Chapter 1962 The Meaning of Creation
After talking to each of his subordinate mech designers, Ves gained a good sense of their individual progress. He also sounded out their willingness to remain a part of his team even if Ves attracted trouble!
He underestimated their resolve. Most of the mech designers he hired weren't set up for success.
The Tovar mech designers had money, power and connections, but failed to translate these advantages effectively.
The Ylvainan mech designers mostly consisted of a mixed bunch. They were incredibly devoted to their faith, but couldn't channel that into their work.
Mayer was very bright, but he was so calm that his passion levels were muted.
Merill possessed the most interacting background and experiences of all. Despite her many ordeals with pirates, she appeared to be a bona fide rational mech designer!
The last two mech designers gave Ves a bit of a headache in terms of their future development.
The truth was that Ves did not like rational mech designers. Though Master Olson was rather decent, after encountering people like Patricia and Master Willix, he completely detested these kinds of mech designers!
Rational mech designers treated passion and emotions as liabilities rather than assets. Though they needed at least a little bit of passion and emotion in order to maintain their motivation in their profession, they treated them as if they were dangerous exobeasts that had to be stuffed in the deepest, darkest cage in their minds!
Ves thought that was unnatural. Everything about rational mech designers came across as artificial. He much preferred to work with the likes of Gloriana who was fully invested in her design philosophy to the point she was always honest when it came to her specialty!
At work, Ves never needed to think too much or doubt Gloriana's honesty. Both of them possessed different views towards mech designers, but because they knew each other's preferences so well, they often managed to achieve synergies in their collaboration works!
With rational mech designers, Ves wasn't sure he'd be able to accomplish the same degree of synergy.
While they were very adaptable, there was something very slimy and disingenuous about them. By emulating other specialties with their minds, they pushed their primary specializations to the side!
Regardless, Ves was stuck with Mayer and Merrill.
Though he supposed he could give them the boot, that was too petty for him. It wasn't Mayer's fault that he was inclined towards rationality. He was still young and Ves had plenty of time to corrupt,— ahem, guide him to the right path!
As for Merril, she was too useful to the LMC due to her abundant amount of practical experience. With his current level of fame and prestige in the mech industry, Ves could easily hire scores of talented subordinates as long as they didn't mind some excitement in their lives.
However, it was a lot harder to find someone who was smart, decent and versatile as Merrill. Ves liked her a lot and considered her just as promising as Ketis.
After sorting out his impressions, Ves realized that all of them had stagnated in their growth.
While they were benefiting a lot from his expansive library, there was more to designing mechs than expanding their knowledge.
Ves knew first-hand that while piling up on various skills increased a mech designer's options, it did not automatically result in better mech designs!
I haven't guided my subordinates sufficiently. He admitted to himself. I only focused on their immediate concerns rather than their greater needs.
Lucky floated alongside his head before landing on the Larkinson Mandate floating on his other side!
Thank you for your help, Goldie. I'm pretty sure of my judgement, but it helps to have a second opinion.
As a spiritual entity, the Golden Cat possessed a natural advantage in reading the true intentions of people, especially if they hadn't been trained to guard against this kind of observation.
His hand reached out to pet Lucky while a spiritual projection tickled Goldie's chin.
Once he had his fill of cats, Ves rose up and left the office. He entered the design lab and faced his design teams while nodding at Gloriana.
He clapped. Alright. I'm glad I talked with all of you on an individual basis. It has become apparent that all of you share a common shortcoming.
Everyone paid careful attention to him. They were all curious what Ves thought they lacked. Even Gloriana sat up straighter from her seat!
I already told Miles why he isn't able to progress his design philosophy. He revealed. What do you think a mech designer represents? What do we actually do for a living?
We design mechs. Merrill plainly answered.
That's correct, but what does that actually entail?
We.. utilize our science and engineering skills to develop large war machines.
That's better, but not quite enough. Are we scientists? Are we engineers?
Most of the mech designers except Gloriana nodded as if this was true.
WRONG! Ves slammed the surface of the closest workstation! While it is true that we can perform the same functions as scientists and engineers, that is not the extent of our jobs! Have you forgotten the artistic side of mech design?
Mech designers have to apply their knowledge in a creative and ingenious manner in order to achieve success. Mayer noted.
Good! Those are the words I've been waiting to hear! Creativity and ingenuity are both vital traits to mech designers. I suspect the main reason why none of you managed to progress too much is because you are focusing too much on one side of mech design at the cost of the other on the other side of your profession!
The realization stunned them! Even though they were aware of the duality of mech design, they hadn't focused too much on the creative side of their profession!
