Chronicles of Misery


#1

Note: PLEASE DO NOT EDIT THIS POST, IT IS ONLY A WIKI SO THAT THE EDIT TIME DOESN’T EXPIRE.


I’ve been debating, for a while now, whether I should start this thread or not. There’s plenty to suggest that I shouldn’t, such as my inability to do anything even remotely artistic or my god-awful writing skills or even the fact that I don’t know where this will end up. But as is too often the case, I’m bored again, and I figured someone might get some amusement from the over exaggeration of trivial inconveniences for the sake of humour. The content will occasionally use profanities, you’ve been warned.

COM started as a joke in one of the other threads, I didn’t expect to act on it, and yet, here I am. These will be a series of short-ish, story-like, rants that aren’t supposed to be taken seriously. They won’t be related to one another, so if you miss one and then read the next, you won’t have missed anything relevant to the one you’re reading now (in a one-off case that it does happen, I’ll give an appropriate summary of the potentially missed portion). I don’t have a release schedule for these and don’t have a set number of entries, I’ll just write them as they come. This isn’t another project or anything (hence the new thread), just my pathetic attempt at being artistic, as a result, these won’t be appearing on my site.

I’ll keep this post updated with all the entries until I hit the character limit. I’m open to all kinds of feedback and questions, as well as typo and grammar corrections (should there be any).


Chronicles of Misery
Entry 1: Life in the torture chamber - 6/9/18

Entry 1: Life in the torture chamber

Most people would consider their bedroom to be a quiet sanctuary of sorts, a quiet, private place where you can be alone and unwind or do whatever. It was for me as well…until about a year and half ago when I moved houses. Since I moved I’ve been tormented by a plethora of things, some more frequent than others. As I’ve come to observe, a lot of them are a side effect of summer (my loathing of summer is an entry for another time), but some aren’t.

I suppose I’ll start with summer. Summer, the season of sun, warmth, light and parties, right? Wrong! For me summer is a season of misery, foxes fucking each other’s brains out, helicopters flying overhead every 15 mins, unbearable heat late in the afternoon on bad days and suicidal insects looking for a one-way ticket to hell.

I live right next to a park; the park’s small golf course is literally on the other side our back fence. Said golf course appears to be a brothel for foxes during the summer. For them summer is mating season, for me it means consecutive, near sleepless nights as a result of the noise they make. The noise I can only describe as a collection of monkey being flattened by a challenger 2 tank. It’s loud enough to be heard clearly through double glazing, so you can imagine what it’s like when the windows are open on a hot night. This happens all summer and never at a scheduled time, it can be a 04:00 or at 23:00 the previous day or from 23:00 to 04:00. And when you wake up you often find that they’ve shat everywhere. I should petition the government to legalise fox hunting again…at least in my area.

At this point you’re probably thinking “ok, so if you can’t sleep during the night, why not sleep in or take a nap during the day when you can?” That would indeed be a good solution, except for two big reasons. 1) I LOATHE taking naps. 2) Helicopters. There’s a flight path right over my house that seems to only be active during the summer. This means that I get a low-flying helicopter every 15-20 mins for 12 or more hours a day. I usually hear them over my music or through my headphones, so sleeping in or napping is not really an option since they start at about 07:00. Now, people who know me know that I tend to wake up fairly late, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been woken up 6 times before that.

Moving on to the slightly less annoying side-effects of summer we have the heat and insects. My room is positioned in such a way that from ~16:00 onwards I get blasted with direct sunlight. This is especially annoying since my desk faces the window and that’s where I spend most of my day. This means that I either have to draw the curtains, close the windows (to stop the curtains from being sucked out of the window by the wind) and suffocate in a room with no air flow that is being cooked by the sun. Or I can leave the window open, not draw the curtain, not suffocate, but get 3rd degree burns and skin cancer as a result. Another solution would be to move to my second desk, but that’s usually got a project on it and there’s no space. Finally, we have the insects, they just don’t stop flying in. That means that I have to keep getting up to kill them or get them out which is annoying.

