THE TOP 10 SIGNS YOU'RE AN ENGINEER:
10. You use a CAD package to design your son's tree house.
9. You have an hour debate over the expected results of a test that would take five minutes to run.
8. Slim Jims and Ring Dings form the base of your nutrition pyramid.
7. People groan at parties when you pick out the music.
6. Your spouse sends you e-mail instead of calling you to dinner.
5. When your 3-year-old asks why the sky is blue, you attempt to explain the atmospheric absorption theory.
4. You own one or more white short-sleeve dress shirts.
3. Discussions with yor friends about the properties of dilithium crystals routinely lead to fist fights.
2. At the local Radio Shack, you're greeted like Norm at Cheers.
1. You have no life and you can prove it mathematically.
THREE ENGINEERS AND A GENIE
Three men - a project manager, a software engineer, and a hardware engineer -
are working on a special project in Ft. Lauderdale. One day while walking along
the beach during their lunch hour, they stumble upon a magic lamp. Out pops a
genie who proclaims, "I will grant the three of you one wish each."
The hardware engineer goes first: "I want to live in a huge house in St. Thomas, with no money worries, surrounded by beautiful women." The genie grants him his wish and sends him off to St. Thomas.
The software engineer goes next: "I want to live on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean, with no money worries, surrounded by beautiful women." The genie grants him his wish and sends him off to the Mediterranean.
Last, but not least, is the project manager. "And what is your wish?" asks the genie. The project manager replies, "I want them both back after lunch."
GUIDE TO GEEK-SPEAK:
Engineers often seem to speak their own language. Here's a key understanding
some of the most important phrases:
- An extensive report is being prepared on a fresh approach to the problem.
Translation: We just hired three kids out of college.
- Preliminary operational tests were inconclusive.
Translation: The darn thing blew up when we threw the switch.
- The entire concept will have to be abandoned.
Translation: The only person who understood the thing quit.
- It's brand new.
Translation: The parts are not interchangeable with the previous design.
- Test results were extremely gratifying.
Translation: Hey, the stupid thing works!
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU'RE A REAL ENGINEER?
(Hint: It's got nothing to do with quiche.) Here are a few guidelines:
- Real engineers consider themselves well dressed if their socks match.
- Real engineers wear moustaches or beards for efficiency - not because they're lazy.
- Real engineers know the second law of thermodynamics but not their shirt size.
- Real engineers rotate their tires for laughs.
- Real engineers consider the book title "Windows for Dummies" to be redundant.
THE ENGINEER AND THE FROG
An engineer was walking past a pond when a frog called out to him: "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." The engineer picked up the frog, studied it, and put it into his pocket. The frog spoke up again: "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will adore you forever." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and then returned it to his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess who will adore you forever. Why won't you kiss me?" The engineer replied, "Look, I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool."
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING AN ENGINEER
Engineering is so trendy these days that everybody wants to be one. In fact, the word engineer is greatly overused. If there's somebody in your life who you think is trying to pass himself off as an engineer, give him this test to discern the truth:
ENGINEER IDENTIFICATION TEST
You walk into a room and notice that a picture is, hanging crooked. You:
a.) Straighten it.
b.) Ignore it.
c.) Buy a CAD system spend the next six months designg a solar-powered, self- adjusting picture frame while often stating aloud your belief that the inventor of the nail was a total moron.
The correct answer is C, but partial credit can be given to anybody who writes 'it depends' in the margin of the test or simply blames the whole stupid thing on marketing.
Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction. Normal
people expect to accomplish several unrealistic things from social interaction
such as stimulating, thoughtprovoking conversation, important social contacts
and a feeling of connectedness with other humans. Unlike normal people,
engineers have rational objectives for social interactions:
1. Get it over with as soon as possible.
2. Avoid geting invited to something unpleasant.
3. Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects.
FASCINATION WITH GADGETS
To the engineer, all matter in the universe can he placed into one of two
1. Things that need to be fixed.
2. Things that will need to be fixed after you've had a few minutes to play with them.
Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems, they will create
their own. Normal people don't understand this concept; they believe that if it
ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't
have enough features yet.
In addition, no engineer looks at a television remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a stun gun. Likewise, no engineer can take a shower without wondering if some sort of Teflon coating would make showering unnecessary. To the engineer, the world is a toy box full of sub-optimized and feature-poor toy.
