Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

09 August 2007

Working With Engineers

I'm always looking for a good topic to blog on. I run into the proverbial "writers block" as much as anyone - or I just get lazy. So when Mark came to me with this topic, I knew it was straight up money. While I work with a lot of engineers, I myself am not one, so I have the unenviable task of working alongside engineers. Most of us know that engineers are qwerky yet usually intelligent. So, here I'm going to chronicle a few of my experiences working with engineers, as well as placing them into their own unique groups.

Group 1 - Cool Engineers. For the most part, a lot of the engineers at some level can be "cool", but this group (and its the smallest one) is for the engineers who are truly cool. Guys you would go throw back a few beers with. These guys are the Young Turks of the engineering world. Usually young (between 24-34) and right out of college or the military and haven't been corrupted yet by 20 years of engineering service. They laugh at other engineers as much as you do and if you joke on them they can take it and give it back. They are still free thinkers and work to get their job done. They haven't been "re-educated" by 23 years of company policy's that leaves the best engineers standing in front of the grunts (such as myself) with drool falling out of the corner of their mouth and expecting you to make shit happen based on the sketch they drew on 3 sheets of single ply toilet paper while they were taking their mid-morning dump.No, the cool guys will be down here getting dirty like the rest of us and when they get in the way and we tell them to get fucking lost, they get fucking lost. Fellas, your overpaid asses can buy me a beer anytime.

Group 2 - Young Dick Engineers. These are the younger engineers who you would not have a beer with. These are the guys in the same age group as the cool engineers, however they are not cool. Matter of fact usually they are fucking assholes. They are determined to make it to the top of the company no matter who they have to step on or who they have to fuck over to get their. Its safe to say that these are shitty engineers for the most part, yet are the ones who will make it to the top 1.) because they step on people on their way up and 2.) they keep getting promoted because they suck. Sad but true, but when one boss finds out how useless YDE is, it's easier to promote him and send him elsewhere then get rid of him. Fucking politically correct bullshit. A great example of YDE in action is this. YDE brings a design of his to you. As the Mechanic who will build his design, he asks for input (although he thinks its perfect). You will take a look at YDE's design and quickly notice its full of more shit than last nights bowel movement. You give your input, YDE blows you off yet takes your input and cleans up his design. You build it then, it comes out better than was expected and YDE takes all the credit for it. Cocksucker. Another example is as a floor worker, you will be in charge of a program out on the floor. The assigned YDE will never be anywhere to be found. The program's due date will be pulled in and you end up working overtime and busting your ass to get this program done and shipped on time. This included dealing with a bevy of problems ranging from supply issues to mechanical issues. Never the less, you get the job out and under the new deadline and YDE takes all the credit for your hard work. Luckily for me, YDE's around my job are in short supply.

Group 3 - Old Miserable/Crusty Engineer. These are the guys that have been around forever. 25, 30, 35 years or more. They never achieved the success needed to get into management or program management, but they are at the top of the game among other engineers. The thing is, most of these guys are flat out miserable. Miserable that they are back as a test engineer or doing some other aspect that newbies would handle. However after 30 years, trying to find a place for these guys is tough. To OMCE, don't blame me that you are miserable and surely don't take it out on me. Its not my fault you don't have the drive to break out, or are content just hanging around in your secure world or whatever. When I saw "good morning" or "hello" I want something better in return than your mumbling and grumbling. These are also the guys who have no patience or tolerance. If something isn't working as it should, start building your bomb shelter like the Commies just dropped off some warheads on Cuba because these guys will blow a gasket! Look bitch, work through the problem like you would have 20 years ago and deal with it. Don't start yelling and expect me to come running with the fire hose to put out your fire. be happy you're still here working. If we were in Alaska you would have been put on a block of ice and pushed out to sea.

Group 4 - Managerial Engineers - What a classic group these guys are. These are veteran engineers who were able to land a promotion and end up a "boss". See, where I work, the Engineering group is broken down to several different groups inside, based on what you are doing. Each group gets one of these ME's. Once an ME has been in place for a few years, gone is all common sense, ability to reason and think, and to be able to help the people who work under you. After a few years in these slots, gone is the understanding about what it takes to get the job done, what life is like on the floor. After a few years of paper pushing, worrying about deadlines and the cleanliness of work areas, and a couple million games of FreeCell and Solitaire, an ME ceases all usefulness. Most of the time, ME just hinders his groups performance, causes riff's among co-workers, and has completely lost touch with the work that he supervises. While achieving ME status might be good for your paycheck, its is a death sentence to your common sense abilities.

Group 5 - Know it all Engineers - I'm going to keep this description short, as their issues will be described in the idiosyncrasies of Engineers, but as you can imagine, this group thinks they walk on water and act like it too.

Now that we have a few of the groups out of the way, lets talk about some things that stand out about Engineers.

1.) The Superior Attitude. You would think these guys belong to some secret club that makes them better than everyone else. We all know the fact that they are just crackpots, And they know that too yet they act like they shit out rose smelling gold bars. Listen, you'll be still paying off those 5 years at R.I.T. by the time I retire so spare me. To the older engineers...Technology has passed you by. All your knowledge and expertise is as useless as ME right about now, so spare me the look down your nose at me treatment.

2.) Missing - Common Sense. There is no question that engineers are some smart mother fuckers. Some even brilliant. Apparently though, this intelligence comes at a great expense. Once they have reached a certain level of intelligence, all common sense falls right out the window like Eric Clapton's son. The simplest of tasks like filling out a move ticket or operating a pallet jack become some of the most difficult tasks these asscan's have to do. Keeping their shoes tied, a shirt tucked in proper shave etc. are all problems these smart guys face. Seriously, if I get so smart that simple tasks become a problem for me, here's hoping I go the other way and end up a dumb shit.