Right, now that I’ve covered summer, allow me to move on to the rest of the year. Sources of torture do not discriminate by season, they crop up regularly. The first is passenger planes, recently they’ve started flying overhead as well, however, they’re nowhere near as annoying as the helicopters since they’re not as frequent or as low flying, so they’re quieter. The next thing is the police being trolls and hovering over neighbourhood at random hours of the night / morning and just being annoying. I know they’re doing good, but it’s still irritating. The most annoying thing however is the bathroom tap. Unless you switch it on to full blast, it can be heard from literally any part of the house. The bathroom is on the other side of my room. It’s so loud that it often drowns out my music or whatever I’m listening to, and I listen to my music fairly loudly. Now imagine what it’s like for me in the morning. My head is on the other side of the wall when I’m in bed, so I’m only about 30-40 cm away from it.

So, that’s a relatively short summary of the torture chamber for you. Despite all the annoyances, I’m actually fairly happy with it as a room, I practically live up here, it’s my bedroom, workshop, study, living room. It would be far more annoying to not have it than to put up with all the garbage.


Entry 2: One-idiot army - 8/9/18

Entry 2: One-idiot army

Uni / school projects, the bane of every student’s existence. We all seem to complain about the same thing. Not working with who we want to, having idiots as group members, having to do all the work yourself. The only problem is though, everyone seems to be saying this. And if everyone is saying it, then who is actually the idiot or the slacker? That all becomes apparent when you get shoved into a random group by a lecturer / teacher and find yourself to be the one who got the bad end of the deal. You find yourself to be the one-idiot army.

For this entry I’ll be focusing on my uni projects. Earlier this year I finished my second year of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. During the past two years I’ve had four main projects that were part of the course and a variety of side projects that weren’t (funnily enough, the side projects were fine). They started off easy and finished…easy-ish.

The first project was a Lego based one, where we were in a mixed discipline group of students. So, we had a mix of EEs (Electronic Engineers), MEs (Mechanical) and CEs (Civil), the idea is that we all learn to work together and put our strengths to use…at least it is on paper. The reality is far from it, I’d like to take a moment and go on a slight tangent. In my uni there is something of a feud between the EEs and MEs. We EEs have a superiority complex and we think we’re king of the hill (and we sort of are). The MEs don’t want to hear any of it and refuse to accept the end of their reign. Like Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, except we never became friends. From what I understand, the rivalry has devolved into paintball matches before.

Now, getting back on topic, I was in a group of five, the others were two MEs and two CEs. I was the one who had to uphold the honour of the EEs, and to be honest, it wasn’t the least bit difficult. Our task as a group was to design a walker that covered 3m and then stopped on its own. I seem to have this bad habit of usually cornering myself into the group leader position from the very start of any project. For this one I made sure to get in touch with my group before the project had officially started so that I could get them to start thinking about designs or maybe even mocking up a prototype.

Come the first day for the project and I’m the only one up in the lab to pick up our box of parts, so I drop everyone a message only to be met with excuses and silence. When they eventually rock up, it becomes apparent that I’m the only one taking the project seriously as I was the only one who was suggesting ideas and had prototype designs. Most of them had looks on their faces that suggested that they had never even played with Lego before. Said prediction turned out to be true when I saw them trying to build random objects unrelated to the project. None the less, I soldiered on and offered help to them since they had no experience. They sort of accepted, but then all decided to go for lunch…and didn’t come back. Luckily that left me on my own to work as I pleased.

The rest of the week was essentially me in the lab doing most of the work and then random members dropping by for maybe 30-45 mins at a time to offer minor help before leaving again. At the end we had a walker that set the fastest time of the day (10 secs).

