my workplace

It was empty white room, just some strange machines, two PCs and two monitors, two air conditioners, and several chairs. A rather empty shelf on the side and two other desks: one for two more strange machines and the other is empty but made of aluminium. The room smells like operation room. It reeks of alcohol. It’s also cold, with the air conditioner temperature is set about 20-22 degree Celcius.

This Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope is my new toy. This building is where I had dreamed working in before. And I am proud being one of (even though our finance isn’t good) employees in the biggest nanocenter in this country. That’s the only pride I can take.

This is where I choose to be. This is where I belong.

I’m blessed, I’m here because my college friend got a job in other company so she had to leave the lab. Also, there is no one wanting to be an operator, so I can take the job even though my knowledge of it is below zero. I didn’t get any training beforehand. I didn’t even know what kind of “good” is ‘good’. I just spoke my mind and analysis their samples without having to be afraid of being wrong (because those ain’t my job but I just like it) – it is fun.

I quickly enjoy it. I will always be alone until my client comes. I can do anything I want if I’m not working for a client. I don’t have shitty boss. I know what I work on and I know what the result is. I have my own office where I can be alone and sleep on the table like a hobo (partly because the lab should be free from everything so I have nowhere to stay. They gave me a room). I put some novels on the rack there. In the morning while I’m waiting for clients, I can play games and draw to my heart content.

Sometimes, the clients don’t have brains, but I can still manage them and give them helpful suggestion. I’m not their supervisor. I don’t know 99% of their researches. Their research isn’t mine anyway, so I just do my job based on their request alone. A professor came to me yelling one day, but it’s not my fucking fault. Even though the next week, his students come to me with now humane samples, he doesn’t apologize to me for saying this 1.2b microscope is a trash. The next shitty prof also didn’t trust me and did the observation on his own, proud of the pictures he took. I can only laugh at his arrogance. I operated them, the pictures I took are much clearer. I am still behind all the masters of this field, but I know I’m gradually improving. I’m just here for 4 months anyway. To master this field, I at least need 20 years. It’s okay.

Profs came to me asking why I’m not getting my doctoral degree. I understand – I am really tempted to do it. But I need a stable job and money more than anything else now, and I don’t want to see my own (bleak) future, not until I’m fully recovered from the depression I got last year working for shitty boss. Until I feel that I’m worthy to go back studying, I’ll just become a trash operator in this beautiful building, and be helpful to everyone who accepts me. I’m a servant to my ‘second-father’ who gives me this kind opportunity.

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