The Only Engineer in a Business Meeting
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default The Only Engineer in a Business Meeting

Someone sent me this a while back and its so true its scares me. Ive been in a hundred meetings that went like this lately and by the time the meeting is done, I realize why were in such trouble as a Nation!

http://laughingsquid.com/the-expert-a-hilarious-sketch-about-the-pain-of-being-the-only-engineer-in-a-business-meeting/

Where is Darwin when you need him? "7 perpendicular Lines, only two of which intersect", "A red line drawn with a blue Marker" and a Completely transparent Red line are equivalent to the directives and guidelines Im given almost daily like, "we need a 1" penetration in that concrete wall but because its in a library, youve got to do it silently", My response is something like "Awe darn, my fluffer drill is out for repair!

Im not nearly as good as the Engineer in this skit at not saying you people are idiots! Guess my future is clearly not management....

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Old 05-11-2014, 12:12 PM   #2
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I work for a consulting engineering company. I included this photo in a training session for my branch managers, and they loved it.

This week I had to explain to a customer that NO, we could not drill soil cores in THAT exact location, as it would place the boom of our drill rig 5 ft from an overhead powerline. "Is that a problem?" "No, it is not a problem, because we cannot and will not violate an OSHA standard, especially one that exposes our workers to instant death. Pick another location, or have the power company shut down and ground the line." "But isn't there some way you can do this?"
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:17 PM   #3
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I work for a consulting engineering company. I included this photo in a training session for my branch managers, and they loved it.

This week I had to explain to a customer that NO, we could not drill soil cores in THAT exact location, as it would place the boom of our drill rig 5 ft from an overhead powerline. "Is that a problem?" "No, it is not a problem, because we cannot and will not violate an OSHA standard, especially one that exposes our workers to instant death. Pick another location, or have the power company shut down and ground the line." "But isn't there some way you can do this?"
OMG C3, its just crazy the stuff that people think when they cant see basic mechanics in their heads. First clue is when they start rotating the floor plan cause they really have no idea whats up or down or what all those little boxes and symbols mean. The worst are the ones that have half a brain cause they try to prove they are ignorant publicly (usually in a room filled with half wits that hang on their every word), unfortunately, many are either customers or managers.

Cant fight city hall, I never say no, just yes with reservations. In the end, they will find out sooner or later I was right but by then they will have taken ownership of the real solution as their own and it will be OK to do then! I get paid way too much to babysit but it pays the same to march as it does to fight, Id rather be marchin...
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:49 PM   #4
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I am often the only commercial person in meetings with Engineers. I work with great Engineers, so mostly they go well. Every once in a while I have to explain to said Engineers that we have a budget, and cannot make something that does not conform to customer requirements. If the requirement calls out equipment that must work for 20 years, we do not make something out of "unobtanium" that will last 100 years. Of course they remind me that we cannot make it out of heat treated cardboard that may not survive the transport.

This used to be a problem more often 30 years ago. Now all of the Engineers coming out of college seem to understand the commercial importance, and we are beating technical awareness into the commercial people we hire.
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:08 PM   #5
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Nat- you are absolutely correct- Elephants that are 2 for a nickel are a GREAT bargain- IF you have a nickel- and need elephants!
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WebleyFosbery38 View Post
Someone sent me this a while back and its so true its scares me. Ive been in a hundred meetings that went like this lately and by the time the meeting is done, I realize why were in such trouble as a Nation!

http://laughingsquid.com/the-expert-a-hilarious-sketch-about-the-pain-of-being-the-only-engineer-in-a-business-meeting/

Where is Darwin when you need him? "7 perpendicular Lines, only two of which intersect", "A red line drawn with a blue Marker" and a Completely transparent Red line are equivalent to the directives and guidelines Im given almost daily like, "we need a 1" penetration in that concrete wall but because its in a library, youve got to do it silently", My response is something like "Awe darn, my fluffer drill is out for repair!

Im not nearly as good as the Engineer in this skit at not saying you people are idiots! Guess my future is clearly not management....
I think that's what Balota does every day!! He is an expert.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:34 PM   #7
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It works both ways.


Sometimes you can't get it through an engineer's head that you're going to mark it with a chalk and cut it with an ax, so there really isn't any need to measure it with a micrometer.
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:52 PM   #8
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It works both ways.


Sometimes you can't get it through an engineer's head that you're going to mark it with a chalk and cut it with an ax, so there really isn't any need to measure it with a micrometer.


But at least there is no harm done and it IS possible to do it the engineer's way in that case. Albeit probably much more expensive. In the video, they were asking the engineer to do the impossible.

I got Balota a novelty license plate that says, "I'm an Engineer, not a Magician".
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:57 PM   #9
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Full disclosure... Licensed Engineer, extensive mfg background, MBA and Masters in program management... Most of my career working in automotive

Some days I'm amazed I don't start drinking before going to work. The ability to speak both management and engineering has it's pluses and mostly minuses

I need this part design completed AND released before the end of February or we will miss the material required date and have to fly parts to and from China.

Mgt - We're not ready to roll over on air freighting parts
Eng - We're still working on the design

It's what, May 11th and as of Friday I don't have a completed and released design. I'm writing purchased orders for hundreds of thousand of dollars for something that should have cost a couple of thousand. Right now, we're going to miss every single production milestone.

Just finally got a SIMPLE design released for production. SIX EFFIN MONTHS negotiations with purchasing on who was going to pay for cancellation charges on the part we were cancelling and replacing with a new improved and MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE part. Did I mention that we would have saved the entire cancellation charge in those six months, had we implemented it SIX MONTHS AGO.

I get the difficult projects. I went to my boss and said "I don't know if I should be proud that I finally got that project finalized and production scheduled or embarrassed that it took almost a year to get there." He said, and that's why you're working for me.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:34 PM   #10
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I've been in so many meeting like that that I couldn't even laugh at the video. I forget the exact numbers but students graduating with an MBA out number the students with an advanced degree in engineering, math, and science combined by about 7 to 1. The reasons for that are pretty obvious and that's because an MBA is easier to get and has the potential to pay much more, i.e. Warren Buffet went to business school. The problem with that is business majors rarely produce anything of value.

So how exactly did we arrive at this place in our economy where those with no concept of reality get to be the boss and are paid more? I thought a free market economy was suppose to reward innovators rather than the clueless? I wonder if Henry Ford would last more than a week in a modern factory?
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