The second project of the year was to design a house alarm system. We were in a group of seven, this time only EEs, and through the entire project, only three of us were working. It wasn’t until the final presentation that I found out we had four other members in the group. This project was a nightmare because it was all programming and I’m the worst programmer on Earth. We only just got it to work in the end by a complete miracle. This one was a combined effort from the three of us, but still…

The first project of the second year was the only good one I’ve had so far. Why? Because we got to choose our groups and I chose to be with my friends. “But Rob, surely if you’re with your friends, you’ll just slack off and do nothing?” Not with the sort of people I roll with. We’re kind of the nerds of the class, the ones that know the content and know how to work on projects. Our task was to design and build an oscilloscope multiplexer (in short it allows you to observe two different types of signal simultaneously). We had two sessions of 6h to design and two more to build. Our group had finished the entire design in 2.5h while everyone else was still getting their shit together. And we were one of the groups to finish the build first. And best of all, we didn’t even need a distinct group leader, because we were all serious about it.

But the worst project by a country mile was my last one in the second year. Now, those of you who have read my mega rant in the other thread will know what I’m talking about. But this entry has already gone on for a bit, so I’ll keep it short. Our task was to design a bicycle telemetry system that monitored various parameters. Our group was a mix of sub-disciplines within EE, so we had people who were good with circuits and people who were (supposed to be) good with programming.

The entire project ended up being very programming heavy and I was stuck doing a large portion of said programming while the rest of the group either gave me silence or excuses again. In the end I did most of the work with help from two other group members. During that project I was in the lab from the opening time of 09:00 to the extended closing time of 21:00. I’m now on a first name basis with one of our lab techs and we’re friends. On top of dealing with mostly uncooperative team members, I had to deal with constant contradictions and bullshit from the lecturer in charge of the project. All of this while also going about my normal uni life (so normal lectures and studying as well). To truly grasp how dismal this project was you’ll have to dig out my mega rant from the ‘what grinds your gears’ thread.

So, why did I call this entry the ‘one-idiot army’? Because I’m not a man, I’m an idiot in multiple senses. I’m an idiot for thinking my groups will cooperate and work with me, I’m an idiot when it comes to the parts of the projects I know nothing about (programming) and have to do them either way, because the group member that is responsible for it isn’t there. I’m an idiot, but I’m also an army as I essentially have to do group projects on my own. Thus, I am the one-idiot army.


Entry 3: Digital cancer - 24/9/18

Entry 3: Digital cancer

Technology, from what I’ve been told, it’s supposed to make life better for humans, supposed to make it easier and more efficient to do a plethora of things. I say that’s all a load of bullshit. Technology exists for the sole purpose of tormenting me in new and innovative ways. Ever since I was introduced to technology it has had a personal vendetta against me. There are many instances of this, but I will focus on three main pieces of technology.

Exhibit A, ‘smartphones’. Smartphones, why do they call them ‘smart’ when all they do is think of clever new ways to infuriate me with their stupidity? I’ve only ever owned three smartphones, an LG Cookie, an S3 mini and my current S7. Though to be honest, calling the LG a smartphone is a bit of a stretch, so for the purposes of this rant we’ll focus on the Samsungs (and also because I can remember next to nothing about the LG). Ownership of an S3M wasn’t too bad, for the most part it behaved itself and did as it was told. But, alas, like a well-trained dog having an off day, it would usually misbehave badly at the worst possible time. This could range from various apps crashing randomly to it dying on me despite it having 50%+ battery. Of course, as it got older, problems became more annoying and more frequent, from notifications not showing up to it glitching out completely. Such as the time when half of the screen was in landscape, the other half in portrait, the whole thing was flickering as if I’d hit it with a hammer and my touches would register 3cm to the left of where I actually touched the screen.

My current S7 has a different set of annoying characteristics, like random battery curve drops, notifications having a mind of their own, most apps being broken, emails opening to the bottom of the message in Outlook and other such issues. Then there’s the size of the blasted thing, I have to take it out of my pocket before I sit down in most seats, otherwise I physically cannot sit down. Most of these problems seem to be exclusive to me as I’ve had friends and family with the same phones and they haven’t had any of these issues. This is a trend you’ll start to see.

