Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A(n) homage to all aspiring, current and retired engineers

There's a certain occupation that never struck me as appealing in any way. And by appealing, I mean that I shy away from pursuit because I feel like I'm too dumb to even express feelings toward choosing that career path. It would be laughable, even, for me to consider going in that direction and my life would turn into a mockery of events, similar to Elle Woods in Legally Blonde; but I wouldn't give a speech at the end because I would have dropped out by then because that movie isn't real and won't ever be.

But I watch it anyway and I catch it every time it's on TBS.

So what employment choice, you ask, do I find least appealing? Not doctor nor lawyer nor POTUS. Toll booth worker, nah, janitor, nope.

Engineers. You knew that from the title of this post, didn't you? Damn.
Note to self: refrain from doing stupid things anymore.

But either way, yes, I said it. Engineers.

Freeze the face you have right now and quick run to the mirror. Or pull up Photobooth or something because you all have Macs. What do you see? Fearful eyes? Natural cringing? Good, because those are all common side effects of hearing the word. En - gin - eer.

Personally, my face falls into a look of disgust and my head goes into my neck like a turtle and my one chin turns into four. Are you picturing that? I probably didn't describe that accurately enough. Here's an example.

When kids and adults tell me that they're majoring or have a job in chemical, biomedical, metaphysicalwhackjob engineering, I ask them in the kindest way - pleading for an answer with tears streaming down my face - why they chose to do it. "You're fucking crazy," I say, as they chuckle and think of our income comparison ten years from now.

But why do I feel this way? I know a lot of business administration majors, too. But I guess it's a different sort of disgust.

Just kidding.

Maybe I'm not partial to engineering because I have no idea what these men and women do. Does anyone know? Like, yeah, an engineer, train conductor donchyaknow?

But seriously, if anyone can picture an engineer between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a weekday, please describe this image to me because I draw a blank every time I try to picture the office and tasks of an engineer. It's such a....vague... thing.
Do they draw pictures? Do they talk on the phone? Is it paid by commission? Do they sit on thrones around a giant marble table lined with gold as they sip mead from goblets and eat without silverware? Or is that just me when I go to Medieval Times restaurant.

I Googled the word a short while (30 seconds) ago and my trusty Wikipedia page gave me this: "An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems." Ok.

First of all, Wikipedia, please - in the future - refrain from using the word in the definition. That shit drives me and everyone else nuts. Practitioner of engineering? Seriously? That gets me nowhere in my quest for this answer. The site goes on to indicate the word's origins: Latin roots ingeniare (to contrive, devise) and ingenium (cleverness).

Of course. Contrivers of cleverness? Only a few people can contrive cleverness: Witches, wizards and Jack Black. Don't believe me? Watch Year One. Mind-blowing.

I also Yahoo! Answered it, which tends to be pretty reliable, IMO (in my opinion). Here's what I got: Q: What do Engineers do? Top voted answer: There is no specific answer. wtf! Is anyone else suspicious about the activity of this Jimmy Neutron-like folk?

I happen to know an engineer myself. Want to know what I think he does all day? Magic tricks. Magic tricks and dark sorcery. He goes by the name of Doug. Doug, a friend of my mom's, has the most knowledge out of anyone I know and anyone you probably know. He is Wikipedia and college and sorcery and research and Jeopardy! all rolled up together in one giant burrito engineered to produce satisfaction for everyone.
With more free-range and all-natural, organic, GMO-free, fair trade, grass-fed ingredients than Chipotle will ever claim to have, this burrito is an engineer.

Doug is currently making plans for a new lake house, he built the house he lives in right now, he can read books and he can cook a mean, meaaaaaaan pasta shrimp salad.
So what's my point?
This dude, knows everything.
I'll prove it:

He may have acquired his vast knowledge of everything in the world (and beyond) from these small books.
Library of Universal Knowledge, eh?
What do you think? Human, or ALIEN?

That top one was the biggest indicator of the serious ingenuity of engineers.
The second one too.
And the third. I think Doug single-handedly started Occupy and then backed out once it started getting a bad rep.
Classic move.

Yes, that is a picture of me as a child.
No I did not read Small Antennas. It's in my GoodReads queue, though.

So he has a lot of books. But that can only get a man (or woman, don't attack me) so far. He needs proof that he read these books, or else there's a waste of knowledge in his brain. You know, like, if you don't use it, you'll lose it? Hehe.
Well he sure didn't lose it! He probably used those dictionaries of knowledge and alien power some instruction manuals to build this lean-to right in his own sideyard! Seriously, he built this with his bare hands! There's even Wi-Fi and a speaker system inside and yes, the speaker system blends in with the wood. Rustic.
Tell me the first 800 things you do in your spare time. If "building lean-to" is in there, then you might find yourself suited for a job in engineering.

That on the right?
Me, weeping, knowing that I won't ever have the power to build anything like this. My life will never mimic that of an engineer. I will forever be indebted to plumbers, contractors, architects and husbands. Probably not the last one though.

 Just some toys in the basement.
This is your old Barbie Dream House would be. 

Hey what are you doing today? 
Not much, just playin' with sound waves!

What's the point of this post? I still don't know what engineers do and I'm still miserable because I will never be able to build a pond in my backyard unless the men (and women) from Lowe's help me.

I'll just keep working on that nifty liberal arts degree while I continue to tell myself that everything will be just fine.


1 comment:

  1. What do they do!? Funny post!