It always feels good to see those magnificent structures. Those skyscrapers built across the cities, the state of the art public transport systems, the drive on those national highways. But behind all those structures, lies a life of a civil engineer which is technically, emotionally and mentally challenged everyday. How exactly is the life of a civil engineer? I am writing today based on my own experience and from the experience of others who have been working for a long time in this industry.
What I Learnt so far is,
1. We work in filthy places and in a filthier environment. We start work at a place when there is nothing except dirt.
2. We work in worst scenarios and worst of weathers. When we say office, please don’t confuse with air-conditioned offices of those working in software firms. Our offices mostly build in Containers or tents. Yes that’s true. And they are worse than the hostels in which you live during your college days.
3. Internet, 3G and 4G networks are a forgotten dream. You live a life devoid of anything connecting you to the society. You won’t even find time to socialise. You are almost cut off from the society.
4. You visit the remotest of Places where even human habitat can’t reach. Funny but true!
5. You work 14-15 hrs every day and continuously round the clock. The good thing is that work is not monotonous. You have to execute work on site and at the same time in office preparing a schedule for it and your future plans.
6. Clean food and drinking water might be available. But in some cases it might not.
7. Your everyday life runs on jugaad be it on the technical front or personal. You have to do a jugaad for everything. Because the resources are limited and the stakes are high.
8. “Safety First” is just a thing to say & market and everyday safety will be compromised knowingly or unknowingly. Adventurous! Isn’t it?
9. You will have a faceoff with new type of politics that governs the corporate world. You will learn what hypocrisy actually is. If you speak Hindi, congratulations! Because everyone can understand you but you can’t understand everyone. So at times it might happen that you are abused in regional language and you might answer it with a “Thank You”.
10. You will believe on one principle that “All Work and No Play” only pays.
11. You will have to work with different variety of people and belonging to every socio-economic class. From sensitive to insensitive. From bold to cowards. From Kashmiri to Malayalam and from Gujaratis to Bengalis.
12. You will have to learn some basics of the native language where you are working. But I feel it helps you in certain way because it helps you learn different languages.
13. You will learn how to talk to people belong to different socio-economic background i.e. from Labour class to Top Management. This will teach you what to speak and when to speak. The essentials of good communication.
14. At times you will also have to deal with Mafias because construction industry is governed by them only. And you are totally on your own. No one takes responsibility for your actions. You might also have to face rebel from the locals and FIRs and Policing is a common phenomenon.
15. The good part is that you have enough justice with your salary because you will have a limited time and options to spend.
Tuff! Isn’t it. Yes that is how a civil engineer lives his life in construction industry. It is a mind boggling experience. But with time you realise that you can be the best in the worst. You will become a complete engineer. When a structure is completed at a place when there was nothing, it fills you with a sense of pride that is inexplicable and incomparable. It is one field where you directly touch people’s life.