Tag Archives: engineers

It’s More Efficient This Way

not all engineers_edited-2

Admittedly, artists do this too, but people think we’ve done it on purpose. 

The Man is pretty fastidious about his sartorial choices and wouldn’t fail to notice that he was wearing his shirt inside out unless he was really sick, but this did happen with the guy I dated before I met the man, referred to elsewhere as Engineer #6 (The Man was lucky #7 I guess). Engineer #6 was already married to his work and left me for NASA, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be either way. Plus, he never reads this blog, so I can say whatever I want about him. But he did call me the other day, which he does once or twice a year, so that reminded me of this.

In real life, right after the moment in panel 4, while he was still hanging his head in shame, I coined the term “adorkable.” This was 2005, so I like to think I can lay claim to the word.

When I realize my clothes are on inside out, I just go with it. But I do that when I realize that there’s a huge stain down the front of my outfit or a massive rip in the seat of my pants, too.

Narrow Tolerances


It’s one ten-thousandth of a inch, not a sliver more, and if anyone has a problem with that, we’re switching to Angstroms, do you hear me?

The Man assures me that no one is going to understand this comic, but I’m not personally an aerospace engineer, and I wrote it. Furthermore, I’ve read every single xkcd comic, even though I have a liberal arts degree and haven’t even attempted to learn anything about coding since giving up on BASIC in 1982, and Randall Munroe specifically states that his work may not be appropriate for me.

The Man does work in this industry, but the idea of a 1/10,000 of a inch tolerance is kind of mind-boggling to me. He doesn’t have to actually measure the 1/10,000 of a inch himself–he programs robots to measure for him–but if it’s not right, back it goes. Some things won’t function properly if they’re, say, 1/1,000 of an inch too big. People could die. Or not die, as the case may be in that industry.

Math is sort of a foreign language to me, once that I’ve tried to learn on numerous occasions, and failed miserably every time. The only math class I ever did well in was statistics for the social sciences, and 100% of everything I mastered in that class vanished like morning mist as soon as I finished taking the final exam. Otherwise, I probably would have gotten a BS instead of studying psychology, which is an interesting, but inconclusive discipline. My parents would have been happier to start with, but probably more disappointed when I gave it up for art, which is what I told them I wanted to do to begin with. Imagine how much farther along I would be if I had ever in my life taken a drawing class instead of learning to calculate standard deviations.