3.) Strange/Weird. Yes, there is just something about this group that just isn't right. It's nothing that can be pinpointed, but we all know its there. Whether its Software Engineer's geek/dorkdome, Mechanical Engineer's "why get it right the first time when I can redraw it on the computer 7 times and keep having you build it wrong" attitude, Managerial Engineer's Duuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh, or Test Engineer's decision to make a simple 3 minute test last 17 days and seem like the fate of the known world rests on it. Something just isn't stirring the Kool-Aide with these bitches. Nothing is more ridiculous than listening to smart engineer one tell me over and over about this device he built that shot out a signal that would trigger peoples radar detectors and he would always bring it on his road trips to "mess with people". Wow, you got them slugger. Nothing like possibly causing a motorist to possibly slow down or say "fuck" as they think they have just been nailed by radar. The way he says this story, its like he just masterminded the great train robbery and made off with the biggest score ever. Seriously dude, you're a fucking douche. Now go play your Wizards and Wagons game of whatever it is you do instead of having actual sex with an actual woman and leave me alone.

4.) Bathroom Habits. I will close with this one, seeing as its pretty gruesome. We might all need a breath of fresh air after this one. The bathrooms where I work are fucking disgusting at best. Considering the bank this company is pulling in, you think they would get a cleaning crew that would actually put a little elbow grease into cleaning shit at night. Maybe a crew that would remove the growing "fur" on the edges of the sinks. Scrub the floor and get whatever is on it off. Scrub down the walls etc. With all this, its not like the bathroom isn't nasty enough. It makes the Port-O-Pottys that the Army used to stick out in the field for training exercises seem like a shithouse palace! So, with all that working against it, when you add some nasty mother fuckers to the mix, it just makes it that much worse! Lets start with the urinals. Never mind the fact they are old and the little mat in the catch basin is about 20 shades lighter than it originally was. You walk in there at almost any time of the day and there will be piss all over the floor. The little dividing wall between urinals has been coated with piss day after day and never cleaned. Seriously, what the fuck. I have no problem pissing in the proper spot. Sure I might get a few drops on the floor right in front while I am packing the hog leg away, but I don't piss all over the floor and leave a standing amount that the floor drain can't even handle. The stalls. There aren't too many more disgusting places on earth one could be. Upon entering and locking the door behind you, you usually are greeted with puddles of piss in front of the bowl. I get that you might drip some upon standing up, but drop some TP down there and soak it up. Next you would inspect the seat. Sometimes you might encounter piss on the seat as well as shit. Yes shit. Now look. These are grown ass men. These are smart engineering grown ass men. Do you mean to tell me that these guys are not smart enough to get their shit in the good sized opening provided? Taking that further, how do you actually get shit onto the back part of the seat? Do you only have half your hold dangling over the edge? Do you reposition yourself so you lather up the seat with your shitty ass? And even if you do get shit on the toilet seat...when you flush, how do you know notice? At least grab a handful of TP and wipe it up. And the topper, when you go a stall and a courtesy flush is needed. After a flush or 3, you still notice shit stuck to the porcelain...under the water line at that! Now I don't have the best diet, but I have never had shit that fused with the porcelain and could withstand about 14 straight industrial strength flushes. What the fuck can these engineers be eating? Better yet, I don't wanna know.

Now, if you can get through all that because you just have got to take that shit (and when I do, I spend the first 5 minutes of my stall time building a TP nest on top of that shit stained seat), once you sit down its time to relax and drop your load. Normally when doing this one will look around the stall. If you do that in the stalls where I work, you are in for a real treat. Boogers. That's right, Boogers. Apparently not challenged enough engineer is so board at work that he while he drops a deuce, he picks his nose and flicks the little goodies all over the stall walls. Absolutely fucking perfect. These are grown ass men, not 3rd graders. Most of these men are married with kids but it would seem that they need the fucking diaper. I don't even want to know what their wives must have to go through at home! And let me end with this. One of the facilities guys here usually will get stuck cleaning the shit house every afternoon. Nothing too serious, but he rolls with a bucket with a sponge or something and water with cleaner in it, some paper towels and a toilet scrub brush on occasion. I almost feel bad for the guy, but dude talks to himself all the time, so obviously all his dogs aint barking, so better him than me. Although if I had to clean anything in there, I'd be sporting a biohazard suit. So, I walk in there one afternoon to take a piss. Dude is in there cleaning and was just starting the stalls. As I stand there pissing, dude erupts with a flurry of self-talking. It sounded like this. "Goddamn mother fuckers. Nasty mother fuckers. Fucking disgusting. Its all over. Its in the hinges. I can't get that out. *gags* Nasty mother fuckers. All in the hinges. *gags* Nasty Goddamn fuckers. *gags*. While that might not sound funny reading it, hearing it and knowing how nasty these fucking engineers are, I stood there long after I finished pissed just to listen to him go off.

Engineers are a different breed. For all the intelligence they have, for all the creative shit they come up with, its too bad that they are nasty, weird, and plain messed up most of the time. Make sure you don't get played out by an engineer. In reality you're smarter than they are!

2 Comments:

  • At 4:20 PM, Blogger Ben, aka BadBen said…

    You missed a group:
    Up from the ranks cool engineers.

    There are some millwrights or smart PCS MOFOs who end up becoming degreed or (PE) professional engineers.

    They are usually some of the most valuable folks out there. Other "theory-only" based engineers hate them for their raport with "the common grunts" and for their hands-on knowledge.

    Happy trails,
    Bad Ben
    (An up from the ranks Millwright/PC
    S/Automation dude who finally got smart and got the hell out of engineering). I'm now the Safety & Security Manager. I miss the "tech life" at work, though.

     
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