionally a 'pain'!).
The job requires self discipline and reasonable incentive, as you
largely manage yourself. I have certain duties that I must perform in an
established schedule ... how I do them, when I do each thing, relative
priorities, etc., are largely mine to decide. It's good duty if making a
lot of money is NOT your main goal.
You too? I found it tiresome to hang with a group of people who had, as
the only thing in common, that they did well on a test.
Oh wait, I'm out. That group visits my home periodically and always
leaves the place a mess.
When I was close to graduating from college, an uncle asked me what I
would like to do.
I told him I thought the most interesting job would be working as a
machinest in the engineering dept. of a univerisity. It was a short
conversation. He was a stock broker.
I was talking with one of the machinists at UCI (University of
California, Irvine) and he was telling me that one of the most
interesting projects he ever worked on was a xylophone for elephants.
It was to test their ability to learn or something. It turns out that
you can't use low quality tubing with seams or it just breaks.
I think it wopuld be a fun place to work, with all sorts of different
stuff comming through the door.
Randy Replogle wrote in
I run (am) the "Scientific Instrumentation" shop for the Science Division
at Macalester College in St Paul MN. I support the six departments in the
division: Physics/Astonomy, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Math/Computer Sci,
and Psychology/Neural Biology. Machine metal, sheet metal, welding, wood,
plastic, electronics, lab glass, and some equipment repairs. (All computers
, a mix of Macs and PCs, are handled by IT people...YES!) I'm 60, and have
been doing this for 5 years. I can't think of any other job I'd rather be
doing. Heck, they pay me to play! It stretches me every day, and I don't
think I could do it without the internet and these newsgroups/forums. My
"only" dislike would be "mass production" jobs, like making 75 identical
18"x24"x3" baltic birch rock trays for Geology. This sounds like a good
student worker project? ;)
In the college I worked at many years ago there was so much interesting
research going on that today is being used in everyday life. I worked
in the ee lab and was involved with a number of projects. The major one
was the development of the plating processes that became the basis of
making integrated circuits. Another project was the analysis of the
failure of fuses. That one made a lot of noise when you pump a couple
of thousand amps through a #36 fuse wire. The other project was
developing the gallium arsinide diode, the led, We had the efficiency
up to almost 3 percent, wow, we made them by hand. lapping in the
gallium arsenide and mounting the chip in a 1N21 microwave diode housing
with a cut in the side.
The Chem lab was doing research on nuclear magnetic resonance and
developed the basics of what is now your NMR.
The physics lab was working with plasma fusion, trying to get the temps
up to start a fusion reaction.
The pay was bad but you weren't ever hassled. You were exposed to the
leading edge technology of the time. We had a 40,000 dollar laser to
play with. We made laser holograms and other interesting projects.
The neatest thing was when you made a hologram and the actual object you
made the hologram from was in place with the hologram turned on. You
would remove the object but the image of the thing would stay in place.
It gave you a feeling that something weird was going on because you knew
you were moving the object but the image stayed in place.
Sometimes I wish I stayed there longer, in the early sixties.
You mean, I believe, "what is now our *MRI*".
They woulda kept NMR, but thought medically it would scare people. Medical
More specifically, proton NMR.
There's also C13 NMR, P sumpn NMR, mebbe even a cupla others. Altho not used
as yet medically, afaik.
The low-pressure/low temp physicists and optics peeple had most of the
machinig work, fwir.
Vacuums used stainless, optics used aluminum.
Some of the guys in the shop would fix my Satiday night specials for
me--kept fukn jammin....
I tried to get'em to slug out subway tokens for me (it's a simple die,
dudes.... c'mon.....), but they balked.
Yeah, University Life. Sorta a steep pyramid, perty good life for those at
But, like everywhere else, shit rolls down hill.
God help you iffin you got a fukn hump as a dept. chairman.
formerly Droll Troll
Wow, how do you keep up with all of that? Another guy and I just do
Chemistry and we have plenty of work. I used to be a t the "central"
machine shop on campus ( there are probably half a dozen shops) where
there were/are six machinists and a weldor or two. They get work from
the general campus and occasionally from various departments whose
shops can't ge to it (everyone's in a hurry) or if it's beyond their
Pay is average at best. Medical insurance is ok. The optional dental
plan wasn't worth enrolling in. Vision plan is good. Retirement...yet
to be seen. Overtime is rare. Raises are about 2% yearly. True merit
raises are rare unless you get a/another degree or get a better job
The work is usually interesting. I get to play with Autodesk Inventor,
Mastercam, and CNC. I don't get much hassle but that sometimes borders
on being ignored until there's a crisis. People are usually good to
work with, however.
Randy Replogle wrote in
I'm at a small (1900 students), private, expensive ($39,000/year),
college (no graduate school). The staff and faculty are very aware of
the limitations of a one-man shop, and respect my attempts to balance
the load of all six departments. If I can't do something for what ever
reason (time or talent), I can farm it out. I periodicly send jobs to
the Physics Machine shop, the Chemistry Glass shop or the campus
sheetmetal shop at the University of Minnesota. I even have time to
spend with students on personal (non-academic) projects. The people I
work for feel that this gives these students an experience like no other
The profs. knew that they were at our mercy. Almost all of them had no
common sense as to how to set up the project. If they gave us a lot of
crap they were on their own. Some of them were pretty good and we worked
with them as much as we could. They were scared of me. I had a cart
with a car battery on the bottom and a jacobs ladder type spark
generator on the top. We had a lot of idle time. I also made an am
radio with no chassis hanging from a string, just parts soldered
together. I was also making only two dollars an hour.
32 years now here at St. Andrews. Dislikes: production runs/copies of
original apparatus. One-offs are much more fun. Likes: (and this is the
main thing that's kept me here all these years) Variety. Practically
every week I come into work I'm doing something different - painting,
plumbing, woodwork, metalwork, machining, electronics, programming...
I've sure never been bored working here!
Where is St. Andrews?
I don't have that much variety, just Cad/Cam, manual and CNC
machining, soldering and tig welding, consulting, and the day to day
operation of the shop . The Chemistry dept. has it's own support group
including glassblowing, electronics, IT, and machine shop.
Pete Wilcox wrote in
Yup, it's the varity that keeps you goin'. Yesterday I was gluing 1.3
billion year old sea-bottom rippled sandstone back together (Yes, I was
fixing rocks!). Today I was making mounts to fasten a 20 foot pterosaurus
wing (that's one wing) to a display wall. Tomorrow, I have to figure out
how to stabilize a translation table mounted cryostat in a research laser
system. I know for some people it's becoming the best welder or machinist
or programmer or whatever they can. And, I count on them being out there
for some of my jobs. But, I "need" new kinds of challanges to get me up in
I know for some people it's becoming the best welder or machinist
When you work in the trade, as I did, the only challenge left once you've
mastered the functions you're assigned is to get good--------better than
everyone around you, really. I specialized in getting it right, and
fast. Without that challenge, I'm not sure I could have faced the machines
for as many years as I did. I reveled in the day when I had someone working
opposite me that thought they could outwork me. It brings the best out of
anyone with pride, and often surprises you how good the "opponent" is.
Mind you, I'm talking about running manual machines only.