Exhibit B, computers. I just can’t seem to catch a break. No matter where I go, or what I do, there will always be a computer close by to make my life hell. Let’s begin with the software side (for Windows 10, view Exhibit C). I seem to be the only person on Earth who has every single software they use go wrong for them. The best example of this is school, college and uni. Whether it be something as simple as MS Office or something more specialised like a simulation package, it usually goes wrong for me in a one-of-a-kind way. For instance, every single workshop / lab session in my first year of uni was 2.5h where I would rage against the machine and then do a mad dash at the end to get everything done. I was the only one who had to repeatedly swap computers, restart computers and scrap and restart whole files because nobody knew what was happening, despite my exact following of the instructions.

Then there’s the hardware side, this can range from keyboards and mice not working properly to being able to literally cook food on the CPU. As frequenters of the tech thread will know, laptops seem to loathe me most out of such devices. Finding a good laptop is like finding a politician that doesn’t talk out of their arse. I’ve been through four or five not-so-cheap laptops that wouldn’t go amiss in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen as a cooker. 98C on all four CPU cores while the computer is idling on the desktop isn’t normal, no matter which way you spin it. It took ~£1200 (£1000 with a discount code) to get a laptop and not a cooker. Problem solved, right? Sort of, the cooker issue is gone, but now we move on to the main exhibit.

Exhibit C, Windows FUCKING 10! No amount for words can be used to describe and explain the sheer, untold, torment, misery and hatred this entity from hell has caused me. I have been waging war on it since it came out. There’s a reason it was free when it came out, malware is always free, its sole purpose is to make your life as wretched and unbearable as possible, and W10 is no exception.

W10 is the digital cancer from the title of this entry, so far it has infected both laptops that I’ve owned, and both are suffering. I could write an entire book series that logs my misfortune with it, but for this entry, I’ll just keep to a few (of very many) examples, mainly the major ones. I’ll start with my HP and then move onto my current Dell.

The first time W10 started playing dirty was when I was in college (second year I think). I was typing up an assignment in the evening that was due the following morning. I had my USB stick plugged in and had one version of the assignment open from my USB stick and another open from the backup on the laptop’s HDD. So, there I am, typing away past the 2K word mark, making good progress, almost finished, when suddenly, my laptop crashes. At first, I wasn’t fazed since I had saved both copies very recently and maybe lost 5 lines of text from each. I was irritated at best. The horror struck me when I went back to open my documents. I first went to open the one from my laptop, only to be greeted with a corrupted file message, at this point my irritation is growing bigger, but never mind, I still had the version on my USB stick. So, I go to check my USB stick, only to find that the entire bloody thing had been wiped clean. There was not a single folder or file on there. I had just lost that evening’s assignment as well as all the work on the USB (luckily, I had it all backed up on my laptop, so not all was lost - apart from the one assignment). The loss of that assignment almost made me cry that night, because it had been such a pain to write. Being the top student in a class of spanners has its privileges though, so I sent my teacher an email and went to him the following morning, thankfully, he gave me a two-day extension and I managed to redo it.

The next time I got majorly screwed over was when I was sent into a hard shutdown / restart loop after an update. It’s exactly as it sounds; the laptop would do a random hard shutdown and then it would restart and would then do a hard shutdown in the middle of the restart and this would go on for a literal hour. I read tales online of something like this happening to people from a previous update, but as is the case, I had it worse. Because at least those people could get to their desktops for a few mins, I couldn’t even get to my lock screen. I can’t remember what the solution was, but I was dealing with it for a few days. I can’t remember any other instances of that magnitude.

