Of course, working in the US presents its problems culturally and practically, what with different attitudes to safety and words for things as well as the different in units - honestly, the worst thing about my job made almost impossible by the repeated us of feet, inches, pounds and Fahrenheit when the rest of the world looks at them like a little child contemptuously still believing that Santa exists.
Recently though I have been tasked with work that is outside of my experience level, as as such my productivity has slumped as well - this is not a problem actually, but merely a reality check as to the nature of my technical abilities and where I would not only like to be, but where I will have to be in the future.
When I first started though, there was no trouble of this ilk - I was given the task of sizing a flare system. A flare system is the that naughty looking flame that you see on most oil platforms that is always burning giving the North Sea at night the look of a scene from the opening of Blade Runner. In reality they are the most important safety feature of the platform and are used to dispose of unwanted gases and vapours - used in an emergency, it'll likely tower hundreds of feet above the platform and, obviously, be very warm if you are close to it - and there's the design I need to do; make sure the sizing puts the platform out of harms way.
It was something tricky, sure, but I really enjoyed engineering it out and after months working on it delivered a good piece of work that was thrown in the bin as the whole design changed drastically.
Or so I thought anyway - at lunch this week we had a 'lunch-and-learn' where a technical presentation was delivered to the whole Process department about the design of flares. It was fairly informative, reinforcing what I had learned on the job in September. Towards the end of the presentation, they showed some work done on flares, good work, almost exemplary, and lo and behold - it was my flare study, diagrams and calculations up on the screen in front of 20 or so engineers of grand and exquisite experience.
Validation. Quite, serene, sure fire validation.