Work Culture and You

I have come to realize that the work environment plays a huge factor in a staff’s performance. Naturally, different people have different preferences. There are also those who can adapt easily to change, which I think is a quality that gives the worker an advantage in his job performance. Simply said, would you rather come to work feeling glad that it is going to be a cheerful day? Or feel restless for it may be just another day of gloom and discomfort?

I will be in a permanent role starting 1st May as a contact engineer for PE2. I am looking forward to it because I enjoyed my training rotation there last year. It was intimidating at first to feel inexperienced and naive and the people there are the most intelligent people I have ever met. But the best part was that they were fun to work with. Carefree, friendly, crazy (in a good way) sometimes … . When I worked there, I felt I was welcomed as part of the team. And it was satisfying as a junior engineer, who is still just climbing along the learning curve. No matter how busy someone was, they never fail to pass you a smile and a hello in the hallway. Maybe it was just me, but I felt it was always a genuine greeting. As time passed by, I got to know some of them really well. They shared their funny stories from home, and the silly things that their kids do … we mutually helped each other out with off-work issues … . Perhaps, it is the influence of women engineers there. There are two lovely senior lady engineers of whom I think is the reason why the workplace environment is never boring. Very jolly, and loud girls 😛

Oh, and mechanical engineers work so well with the process engineers at PE2. I hate it when the mech engineers put up a facade of dislike towards us chemical/process engineers. Seriously, grow up. That’s so “university mentality”. It happened all the time during my varsity days. Of course, some of them just joke around … but there are some who do take it seriously. And I think it’s because they truly believe that they are better, cooler, macho-er … but we all work together as a team, and so why label each discipline differently? As far as I know, we process engineers never made fun of the mech engineers. Our nature of work is so different … so what’s the big deal?

Anyway, I am not too comfortable working in E1. It’s still a great place to learn new things, and I am still fascinated with the ethylene process. But it’s just the environment. And some people, of which I will not bad-mouth because I am a good girl, and maybe … just maybe … it’s because I am a “newbie”. Yes, a NoOb. The older plants like E1 are known to be quite a character. Also, everything is steady-state, and the technology is well-established since decades ago, and so certain types of “change” are considered a shock to the mind. In other words, expect your suggestions/ideas to backfire. My mentor at PE2 was so worried about me doing my rotation here at E1. She was like, “If you don’t feel happy there, and if there are any major issues … let us know right away and we’ll get you back here immediately.” At first, I thought she was just being nice. But apparently she and the other lady engineer was quite concerned. They even discussed about it a few times just among themselves. I guess the horror stories had quite an impact on everyone.

But I’m doing just fine … I can’t be such a spoilt brat and sulk at every failure. Eventually, I would still go back to PE2 because of the career opportunity. A position like this defintiely doesn’t come around once every year …

Happy V-day, folks!


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