The Rocket Scientist — Tropes Thursday


“This ain’t rocket science” I catch myself saying quite a bit.

Whether it’s about driving, adulting, cooking, repairing things, etc…

But is it really?

Or does it trivialize the struggles of others?

There is a learning curve for everything. For instance, some people can set fire to their kitchen when trying to boil water. Some people, I know quite a few, are in their 30’s and can’t/refuse to drive.

Now I’m not one of those people who will coddle you because you’re afraid or whiny. I will throw someone in the proverbial fire to teach them a lesson, if need be. However, I have a great deal of sympathy for folks who are unable to learn something due to a systemic learning delay or PTSD — something medical or inherently psychological. In a way, I feel that those coddled people need to learn the hard lesson and that people these days aren’t party to true adversity.

For those people, hearing “It’s not rocket science.” Is the least of their worries.

Some things are rocket science for me — not because I can’t understand the concept, but because it is overwhelming, daunting, and complicated i.e. taxes… which I still haven’t done and really need to do.

Or dealing with my vehicle. When I had my wonderful and amazing Red 1989 Ford Bronco with typical 1980’s red interior, my dad taught me what everything under the hood did, how to check it, how to fix it, and then some.


Even though my dad and I replaced all the brake lines, rotors, brake pads, transmission fluid, steering fluid, distributor module, battery, tires, and cleaned the carpet with a toothbrush and Woolite… I still had to part with it. It got to the point where the transmission decided to crap out and that was that.

With my new car and all it’s fancy electrical systems, I’m scared to pop the hood or change my oil. I don’t want to mess it up — rocket science for me.

But having my old Bronco was such a learning experience for me, especially in dealing with vehicles. I learned how the entire power system for a vehicle works including the starter, coil, alternator, etc…

But I digress…

I guess what prompted this trope this week is that I’m still training new people… but they keep making little noob errors. But this morning I had a big error that it explicitly states not to do in our very detailed 15 page procedure document for how to do that job.

And I hate having to be the person to QA their work because a) it puts me into a supervisory position and b) I’m not a supervisor and if they want me to do supervisory work, my salary needs to reflect.

But, our job isn’t rocket science. We have a data system with clear cut instructions on how to operate said system and how to perform our job with scripts on what to say to patients and doctors.

It’s not that hard.

Maybe it’s the learning curve.

I’m convinced anyone can learn to be a rocket scientist if they have enough time and stick-to-it-ness, and resources (seriously… when I took the GRE in 2012, I hadn’t had a math class since 2007. I re-learned algebra, trig, stats, and some calc from Youtube).

There is so much educational material out on the internet to learn from. I know certain universities have their entire course uncatalogued on line. When my mom was in school to become a medical assistant, I knew more medical stuff than she did. The only thing I’d need to learn is the practical things — taking BP, drawing blood, and other vitals.

The heart of the issue — people who cannot learn because of some actual delay and people who refuse to learn.

I haven’t the time for those who refuse to learn life lessons or need to have their hand held.

I guess, in that, I’m an enigma and a contrarian — I make a lot of concessions for people, like myself, who have anxiety issues. Conversely, if I’ve given you time to get over something and you don’t, I’m just gonna push you in the deep end and hope you swim.

The hardest lessons are the best lessons. They get engraved into your being.


** Tropes play a large part in life; Merriam Webster defines it as something common place or cliche — but life is cliches. This is a series I am starting as a writing exercise to work on my analytical skills and write for fun. It is meant to be comical and informative. Feedback is always welcome!

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