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've had a few minutes to play with them. Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems. 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. 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 full of sub-optimized 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.
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. While it's true that many normal people would prefer not to date an engineer, most normal people harbor an intense desire to mate with them, thus producing engineer like children who will have high-paying jobs long before losing their virginity.
Male engineers reach their peak of sexual attractiveness later than normal men, becoming irresistible erotic dynamos in their mid thirties to late forties. Just look at these examples of sexually irresistible men in technical professions:
Bill Gates, MacGyver, Etcetera
Female engineers become irresistible at the age of consent and remain that way until about thirty minutes after their clinical death. Longer if it's a warm day.
Engineers are always honest in matters of technology and human relationships. That's why it's a good idea to keep engineers away from customers, romantic interests, and other people who can't 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.
"I won't change anything without asking you first." "I'll return your hard-to-find cable tomorrow." "I have to have new equipment to do my job." "I'm not jealous of your new computer."
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 optimization, 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 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 electrical 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, 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
RISK: Public humiliation and the death 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 defense: "It's technically possible, but it will cost too much."
Ego-wise, two things are important to engineers: How smart they are. 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: "I'll 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.
Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"
The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."
"The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."
To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!"
The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude! "The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him."
"Hi George. Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"
The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind fire-fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."
The group was silent for a moment.
The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."
The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them."
The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multimillion dollar machines.
They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.
The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated, "This is where your problem is".
The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.
The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.
The engineer responded briefly: One chalk mark $1 Knowing where to put it $49,999.
It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.
What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?
Mechanical Engineers build weapons, Civil Engineers build targets.
Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.
One said, "It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints." Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections."
The last said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"
"Normal people ... 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." - Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle
An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.
The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.
The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.
The engineer said, "I like both."
Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."
An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess".
He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.
The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."
The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want."
Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.
Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"
The engineer said, "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool.
Comparing Men and Women
A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to re-frame or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level, and beat you with experience.
I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it's still on the list.
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
War does not determine who is right -- only who is left.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted paychecks.
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "In an emergency, notify:" I put “A DOCTOR."
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
I used to be indecisive; now I'm not sure.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
| W.T. Holmes |