Thursday, August 28, 2008

engineer speak

Hi, I'm Mike, and ... ... ...

I'm an electrical engineer.

Crowd response: Hi Mike!

Engineer speak can be brutal. Examples quotes heard at work:
  • You'll need to use some intelligence here.
  • You're still doing the homework, but you've already failed the test.
  • Why would anyone do it that way?
  • No, no, that's not how you do it!

Bringing engineer speak home usually leads to the biggest fights. I've been learning, slowly, to check work at the door. My motorcycle helps. It clears the mind on the way home.

Couple days ago I was set up though, and failed miserably. Jen had a desk delivered. She'd had me keep the computer apart until it arrives. Genius engineer's translation: there is a new computer desk on the way.

First thing I noticed when I saw it is that our monitor, a 19" LCD, would not fit in what looked like a monitor cubby. It had a small round hole for wires and everything. Honestly any engineer would have thought the cubby was for the monitor and that a keyboard/mouse would sit in front of it. All the wires would go through the hole in the back.

With the monitor not fitting I was lost. I went off on how it was designed horribly for a computer. No place for the computer itself, drawers were there instead. No place for a printer or scanner - again the drawers. I critiqued every short coming and railed against the designers. What were they thinking? How could this be a computer desk?

None of this went over well with Jen. I'd insulted her. I did not slow down and listen, nor had I trusted that she had a plan. I was very foolish - and paid for it with a nice little shouting match.

Later after we'd made up she was able to tell me that the use of our current HUGE grey box computer was temporary. She'd bought this setup because it fit the room AND because we've been planning on getting a laptop.

"Oh", I said, "well that will fit".

I bet other engineers out there have used engineer speak at home too. Tell me about it in the comments...


  1. Anonymous11:59 AM

    So even with a new MacBook, it seems the new computer desk won't allow your fat LCD screen. In order to prevent further husband-wife blow-ups, I'd gladly take that off your hands. You can box it up and send to my address below.

    Thank you!
    Dave Wiezalis

  2. Its already on the way...