EVERYWHERE, Known Universe – The word engineer is derived from the root word engine, that is in turn derived from the Latin word ingenium (also from which our words ingenuity and genius are derived), which essentially means something of great quality and cleverness. Accordingly, people who perform engineering, or engineers, are generally regarded as being quite bright, and this is indeed a prerequisite to a successful profession. (**Ahem** Engineering: 1, Geology: 0)
There is no question that engineers are a very peculiar bunch. In some way or another your everyday life has been touched by an engineer, whether directly or indirectly. In this fun Friday opinion piece, the 2P News staff, which comprises a few engineers (and a number of geologists – who get our coffee), figured we would let you in on a few things that you really should know about engineers.
Deep down, every engineer you know is a very miserable person. I believe it is a deep-rooted, bitter resentment stemming from what engineers went through in an undergraduate program. 6 technical courses in a single semester, with labs, topped off with 6 final exams in 5 days. Repeat this 8 times. How can society expect anybody who has been subjected to such intellectual torture to possibly be pleasant? Here’s an example of the stuff we’d go through:
- In class: 1+1 = 2.
- Homework: 1+2-1+2 = 4.
- Exam: Lucy has 10 bananas. She eats 2 of them and gives 1 to her mom and another to her dad. Calculate the volume of the Sun. WTF, man? Time to hit the bar.
The only thing that made engineers even marginally socially capable during university is that they drink a lot of beer. A lot. Really, I mean a lot. Much more than previously thought was humanly possible. The only other group that might have consumed more beer are geologists. But the difference is that engineers know math. Where I studied engineering, the Engineering Students Council would put on the Beer Olympics at the end of every semester. It was fun until the Dean told us we were not allowed to promote an event with “Beer” in its name. That’s when we started calling it the Beverage Olympics, where the v, a, g, and last e in beverage was in 6-point, light-grey font, and the balance of the word in bold black 124 point. Problem solved.
Engineers in the oil and gas industry generally believe the following limit to be true:
(If you are a geologist, go ask any engineer to help you understand this.)
Engineers feel that they must, and routinely do, objectively cost-benefit analyze EVERYTHING to death – no matter how big or how small the decision may be.
- “Oh, but hang on a quick second, these 2 candy bars cost the same amount, but this one’s mass is 75 grams and the other’s is 46 grams – well, this is a no brainer, I’ll choose the heavier one. Dammit!! Give me a moment, cashier, I’ve got to figure something out here. The heavier one has a plastic wrapper that cannot easily be recycled, but the lighter one has a paper wrapper, which I might even be able to repurpose before recycling it. Hmm… this is a tough one. I could purchase both of them, however, but I’m not sure if I’m willing to spend that kind of money. I should be able to mitigate that capital risk by asking my buddy to buy one of them, and then realize some upside by hoping that he lets me take a couple of bites. Done.”
Engineers like to apply engineering to pretty much everything, including their love life. Most engineers think it is funny, but most non-engineers don’t – and engineers don’t care. For example,
If you know of anything else that people should know about engineers, please share it below.
P.S. One last thing, no matter what they say or what they do, engineers actually like geologists. If they didn’t find the stuff, we wouldn’t be able to get it out of the ground, process it, sell it, and do all sorts of fun stuff with it. We wouldn’t have a job. – Darcy Flowman, 2P News Editor-in-Chief