FASHION AND APPEARANCE
Clothes are the lowest priority for an engineer, assuming the basic thresholds for temperature and decency have been satisfied. If no appendages are freezing or sticking together, then the objective of clothing has been met. Anything else is a waste.
DATING AND SOCIAL LIFE
Dating is never easy for engineers. A normal person will employ various indirect and duplicitous methods to create a false impression of attractiveness. Engineers are incapable of placing appearance above function. Fortunately, engineers have an ace in the hole. They are widely recognized as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest, and handy around the house.
HONESTY AND WHITE LIES
Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships.
That's why its a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic
interests, and other people who can't handle the truth. However, engineers
sometimes bend the truth to avoid work. They say things that sound like lies but
technically are not because nobody could be expected to believe them.
The complete list of engineer lies is listed below:
1. I won't change anything without asking you first.
2. I'll return your hard-to-find cable tomorrow.
3. I have to have new equipment to do my job.
4. I'm not jealous of your new computer.
Engineers are notoriously frugal. This is not because of cheapness or a mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimization. In other words, "How can I escape this situation while retaining the greatest amount of cash?"
POWERS OF CONCENTRATION
If there is one trait that best defines an engineer it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment. This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely. Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies. Anybody with a degree in engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.
Engineers hate risk. They try to eliminate it whenever they can. This is
understandable. When an engineer makes a mistake, the media tend to treat it as
if its a big deal. Some examples of bad press for engineers include:
- The Hindenburg
- The Space Shuttle Challenger
- Apollo 13
- The Titanic
- The Ford Pinto
Thus, the risk/reward calculation for engineers equates risk with public humiliation and the death of thousands of innocent people, and it equates reward with a certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame.
Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance and conclude that risk is not a good thing. The best way to avoid risk is by saying that any activity is technically impossible for reasons that are far too complicated to explain. If that approach is not sufficient to halt the project, then the engineer falls back to a second line of defense: "It's technically possible, but it will cost to much."
EGO AND TECHNICAL SKILLS
Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers:
1. How smart they are.
2. How many cool devices they own.
The fastest way to get an engineer to solve a problem is to declare that the problem is unsolvable. No engineer can walk away from an unsolvable problem until it's is solved. No illness or distraction is sufficient to get the engineer off the case. These types of challenges quickly become personal - a battle between the engineer and the laws of nature. In fact, engineers will go without food and hygiene for days to solve a problem. (Other times just because they forgot.) And when they succeed in solving the problem, they will experience an ego rush that is better than just about anything. Nothing is more threatening to the engineer than the suggestion that somebody has more technical skill. Normal people sometimes use that knowledge as a lever to extract more work from the engineer. When an engineer says that something can't be done (a code phrase that means it's not fun to do), some clever normal people have learned to glance at the engineer with a look of compassion and pity and say something along these lines: "I'll ask Bob to figure it out. He knows how to solve difficult technical problems." At that it is a good idea for the normal person not to stand between the engineer and the problem. The eengineer will set upon the problem like a starved Chihuahua on a pork chop.
HERE ARE SOME DEFINITIONS FROM THE "GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING DICTIONARY:
Contractor - A gambler who never gets to shuffle, cut, or deal.
Bid opening - A poker game in which the, losing hand wins.
Bid - A wild guess carried out to two decimal points.
Low bidder - A contractor who is wondering what he left out of his bid.
Engineer's estimate - The cost of construction in heaven.
Project manager - The conductor of an orchestra in which every musician is in a different union.
Critical path method - A management technique for losing your shirt under perfect control.
OSHA - A protective coating made by half-baking a mixture of fine Print, red tape, split hairs, and baloney, usually applied at random with a shotgun.
Strike - An effort to increase egg production by strangling the chicken.
Delayed payment - A tourniquet applied at the pockets.
Completion date - The point at which liquidated damages begin.
Liquidated damages - A penalty for failing to achieve the impossible.
Auditor - People who go in after the battle and bayonet the wounded.
Lawyer - People who go in after the auditors and strip the dead bodies.
Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources person asked a young engineer who was fresh out of MIT, "What starting salary were you thinking about?" The engineer said, "In the neighborhood of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package." The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every two years - say, a red Corvette?" The engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?" The interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it."