Now, the Dell, W10 REALLY loathes this laptop. The moment I press the power button after taking it out of the box I’m greeted by a blue screen telling me that Windows has crashed. Good going, Microsoft. After spending a couple of hours setting it up and clearing all the junk from it, it wanted to update and restart, so I let it. When I got back in, it started glitching out, my taskbar vanished and key programs like the file explorer were gone. The only fix was a full factory reset…on a laptop that was less than TWO HOURS old. Over the next month and a bit, I had to do two more factory resets for reasons that I can’t remember, but clearly it was something serious.

Then came the worst one yet after an update (surprise, surprise). I lost one of my USB ports completely (it was only powered) and the other wouldn’t stop spamming me with overload notifications if I plugged or unplugged anything. As well as all of that, I lost my fingerprint scanner. The scanner wasn’t that big of a deal (despite me paying £15 extra for it), but with one port used by my mouse, I had no ports left. I was up for over 24h trying to fix the issue. Nothing I tried worked (including a fourth factory reset), I ended up contacting Dell and they had no clue either. They ended up sending an engineer to swap out the mother board…on a laptop that was less than two months old. The laptop was under warranty, but their policy is to repair not replace.

And finally, the last issue I had as of the time of writing this entry was with temps and my graphics drivers, again, these were caused by an update. At first, I was experiencing weird temp spikes while browsing and my laptop was freezing after every time I woke it up. I ended up discovering that an update had somehow slipped through without me noticing. I ended up trying a load of processes again, but in short at one point my display drivers died on me so I’d log in and my screen would die on me. After several hours of hard shutdowns, I managed to get in and update the BIOS and then I was back to square one. A couple more hours and I managed to get back in to delete and reinstall the drivers. That ended up fixing the problem and the heat issue also vanished for some reason.

It’s been a good two months since my last skirmish with W10, which can only mean one thing, something’s coming, something big, and soon. I can only prepare so well for it, but I’m certain it will be very bad. It’s been smooth going for too long. This entire sorry saga reminds me of that scene from the film i Robot. The one where Spooner is driving in the tunnel and gets surrounded by transport trucks full of homicidal NS5s and just as the doors open he says, “there’s no way my luck is that bad.” For me it’s like that, except I’m fighting W10 and I’d take the possessed NS5s any day. I honestly don’t know how to end this entry on a positive note, except that one day I might get to meet Bill Gates in hell and tell him exactly what I think of his monstrosity.


Entry 4: Inferno - 29/9/18

Entry 4: Inferno

Summer, the season of sun, warmth, light and parties, right? Wrong! For me summer is a season of misery. Don’t worry you’re not getting déjà vu, for those of you with short term memory loss, that was a short extract from entry 1. I said that a justification for my almost unreasonable hatred of summer is worth of its own entry. And, well, here it is. You already know what sort of hardships I’m subjected to in the torture chamber during summer, so this will focus on everything outside of that.

The worst thing about summer is easily the sun, it and it alone is the root of all evil. Throughout time and around the world there have been numerous civilisations that have worshiped the sun. Even today, the sun is seen as a source of joy and positivity. Well, I’m here to tell you that all those sun worshipers were almost certainly Satanists. It’s because of the sun that summer is so woeful. If it wasn’t for the sun, there wouldn’t be searing heat, I wouldn’t get 3rd degree burns and skin cancer every time I stepped outside, there wouldn’t be crowds everywhere and I won’t be kept entertained in the car by the sound of my arse sizzling away on the seats. Let’s not forget, it’s supposedly an inferno down in hell. Summer is the annual taste of hell on Earth.

