Most People's Idea of an Engineer

BREA, California – Back down at my local pub I was once again reminiscing with my fellow retirees about our days in the petroleum industry and the subject of engineers arose.  This was a natural follow-up to our discussion of geologists [2P News, February 14, 2022].  Since most engineers, like geologists, are loathe to admit their profession, we discussed how to determine if a person is in fact an engineer.  With several more rounds of Boddington’s Ale with some Guinness Extra Stout thrown in, we came up with this list:

You might be an engineer if…

    • You’ve been asked if you know how to drive a railroad train at least 100 times.
    • You’ve been asked if the “P. Eng.” after your name is short for Penguin.
    • Your calculator goes out to 16 decimal places.
    • Your spouse hates it when you try to explain what you do for a living.
    • You get politics and parlor tricks confused.
    • You wonder why an engineer is never the hero in a movie.
    • The damned thing keeps exploding.
    • Two plus two is exactly four, provided you’re using base-10 numbers.
    • You have no idea what your shirt or pants size is.
    • The salesperson at Best Buy can’t answer any of your questions.
    • You laugh the loudest at jokes about geologists.
    • You have a drawer full of old power cords.
    • When asked if the glass is half-empty or half-full you say it’s twice as big as it needs to be.
    • You think “Dilbert” is a documentary, not a comic strip.
    • The field operators hate to see you coming.
    • You love to point out the technical inaccuracies in science-fiction movies.
    • The only calculator worth having is a Hewlett-Packard.
    • All your dress shirts are short sleeve.

Mind you, my group of retirees are mostly engineers with a landman and a geologist thrown in to stir things up.  We are equal opportunity scolds.  If you can’t laugh at yourself, there are plenty of people who will do it for you.


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