6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2020 2:27 AM by dougw

    What are Your Funny Experiences that Only Happen to an Engineer (or An Engineer would find amusing)

    rscasny

      Every profession has experiences that are hazards of the trade, so to speak. What about engineering? What funny or amusing things have happened to you that only an engineer could relate to or would find funny. Here's an example of what an engineer shared with me: flick solder and it lands on your hand and burns you. Can your relate....or, not funny enough? Share your experiences in this discussion. Thanks.

        • Re: What are Your Funny Experiences that Only Happen to an Engineer (or An Engineer would find amusing)
          colporteur

          Issue shutdown -h now, command instead of shutdown -r now, during a  software upgrade maintenance window. Called maintenance guy at building to convince him to go to the server room and power up the server or I would have to drive 2 hours to do it myself.

           

          I discovered, after having sharing the experience, it happens more times than you would want to admit. I use it as a lesson learned story for new support people.

          • Re: What are Your Funny Experiences that Only Happen to an Engineer (or An Engineer would find amusing)
            genebren

            My first job out of college was working on a large system being built and maintained for the Army.  There was a huge amount of new technology (at least new to me) to learn, maintain and modify.  I can remember troubleshooting boards by trying to find hot components by touching them.  I can't even guess as to how many times I left my fingerprints on smoking hot transistor/ICs.  Ouch!

            • Re: What are Your Funny Experiences that Only Happen to an Engineer (or An Engineer would find amusing)
              ralphjy

              When I started out we still wore dress shirts and ties at work - even while working in the lab (we did wear lab coats).  I remember working with another engineer on a prototype avionics box when his tie became unclipped and the tie clip shorted out the NiCad battery and it became fused to the terminals and the hot metal cut his tie into two pieces.  It was both funny and frightening.....  I never wore jewelry or any other metal after that.  I could imagine what that hot metal would have done to my skin.  To this day I still don't wear my wedding band or any other jewelry and I only wear plastic watches.

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              • Re: What are Your Funny Experiences that Only Happen to an Engineer (or An Engineer would find amusing)
                andrewj

                Boss asked me to shift a terminal into the board room for a presentation which I duly did.  10 mins later he comes and finds me and asks why it isn’t working and I told him no idea, it certainly was when I turned it off and moved it.  He called an engineer - two and a half hour drive from Dublin - who rocked up, flipped the switch on the wall socket, left a bill for a few hundred Punts and left.

                 

                To this day I’m not sure who was at fault

                • Re: What are Your Funny Experiences that Only Happen to an Engineer (or An Engineer would find amusing)
                  dougw

                  The Skate Goat

                  Early in my career I was designing the electronics for systems to test vehicle safety. One of these was a crash test system that used a 1000 HP DC motor to tow vehicles into a 20 foot thick concrete wall. I was involved in the control computer and the extensive safety interlock systems. When commissioning the system we had to prove it could pull a bus into the wall at 50 km/hr. The vehicle was towed by a winch connected to a "skate" running in a channel down the middle of the runway. There was a second skate trailing behind with brakes that could be used to abort the test if anything went wrong. We didn't want to buy a bus and destroy it just to prove we could reach the right speed, so we planned to accelerate it up to speed through our custom laser speed trap and then abort the run. So we rented a big bus and ran the test.....only the abort didn't work and we had a real big crash.

                  Apparently we had not made it clear to the bus company what we were going to do with their bus. There were a lot of red faces and a huge investigation into what went wrong. Fortunately for me it wasn't an electronics problem - "somebody" in the mechanical group didn't mechanically connect the braking skate properly.

                  The funniest part was imagining the ensuing conversation with the bus company: Errr… you know that bus you rented us... well a funny thing happened on the way to Montreal .....there was this concrete wall, see ….. and a family of crash test dummies .... and one of the dummies was supposed to attach a skate ….

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