Explain this to me like I’m a six year old

When I started university, I was the youngest one in class.
All other classmates had a pre-education in Engineering and thus, were 4 years older and smarter than me.
The teachers gradually adjusted their teaching style to a bit more advanced.
It was hard for me to keep up. I had to study a lot more and harder than the others.
The basics of Engineering, which they had in their previous education, I was simply missing.

Now, you won’t always be the youngest one.
Yet, I am 27 and so far have always been one of the juniors.

When I would start a job, I would sit down with a couple of senior colleagues whom I’d been working with closely.

There is me, sitting in my fancy clothing and note book, trying to make a good first impression.
There is them, looking bored, because they might have done this 15 billion times.
They start throwing difficult terms and company abbreviations at me. The things you don’t learn at school.
I nod a few times, like I understand it, but my face expression remains confused.
Their “You’re wasting my time” look makes me even more nervous.
After the meeting, I have learned absolutely nothing.

One year later.
I perform my task as I have been addressed with. I complete them in an efficient way, but I have no clue what they are used for, what the bigger purpose is.
“You don’t need to”, I’ve been told, “the senior colleagues will take care of that”.

Anger started boiling up inside of me.
Who was wasting whom’s time actually?
They blame it on the youth’s ability.
You know what? I blame it on the Management’s supervision.

The only thing that I did “wrong” was not asking for the basics.
And not saying:

“Why don’t you explain me this like I’m a six year old.”Β 

14 thoughts on “Explain this to me like I’m a six year old

  1. My goodness. That’s so frustrating! My housemate has similar, she works in a lab with cell diagnostics- she runs the tests and passed it on for diagnosis, in her first year they ignored teaching her the following step!
    She’s in her third year now and she’s pushed her way through learning it all. It was a constant fight but definitely worth it.
    I hope your seniors turn around and aid your learning from here! Good luck ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, I totally feel what she is going through!
      And what do they achieve with it? Why not give someone a good start so that the person can develop independently. It’s all about investment! But surely better results will be achieved.
      Good luck to her too πŸ™‚


      1. Exactly that! Really couldn’t say it better. Sometimes company’s think so much of numbers and results. They forget about the humans involved – I watched an amazing TED talk about leadership and big orgs doing the same thing recently!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This hits home for me. In my technician school in the service, and later in engineering school I had the same need. I didn’t ask a lot of questions. I just studied like someone with OCD. The irony is, I made a career in engineering, learning by doing. Today, engineers explain things and I still want “explain to me like I’m a six-year old!” hahahaha


    1. Ahh, glad you recognize yourself in this blog. Or actually not. I wish people would stop using fancy wording, and just use “normal people language”.
      I have been a trainer for Electrical Safety course actually for some years. I applied immediately for pedagogical course, which helped a lot!
      I’ve seen a lot of managers not sending their employees to such a course, because they were experts already.
      That turned out to be a big mistake!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I gave up that fight to be honest. I couldn’t win. So I found another job and I will try to be a bit more demanding with necessary information they try to hide from the very early start.
      I learned a big lesson there!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When a new person comes to my church, whether they have been going to another church for years or are brand new to this “church stuff” I take them through something I call the Lutheran F.uA.Q ( frequently unasked questions).
    It’s based on Luther’s small catechism, and every section says “As the father/head of household should teach his children. SOme people get a bit testy – asking why to use a children’s guide to the faith. By the end of the study (which usually takes established believers twice as long to go through), they are used to asking questions and don’t fear to ask the simple ones, like “what does this mean?”
    Thinking back to your illustration, I wonder why corporations and universities don’t do a similar briefing, explaining the basics, and perhaps a few of the why’s. It would make life so much easier – and even more productive!

    Love your blog – your casual yet maturing way of writing stimulates a lot of thoughts!


    1. We are always told that there are “no stupid question”. But if a so called “stupid question” is actually asked, people start rolling their eyes and get impatient.
      People have become scared of asking any question at all. Curiosity is not cool any more in today’s society. That’s why communication, in especially work life, is terrible.

      I am going to start a new job soon with quite some responsibility and I will use your method. Thank you so much for sharing! I love the term F.uA.Q!

      Thanks for the compliment too! It warms my heart to hear all these positive responses and I’m glad it also functions as some brain activity πŸ™‚


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