The Depths They Go To

| Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK | Working | May 25, 2017

(I am working data entry for a utilities company contracted for gas works by the British National Grid. I get data sheets from the contractors to enter into the computer system. The sheets, among other things, give the length, width, and depth of the hole they have dug to reach the gas supply. When I’ve entered the first three on a sheet I notice that every time, instead of the depth, the contractor has given the surface area (length x width). Seeing that it’s the same on all of them I ask my supervisor what to do.)

Supervisor: “No, we don’t record surface area.”

Me: “That’s my point. Look here; what they’ve given as depth is surface area.”

Supervisor: “It’s a coincidence. Just enter the data.”

Me: “But they’re all the same; surface area, not depth.”

Supervisor: “The data is correct. You don’t need to think about it. Just enter it.”

Me: “But here it says the hole was 7m deep.”

Supervisor: “Well, obviously that should be 0.7m. They missed a decimal place out. Correct that. But you really don’t need to think about the data. Just enter it into the system.”

(I went back to my desk and entered the data as instructed, then over lunch I started searching for another job. Not even paying for my Masters degree was worth been basically told ‘we don’t pay you to think.’)

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