The Good Part of The Job

Back when I was in college I used to get burnt out from time to time. A good drinking spree usually took care of it. But sometimes I just lost the motivation to stay up all night studying for my Statics final. Whenever that happened I used to go out to a large TVA project nearby. It’s a huge hydroelectric dam with a bridge built over it (since then they’ve also got one of the nuclear reactors working). I’d go out to the overlook and just sit for awhile. Contemplating the idea of being part of building something like that always helped motivate me (and the lousy night job didn’t hurt either).

That was ten years ago, and I still have to do that for motivation from time to time. The big difference is, now I can look to my own projects for motivation. There’s nothing like seeing something go from my head to paper to concrete and steel. Seeing someone write a multimillion dollar check to build something I designed is a huge kick too.

Everyone likes to think their life will make a difference in some way, and it means a lot to me that I can already say I have made a difference. I’m certainly not pompous enough to think none of it would have been done without me, there’s always someone else willing to do it. But the point is, I did it. So now I can drive on my very own bridges along with thousands of other people.

And if you didn’t already think I’m a pompous ass, here’s more proof for you. I like to name my bridges after people I know. I call the very first one I did “W’s Bridge”, and a few others are named after select friends and family (and one old girlfriend who received the dubious honor because she was as hard to deal with as that project was). You’ll never see signs on the side of the road with the names I gave the bridges on them, that’s up to the politicians. But I still think of them as mine and it’s my prerogative to call them what I want.


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