Summer heat is probably the second most aggravating aspect of summer. Several things happen when it’s hot out. There’s crowds of people everywhere, I can’t find a single quiet place, not outdoors and not indoors. That’s especially annoying when I want to drive Banshee in parks, it’s usually full of dogs and road Nazis (cyclists). Everywhere I go it’s noisy with everyone barging into me. You also start to sweat like a whore in church if you’re outside for more than 10 mins, that then means you’re always thirsty and must carry 3L of water with you at all times. In my case, when I’m outside, I’m usually walking with a backpack. That means that I end up with an enormous sweat patch on my back where the bag was that takes at least three hours to dry. I’m almost certain that I’ve developed conditioned sweating, I end up sweating in the exact same place on my back with or without my bag (and it’s always in the shape of the padding on the bag). So, at this point you might be wondering why I don’t just stay inside. Inside can be just as bad, because you don’t just deal with the heat (houses in the UK don’t typically have aircon), but the light too.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that the light isn’t a problem outside, it’s just more annoying inside. Outside it only cooks your head and boils your eyes (even through sunglasses), I once measured my hair to be 60C after walking in direct sun for ten minutes. When you’re inside, the light not only cooks you, but usually reflects from shiny surfaces, cooks your furniture (so you can’t sit on it) and most annoyingly stops you from seeing any screen you happen to be looking at, whether it be your TV, PC or something else. You can’t see jack, only a white haze and reflections of stuff that’s in the room with you. Of course, the obvious solution would be to draw the curtains, but keep in mind, this is summer. I usually have the windows open, so I can’t draw the curtains unless I want them to be sucked out of the window or unless I want to close the windows and boil.

The light also plays dirty in cars too. Too many times have I gotten in the car only to jump straight out again while clutching desperately at my arse and growling in pain. Why? Because the blasted black leather seats have been cooking in the sun and have gotten to 75C. Sitting back down and toughing out the pain only results in more misery as when I get out of the car I have two massive sweat patches that make it look like I’ve been sitting in a puddle. And if I’m lucky, I’ll have blue legs too from the dye that my jeans have leaked into my legs. Luckily, I don’t wear jeans when I can, unluckily, my shorts died last month, and I haven’t found a good replacement, so I’m stuck with jeans for now.

That was a quick look over the main sources of torment in summer, I didn’t go fully in-depth because that would make this entry way too long, but suffice it to say, summer really is an inferno…and I live in the UK! To me anything over 20C is hot. I am not built for even mildly hot weather, and as a result, I will suffer for 25% of my life. So, if I live for 80 years, 20 of those would be spent being tormented by summer alone…let that sink in. You now have my permission to pity me.


Entry 5: Alien - 30/9/18

Because this post has a character limit, that these entries now exceed, you will have to follow the link to a post further down in this thread.

Link: Chronicles of Misery


Entry 6: WARNING! Side effects include but are not limited to: crushing realisations - 7/10/18

Because this post has a character limit, that these entries now exceed, you will have to follow the link to a post further down in this thread.

Link: Chronicles of Misery


Entry 7: Petty grudge - 20/10/18

Because this post has a character limit, that these entries now exceed, you will have to follow the link to a post further down in this thread.

Link: Chronicles of Misery


Entry 8: Collateral damage - 3/11/18

Because this post has a character limit, that these entries now exceed, you will have to follow the link to a post further down in this thread.

Link: Chronicles of Misery


Entry 9: Excuses for misanthropy - 3/11/18

Because this post has a character limit, that these entries now exceed, you will have to follow the link to a post further down in this thread.

Link: Chronicles of Misery


Entry 10: Paid self-sabotage for the lazy - 25/11/18

Because this post has a character limit, that these entries now exceed, you will have to follow the link to a post further down in this thread.

Link: Chronicles of Misery




#2

Nice one- your way of writing is amusing me and at some points I laughed out loud- so you catched me with this style :laughing:… I’m only sorry about the facts you described but… hell - all in a row is just sounding like a real cynical joke… but helps me to understand you a lot better- I saw no spelling or grammar mistakes- how should I- only thing I would add is the size pf the advise not to missuse the wiki- option- nice thread- looking forward ( feels weird to type it :joy:… as it takes miserablen situations for you to go on with it- ) to the next episodes…


#3

Thanks for the feedback. It is indeed meant to be more cynical than anything else I suppose, kind of British I would say actually. Lol As for the warning at the start, I stick it on almost every wiki post I make. There’s no way anyone can miss it.