DRILL PRESS - A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal
bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your
beer across the room, splattering it against that freshly painted part you were
E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR - A tool that snaps off in bolt holes and is 10 times harder than any known drill bit.
EIGHT-FOOT-LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4 - Used for levering a motorcycle upward off a hydraulic jack.
ELECTRIC HAND DRILL - Normally used for spinning steel pop rivets in their holes, but it also works great for drilling mounting holes in fenders just above the line that goes to the rear wheel.
HACKSAW - One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
HAMMER - Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK - Used for lowering a motorcycle to the ground after you have installed your new front disc brake setup, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front fender.
MECHANIC'S KNIFE - Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on boxes containing seats and leatherjackets.
OXYACETYLENE TORCH - Used almost entirely for lighting on fire various flammable objects in your garage. Also handy for igniting the grease inside a brake drum that contains the bearing race you're trying to remove.
PHONE - Tool for contacting your neighbor to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack.
PLIERS - Used to round off bolt heads.
SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER - Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog-doo off your boot.
TIMING LIGHT - A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup.
TWEEZERS - A tool for removing wood splinters.
VISE-GRIPS - Also used to round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can effectively transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
WHITWORTH SOCKETS - Once working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now mainly impersonating that 9/16 or 1/2-in. socket you've been trying to find for the last 15 min.
WIRE WHEEL - Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard- earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, "Ouch..."
LAWYERS & ENGINEERS
1. A group of lawyers had to measure the height of a flagpole for evidence to
support a lawsuit. They went out to the flagpole with ladders and a tape
measure. They proceeded to fall off the ladders and drop the tape measure - the
whole thing was just a mess.
An engineer comes along and sees what they're trying to do. He walks over, pulls the flagpole out of the ground, lays it flat, measures it, gives the measurement to one of the lawyers and walks away.
After the engineer has gone, one lawyer turns to another and laughs. "Isn't that just like an engineer. We're looking for the height and he gives us the length."
2. An engineer dies and goes to heaven only to be told by St. Peter, "Sorry,
your name is not on the list. You're in the wrong place."
Down in hell though despondent, the engineer quickly assesses the situation and decides to make the best of it. With the abundance of available heat, he designs and builds a power plant to generate electricity. He then proceeds to spruce up the place, installing air conditioners, escalators, lighting, automatic door openers, etc.
After an audit, God discovers the engineer was on the list after all and calls the devil.
"My staff made an error, you must send the engineer back," says God.
"How are you going to make me do that?" replies the devil.
"Well, I will sue," God says.
The devil laughs. "And where do you figure on getting a lawyer?"
A man is flying a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and
spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts, "Excuse me.
Can you help me? I promised my friend I would meet him half an hour ago, but I
don't know where I am."
The man below says,"Yes, You are in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above this field. You are between 40 and 41 degrees N. Latitude, and between 59 and 60 degrees W. longitude".
"You must be an engineer," says the balloonist.
"I am," replies the man. "How did you know?"
"Well," says the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost."
The man below says, "You must be a manager."
"I am," replies the balloonist, "but how did you know?"
"Well," says the man below, "you don't know where you are, or where you are going, You have made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now it is somehow my fault."
Q: What is the definition of an engineer?
A: Someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.
Q: When does a person decide to become an engineer?
A: When he realizes he doesn't have the charisma to be an undertaker.
Q: What do engineers use for birth control?
A: Their personalities.
Q: How can you tell an extroverted engineer?
A: When he talks to you, he looks at your shoes instead of his own.
Q: Why did the engineers cross the road?
A: Because they looked in the file and that's what they did last year.
Q: How do you drive an engineer completely insane?
A: Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him, and fold up a road map the wrong way.
Q: When do people decide to become engineers?
A: When they are intrigued by the relationship between the force the mouth applies and the distance the pabulum is propelled.
Q: Why did the engineer cross the road?
A: To determine the scattering cross section of Mack trucks.
Q: How do you drive engineers completely insane?
A: Refuse to accept their calculations that you won't win the Lotto.
YOU MIGHT BE AN ENGINEER IF...
... choosing between buying flowers for your girlfriend or upgrading your RAM is
a moral dilemma.
... you take a cruise so you can go on a personal tour of the engine room.
... in college you tought Spring Break was metal-fatigue failure.
... the sales people at a local computer store can't answer any of your questions.
