Friday, September 11, 2009

Always Read the Directions

It turns out, sometimes not reading directions is a very bad thing. I do know how to read, really I do. I read whole books on a very regular basis. But directions, not so much. Maybe it was just an excuse that I made up for myself when I was younger and unable to read, but I have always felt like reading directions was cheeting. Like if I couldn’t figure out how something worked without reading the directions, I didn’t deserve to have it. But lately my failure to read directions has been coming back to bite me.

Just last week, I was attempting to install a new program on my computer and it wouldn’t work. So I made my husband come and fix it for me. Since he designs electronics for his job my minor program instalation errors were clearly something he could handle. I messed around with the program for a good hour before giving up and calling him in. It took him all of 5 minutes to solve my problem. Then he said, “When the error message pops up on the screen, it’s a good idea to read it. It usually tells you exactly what you need to do.” But of course, I’m me, and never read error messages. I’m sure I looked at it. I just somehow failed to realize it was telling me the solution to my problem, not just that I had a problem.

But my most resent failure to read directions is much much worse. I’m mildly nervous about blogging about it, just because I hate to admit to the masses how huge of a moron I am. But since this is supposed to be a blog about dyslexia, and I’m sure that my being a non-reader is the sorce of this problem, I’ll admit the truth. I filled out the wrong PE licensing application.

Let me step back and explain. I’m a structural engineer for my day job. Engineering has a residency type of program, kind of similar to medison. Which makes sense, cause nobody wants to drive over a bridge someone designed a week after they graduated from college. So to be an engineer a person first has to graduate from an acredited engineering school. They can take the FE (fundimental engineer exam) up to 6 months before graduation. Once someone passes the FE they become and EIT (engineer in trainging) which meens they are aloud to work on engineering projects, but someone else has to check their work before anything they design goes to construction.

After completing four years of work experience as an EIT, a person can then take the PE (professional engineer exam). Once someone passes the PE, they recieve a stamp that can be put on construction drawings making them legal to build. If a building collapses or something leading to lawsuits, the person whose stamp is on the construction drawing is the person held liable. The PE exam is offered twice a year, in April and October.

I thought that I had signed up to take the exam in October. I did fill out a bunch of paperwork, and get all the references I needed from PE’s that I work under, and all that jazz. I mailed it all in with the application fee back in June and thought that I was squared away. Then yesturday the Engineers Exameners Board called me and informed me that I filled out the wrong application. Somehow, I filled out the application for people who are already licenced in some other state and are just trying to get resoprosity. So now they have to transfer all my application information to the April 2010 exam.

Obviously, I feel seriously stupid. I could have sworn that I read all the fine print on the application. I at least thought I filled in all the required boxes. But clearly I didn’t. And now I have to wait six more months before I can get licenced. Lately I’ve been thinking of myself as fairly with it, but clearly I’m more than a bit disabled. How can I be so stupid? Being an illiterate author sounds kind of novel, but let me tell you being an illiterate engineer isn't such a good thing.


CKHB said...

First... there are computer error messages that GIVE DIRECTIONS on how to fix the problem? I've never seen such a thing! I always ignore them, because they always say something stupid and useless like "runtime syntax error #7."

Second... oh, that sucks. I'm so sorry. But I'm sure you're not the first, and won't be the last!

Anonymous said...

Was the pun intend for "Being an illiterate author sounds kind of novel", with fiction works over 100 pages being called novels.