#4

I read all!! Never known you’re a good writer! Not boring to read even if the plot is heavy as you’re talking about misery, funny at some points (agreed with Pat, I shouldn’t laugh though… ). Keep on writing! :smiley: :roll_eyes: Again…maybe I shouldn’t say it…cause it means you’ll talk about other misery… :thinking: Well in the end they’re part of the life, so why not having ummm “fun” describing them… :grin:


#5

I feel bad for finding this amusing but, I did.


#6

Thanks. It’s supposed to be funny, I’d hope that people would laugh at it. lol

:stuck_out_tongue:


#7

Lol - world history knows docs-writers but I can’t remember engineer-writers … at least for now I know one :))


#8

It’s why I figured I’d give it a shot, this sort of thing isn’t in my nature.


#9

Found this in my study hall and this written very well rob I really enjoyed reading it and I am looking forward to read more form you


#10

Thanks. I’m thinking of maybe setting up a poll for the topic of the next one. I just need to come up with the options.


#11

Instant classic :joy:

I enjoyed it too! It’s like you just wanna get the daily bullshit off of your chest and write whatever you want. Great idea I think, perhaps you’ll end up with so much material that you’ll be able to write a book :joy:


#12

I’ve probably got enough on my mind for at least 10 entires, after that, I don’t know.


#13

Enjoyed it :joy::ok_hand:t4:
Very artistic rant :joy:


#14

I’ve come up with 9 more topics, now I just need to think of fitting titles. For the polls I’m thinking of doing a system where I only give the titles, you guys vote, then I reveal the topic of the winner and go to write the entry. Then after that, I choose what entry I write and then I put it to a vote again, so it rotates between my choice and a vote.


#15

Alright sounds like a good plan imo


#16

Ok, so here’s the first poll. It’ll close at 16:00 BST tomorrow. The final option isn’t a title, I just couldn’t think of a title that I liked so I thought I’d leave it to you guys if you’re interested.

  • Digital Cancer
  • Inferno
  • One-idiot army
  • Paid self-sabotage for the lazy
  • Collateral damage
  • Excuses for misanthropy
  • Alien
  • Petty grudge
  • *Forum members to come up with title *

0 voters


#17

Looks like the winner is One-idiot army. The topic of which is school / uni projects and education in general (but more so the former). I should either have it out tonight (if I can be bothered to write it now) or on Monday. My only concern now is that it lives up to expectation and that it’s of the same standard as entry 1. Stay tuned.


#18

So, here it is, entry 2. In all honesty, I’m not sure this one is as good as the last one, but that’s for you guys to decide. I’ll be adding this to the OP presently…

Entry 2: One-idiot army

Entry 2: One-idiot army

Uni / school projects, the bane of every student’s existence. We all seem to complain about the same thing. Not working with who we want to, having idiots as group members, having to do all the work yourself. The only problem is though, everyone seems to be saying this. And if everyone is saying it, then who is actually the idiot or the slacker? That all becomes apparent when you get shoved into a random group by a lecturer / teacher and find yourself to be the one who got the bad end of the deal. You find yourself to be the one-idiot army.

For this entry I’ll be focusing on my uni projects. Earlier this year I finished my second year of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. During the past two years I’ve had four main projects that were part of the course and a variety of side projects that weren’t (funnily enough, the side projects were fine). They started off easy and finished…easy-ish.

The first project was a Lego based one, where we were in a mixed discipline group of students. So, we had a mix of EEs (Electronic Engineers), MEs (Mechanical) and CEs (Civil), the idea is that we all learn to work together and put our strengths to use…at least it is on paper. The reality is far from it, I’d like to take a moment and go on a slight tangent. In my uni there is something of a feud between the EEs and MEs. We EEs have a superiority complex and we think we’re king of the hill (and we sort of are). The MEs don’t want to hear any of it and refuse to accept the end of their reign. Like Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, except we never became friends. From what I understand, the rivalry has devolved into paintball matches before.

