Tuesday, April 03, 2007

End of Run

It's only few minutes to go, then my last shift for the collaboration will be over. I have done these chores for few years now and sitting here never was pleasant. It's a mind numbingly boring work and often I was quite angry about how stupid things were done. But on the other hand, the environment at a big facility like ours here is actually quite fascinating. I always admired the mixture between a industrial plant and a hobbyists lab, combining professionally built high-power machinery with duct-tape and a web of uninsulated cables dangling from racks with measurement electronics. If you walk around, late in the evening, you can see huge halls with impressive construction with single scientists working on their own duct-tape-held experiment, immersed in their research. And sometimes I contemplate that this deeply focused work is what I could have done, and might even have enjoyed had I decided to move here some time ago, and not only do shifts few times a year. But now I realized that I might have built what I critizied when on shift: A faulty device, built under time-pressure by a layman, that no one but him could ever operate. It's probably for the best that it will be shut down in few months, so that everyone can built a new gadget, at a new facility somewhere else.

3 comments:

Kryptikmo said...

Quite possibly yes, this deep-immersion is something you could have reached, you could have been that scientist. But you would have no home life, you would have no hobbies, no time for your family. Do you really want to become so single-minded?

neunlaternenspielerin said...

I know this feeling - I had it again and again, whenever I was visting CERN or ESRF or whatever.
But - as nice and desirable as it seems, I can assure you that this feeling will pass. Life is good - and there'll be other things in the future that will give you satisfaction. And you should not underestimate Heimweh. Hamburg is a looong way away.

But yes, I know this feeling. There were months when the best thing to do with your entire life was to get a postdoc at XYZ. But life goes on, and I don't regret not having done that. (Or is it weird selfprotection?)

phil said...

Good work, Herr Vogel. I wrote some bitter stuff about Hermes, then deleted it, so you can't read it.