Ves didn't blame them. It was very hard to develop one's creativity and ingenuity. To most people, they were born with these traits. There wasn't really a solid way to measure their strengths, and that made it difficult to come up with methods to improve them. They were too vague!
Normally, mech designers passively exercised their creativity and ingenuity by designing mechs. The more aspects of a mech they contributed to, the greater the stress on their ability to innovate!
While this solution worked decently for independent mech designers such as Ves and Gloriana, it was different for dependent mech designers who worked in a design team.
Dependent mech designers were only responsible for a portion of a mech design. Usually, their contributions were limited and scope and trivial in importance.
In a design team, the lead designers made all of the most important design decisions. This allowed Ves and Gloriana to exercise their creativity and ingenuity to the maximum.
Their assistants didn't share this luxury. They had to make do with the mech design profession's equivalent of janitorial work and perform all of the menial jobs to ease the efforts of the more important mech designers!
This was the most standard model of a design team. Ves had no desire to change it because he truly needed the help to increase his productivity.
However, he was not blind to its exploitative nature. If the assistant mech designers continued to perform odd jobs, they might eventually lose the ability to design a mech by themselves!
This was not what Ves wanted to see. Since his mech designers each pledged their loyalties to him, it was his duty as a league to reciprocate their trust!
Even though there are times when our projects need all hands on deck, you still have plenty of time to spend on your progression. Rather than continue to hit the books, I'd like to see you spend your time on more fruitful pursuits.
Most of you chose to increase your competences by expanding your knowledge base, but starting from today, I want to see you devote your time on applying your gains by designing your own mechs.
His subordinates reacted with surprise.
Are we allowed to design our own mechs?
You are. I'm not the kind of boss who disapproves of your efforts. Just make sure you do your design work after you have completed your tasks for the day. As long as they are decent enough, we can discuss later whether we adapt your work and prep it for the market.
You'll actually allow us to sell our own mechs through the LMC, sir? Oscar asked with shock.
Yes! That said, if the mech isn't too good, I'll probably sell it under a different brand. I've already extended the same offer to Ketis.
He explained some of his conditions. All of them understood the opportunity that Ves provided.
Not every employer was willing to publish the designs of assistant mech designers!
Even if their own work didn't measure up against their bosses, the option to design a mech for the market was incredibly valuable to their development!
Ves visibly saw his approval rating rise among his design teams. The Ylvainans looked at him with even more devotion than before, while the Tovars all felt vindicated by their choice to stick to their current jobs!
He smiled. While I would like you to have fun, don't forget what mech design is truly about. It's not only your head that matters, but also your heart. One of the keys to progressing your design philosophies is to fall in love with it, for a lack of a better description. If you are just going through the motions, then you can forget about advancing any further than Apprentice Mech Designer.
Not everyone was as confident in advancing as others. Most of his assistants ranged from 25 to 40 years old. Plenty of them were older than thirty, which meant they possessed a decent amount of work experience.
It was easy to dream big when they were studying mech design at school. Yet once they entered the job market, the reality for mech designers turned out to be a lot more cutthroat than they thought!
It's not enough to be a good learner! Ves emphasized. Technically, we can call ourselves engineers. However, I think it's a mistake to adopt this mentality. Mech design is more than just an engineering profession. Mech design is art. Mech design is about pushing your own vision. Mech design is about proving the entire mech industry wrong by turning the impossible into the possible! That is what a mech designer truly means to me! If you aren't committed to your design philosophy, you're just an engineer!
His lecture made a significant impact on his subordinates. Though Ves presented a rather binary argument that wasn't fully accurate, he did so in order to drive a point!
He needed to shake the complacent mindsets of his subordinates and encourage them to see their profession in a different light!
Mayer raised his arm. I have a question, sir.
I think I understand what you are trying to tell us, but how exactly do you develop a heart for mech design?
Ves looked at him as if he was an idiot. Find your passion. Follow what you like the most about mechs. Perhaps it might be useful to think back on how you regarded mechs in your youth. That child-like wonder and fascination of mechs that drove you to study mech design is not something you should put aside now that you have realized your ambition to become a mech designer. Ask yourselves these questions. Why do you love mechs? What do you want to add mechs? How hard are you willing to work to realize your ambitions?
Every subordinate mech designer looked thoughtful.
In contrast, Gloriana smiled and nodded throughout his lecture. She agreed with all of his points!
My boyfriend is teaching you a very valuable lesson. She added. We both encountered plenty of mech designers who are similar to you. They think that designing mechs is all about crunching numbers or drawing the most optimal mech schematic possible. That's not really mech design. The only way to become a true mech designer is to find the meaning of creation and apply it your mechs!