Now, getting back on topic, I was in a group of five, the others were two MEs and two CEs. I was the one who had to uphold the honour of the EEs, and to be honest, it wasn’t the least bit difficult. Our task as a group was to design a walker that covered 3m and then stopped on its own. I seem to have this bad habit of usually cornering myself into the group leader position from the very start of any project. For this one I made sure to get in touch with my group before the project had officially started so that I could get them to start thinking about designs or maybe even mocking up a prototype.

Come the first day for the project and I’m the only one up in the lab to pick up our box of parts, so I drop everyone a message only to be met with excuses and silence. When they eventually rock up, it becomes apparent that I’m the only one taking the project seriously as I was the only one who was suggesting ideas and had prototype designs. Most of them had looks on their faces that suggested that they had never even played with Lego before. Said prediction turned out to be true when I saw them trying to build random objects unrelated to the project. None the less, I soldiered on and offered help to them since they had no experience. They sort of accepted, but then all decided to go for lunch…and didn’t come back. Luckily that left me on my own to work as I pleased.

The rest of the week was essentially me in the lab doing most of the work and then random members dropping by for maybe 30-45 mins at a time to offer minor help before leaving again. At the end we had a walker that set the fastest time of the day (10 secs).

The second project of the year was to design a house alarm system. We were in a group of seven, this time only EEs, and through the entire project, only three of us were working. It wasn’t until the final presentation that I found out we had four other members in the group. This project was a nightmare because it was all programming and I’m the worst programmer on Earth. We only just got it to work in the end by a complete miracle. This one was a combined effort from the three of us, but still…

The first project of the second year was the only good one I’ve had so far. Why? Because we got to choose our groups and I chose to be with my friends. “But Rob, surely if you’re with your friends, you’ll just slack off and do nothing?” Not with the sort of people I roll with. We’re kind of the nerds of the class, the ones that know the content and know how to work on projects. Our task was to design and build an oscilloscope multiplexer (in short it allows you to observe two different types of signal simultaneously). We had two sessions of 6h to design and two more to build. Our group had finished the entire design in 2.5h while everyone else was still getting their shit together. And we were one of the groups to finish the build first. And best of all, we didn’t even need a distinct group leader, because we were all serious about it.

But the worst project by a country mile was my last one in the second year. Now, those of you who have read my mega rant in the other thread will know what I’m talking about. But this entry has already gone on for a bit, so I’ll keep it short. Our task was to design a bicycle telemetry system that monitored various parameters. Our group was a mix of sub-disciplines within EE, so we had people who were good with circuits and people who were (supposed to be) good with programming.

The entire project ended up being very programming heavy and I was stuck doing a large portion of said programming while the rest of the group either gave me silence or excuses again. In the end I did most of the work with help from two other group members. During that project I was in the lab from the opening time of 09:00 to the extended closing time of 21:00. I’m now on a first name basis with one of our lab techs and we’re friends. On top of dealing with mostly uncooperative team members, I had to deal with constant contradictions and bullshit from the lecturer in charge of the project. All of this while also going about my normal uni life (so normal lectures and studying as well). To truly grasp how dismal this project was you’ll have to dig out my mega rant from the ‘what grinds your gears’ thread.

So, why did I call this entry the ‘one-idiot army’? Because I’m not a man, I’m an idiot in multiple senses. I’m an idiot for thinking my groups will cooperate and work with me, I’m an idiot when it comes to the parts of the projects I know nothing about (programming) and have to do them either way, because the group member that is responsible for it isn’t there. I’m an idiot, but I’m also an army as I essentially have to do group projects on my own. Thus, I am the one-idiot army.


#19

Group members make me :triumph: :angry:
BUT your story made them a bit funny too lol :sweat_smile: I remember your post though and they grind the gears too… well done with your “soldier on” attitude! :muscle:


#20

I wasn’t sure how to put a funny spin on this one.