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July 7, 1999
The "Dilbert" Situation (aka Working)

My boss, Mark Sawicki, just walked into my cubicle and said, “If you have trouble sleeping maybe this will help” and then handed me a Consulting Engineer magazine! It is almost 10 AM and I have spent my first two hours at work doing almost nothing productive. I have written diary entries for Sunday and Monday, but other than that I have been bored since I got here.

Yesterday I finished my first project with the Campus Design Office. I figured out what size air conditioners are needed in the two rooms of the Biomedical Building that I have been working on. That was pretty cool. There is a program on the computers that will calculate the heat load due to lighting and electrical equipment. I had to get numbers on all of the equipment in those rooms and calculate how many Watts were from the overhead lighting before I could use the program. We used a list of Btu/hr calculations for “restaurant equipment” from a reference book to estimate what the numbers would be for the laboratory supplies. It was interesting to call almost everything a refrigerator or a mixer. Now that I am done with that project (until I hear back from the guy I emailed about buying an air conditioning unit) I don’t have anything else to do for awhile.


It is lunchtime now and I have some more free time. I actually had some work to do earlier so that was refreshing after doing nothing for a few hours. Around 11 AM Mark went over to one of the Biology buildings to measure the airflow in the frog research laboratory. It didn’t take long, but we had to take a crazy device to measure the airflow from the vents. The room was full of large tanks (mostly empty) but in the middle of the room there were lots of frogs in little bowls. It really smelled funny. When we got back I calculated the air change per hour and sent it to the person who requested the information. I guess I am done with hat job and I have nothing to do again. That’s just great.

Mark Sawicki also went to UF. Yesterday I was talking him and I found out that he also had Dr. Gater for Thermodynamics! That’s so funny. Apparently when he was in the class Dr. Gater had a method for the final exam that involved a deck of cards to determine how many points you could get if you decided not to take the exam. I wish he had done that last semester, but I probably would have needed to take the final anyway. Mark and I remember some of the same stories that he told in class. I got a real kick out of that.

I am learning a lot from listening to National Public Radio all day. It is quite interesting and I have been keeping a little list of what I have learned. I can’t believe that I am not bored to tears, but actually I have really enjoyed it. Yesterday I listened to music and I had to keep changing the station. Now listening to NPR I don’t have to change it all day. Here are a few things just from today:

1) Children need to play with blocks
2) How to file for bankruptcy and avoid paying all debts
3) Tobacco companies should not pay as much
4) Invest in Money Market Funds (not the same investing/saving rules as years past)
5) The South Park movie is trying to say that censorship is the way to the destruction of civilization

Great, huh? I really need to find another way to pass the time.