... at an air show you know how fast the skydivers are falling.
... you bought your wife a new CDROM drive for her birthday.
... you can quote scenes from any Monty Python movie.
... you can type 70 words/min but can't read your own handwriting.
... you comment to your wife that her straight hair is nice and parallel.
... you sit backwards on the Disneyland rides to see how they do the special effects.
... you have saved every power cord from all your broken appliances.
... you have more friends on the Internet than in real life.
... you know what http:// stands for.
... you look forward to Christmas so you can put the kids' toys together.
... you see a good design and still have to change it.
... you spent more on your calculator than you did on your weddin gring.
... you still own a slide rule and know how to use it.
... you think that people yawning around you are sleep deprived.
... you window shop at Radio Shack.
... your laptop computer costs more than your car.
... your wife hasn't the foggiest idea of what you do at work.
... you've already calculated how much you make per second.
... at an air Show you note that the fat skydivers are falling at substantially the same velocity as the skinny skydivers.
... you comment to your spouse that your straight hair is a result of the individual strands all having a nearly circular cross section.
... at sunset or sunrise you comment that the different colored clouds are a result of them being at different altitudes.
... when you take a jet, you bring along your atomic clock.
... you realize that the force the door applies to your body, as your car is coming around a comer, is a centripetal, not a centrifugal force.
... you are intrigued by the fact that all the different colored food that enters the alimentary canal exits the same color.
... you can't understand why your spouse takes offense when you buy a really neat computer PC board for the seventh anniversary of having met (the copper anniversary).
... when you put the kids toys together and strip a thread, you drill and tap it oversize, and use a stainless steel cap head Allen drive screw.
... you discover a toy with a broken part and you contemplate the probability of breakage for five identical parts constructed of five different materials.
... you window shop at Sharper Image.
... in college you thought "Dead Week" was the term for a grossly underdesigned support strut.
... you fully understand the terms 'coefficient of friction', 'center of mass', "angular momentum' and 'potential energy' as you fall on your backside after slipping on an icy sidewalk.
... you have a sinking feeling when your spouse takes the hottest computer around and incessantly plays solitaire.
... you are unable to understand how an extremely lucid explanation of the implementation of a quasidynamic adiabatic process could result in the comment, "You use too big words."
... you can't understand how your spouse can cry, having read a dumb poem, and yet, not be moved at the beauty of Maxwell's Equations.
... every time you go into a store and take a number to be served, you're glad your last name is not Avogadro.
WORDS OF WISDOM
1. I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow's not
looking good either.
2. I love deadlines. I especially love the swooshing sound they make as they go flying by.
3. Am I beeing smart with you? How would you know?
4. I'd explain it to you, but your brain would explode.
5. Someday we will lookback on this and plow into a parked car.
6. There are few personal problems that cannot be solved through a suitable application of high explosives.
7. Tell me what you need, and I'll tell you how to get along without it.
8. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
9. Needing someone is like needing a parachute. If he isn't there the first time you need him, chances are you won't be needing him again.
10. I don't have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem.
11. Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myserf, Where the hell is the ceiling?'
12. My reality check bounced.
13. On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger, on the escape key.
14. I don't suffer from stress - I'm a carrier.
15. You're slower than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter!
16. Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.
17. Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
* Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
* Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?
* Why are cigarettes sold in gas stations when smoking is prohibited there?
* If you can't drink and drive, why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor, and why do bars have parking lots?
* Do you need a silencer if you are going to shoot a mime?
* Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?
* How does the guy who drives the snowplow gets to work in the mornings?
* If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?
* If a cow laughed real hard, would milk come out her nose?
* If nothing ever sticks to Teflon, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan?
* If you're in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?
* You know how most packages say "Open here." What is the protocol if the package' says, 'Open somewhere else?"
* Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive-up ATM?
* Why isn't "palindrome" spelled the same way backwards?
* You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?
* Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?
* If you have your finger touching the rearview mirror that says "objects in mirror are closer than they appear," how can that be possible?
* Why is it so hard to remember how to spell mnemonic?
* If someone invented instant water, what would they mix it with?
* Why is it called a 'TV set' when you only get one?
* Why does an alarm clock 'go off' when it begins ringing?
* If pro is the opposite of con, is progress the opposite of congress?
* Our new product has a special feature: You'll never have to hunt for the warranty. There isn't any.