People who work in the fields of science and technology are not like other people. This can be frustrating to the non technical people who have to deal with them. The secret to coping with technology orientated people is to understand their motivations. This chapter will teach you everything you need to know. I learned their customs and mannerisms by observing them, much the way Jane Goodall learned about the great apes, but without the hassle of grooming.
Engineering is so trendy these days that everybody wants to be one. The word "engineer" is greatly overused. If there is somebody in your life who is trying to pass as an engineer, give him this test to discern the truth.
ENGINEER IDENTIFICATION TEST You walk into a room and notice that the picture is hanging crooked. You: A. Straighten it B. Ignore it C. Buy a CAD system and spend the next six months designing a solar powered, self adjusting picture frame, while often stating out load 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 thing on "Marketing".
SOCIAL SKILLS Engineers have different objectives when it comes to social interaction. "Normal" people expect to accomplish several different unrealistic things from social interaction: o Stimulating and thought-provoking conversation o Important social contacts o A feeling of connectedness with other humans In contrast to "normal" people, engineers have rational objectives for social interactions: o Get it over with as soon as possible o Avoid getting invited to something unpleasant o Demonstrate mental superiority and mastery of all subjects
FASCINATION WITH GADGETS To the engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories: (1) things that need to be fixed, and (2) things that will need to be fixed after you have had a few minutes play with them. Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. Normal people do not 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. No engineer looks at a television remote control without wondering what it would take to turn it into a stun gun. 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 of sub-optimised and feature-poor toys.
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, and if no genitalia or mammary glands are swinging around in plain view, then the objective of clothing has been met. Anything else is a waste.
LOVE OF +STAR TREK+ Engineers love all of the +Star Trek+ television shows and movies. It is small wonder, since the engineers of the starship Enterprise are portrayed as heroes, occasionally even having sex with aliens. This is much more glamorous than the real life of an engineer, which consists of hiding from the universe and having sex without the participation of other life forms.
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 recognised as superior marriage material: intelligent, dependable, employed, honest, and handy around the house. While it is true that many normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, most people harbour an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineer-like children who will have higher paying jobs before losing their virginity. Male engineers reach the peak of their sexual attractiveness later than normal men, becoming irresistibly erotic dynamos in their mid thirties to late forties. Just look at these examples of sexually irresistible men in technical professions: o Bill Gates o MacGyver o Etcetera Female engineers become irresistible at the age of consent and remain that way until about 30 minutes after their clinical death. Longer if it is a warm day.
HONESTY Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That+s why it is a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who cannot handle the truth. 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: o I won+t change anything without asking you first o I+ll return your hard-to-find cable tomorrow o I have to have new equipment to do my job o I+m not jealous of your new computer
FRUGALITY Engineers are notoriously frugal. This is not because of cheapness or mean spirit; it is simply because every spending situation is simply a problem in optimisation, that is, +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 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 electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a couple of days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.
RISK Engineers hate risk. They try to eliminate it whenever they can. This is understandable, given that when an engineer makes one little mistake, the media will treat it like it+s a big deal or something.
EXAMPLES OF BAD PRESS FOR ENGINEERS o Hindenberg o Space Shuttle Challenger o SPANet (tm) o Hubble space telescope o Apollo 13 o Titanic o Ford Pinto o Corvair
The risk/reward calculation for engineers looks something like this: RISK: Public humiliation and the deaths of thousands of innocent people. REWARD: A certificate of appreciation in a handsome plastic frame.
Being practical people, engineers evaluate this balance of risks and rewards and decide that risk is not a good thing. The best way to avoid risk is by advising that any activity is technically impossible for reasons that are far too complicated to explain.
If that approach is not sufficient to halt a project, then the engineer will fall back to a second line of defence: +It+s technically possible but will cost too much.+
EGO Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers: o How smart they are. o 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 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.
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 sex - and I'm including the kind of sex where other people are involved.
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: ask Bob to figure it out. He knows how to solve difficult technical problems.
At that point it is a good idea for the normal person to not stand between the engineer and the problem. The engineer will set upon the problem like a starved Chihuahua on a pork chop.
These jokes are of an unknown origin. Feel free to submit corrections or add to the list. I will edit when possible, to improve the flow and correct errors.
- I'm author of History in a Year by the Conservative Voice aka History of the World in a Year by the Conservative Voice.I'm the Conservative Voice.I'm looking to make contact with those who might use my skill.
I have an m-audio mobile pre amp fed by the audiotechnica 2041sp condensor mic pack. Prior to 15/4/06, I'd used a Shure sm-58 that required a nuclear blast to register a sound or the internal mic of my aged imac, which has a penchance to recording my breathing. I also used a Griffin itrip, until the community convinced me it was not hiding my talent as well as the other mics.
I am a Writer and an occasional Math Teacher (Sir, what's the occasion?). I like to sing, having no instrumental talent (cannot even clap in time, and yes, I'm aware singing badly IS obnoxious).
I have performed the finale to Les Miserables before an audience of 500. I have also sung before a similar audience (students, parents) renditions of 'I Will' (Beatles), 'Mr Cairo' (Jon Vangelis) and 'I am Australian' (Seekers). Now I seek another profession because the audience hates me ..
Ignore my politics, the media does
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