One of the enjoyable things about knowing engineers and technicians is their sense of humor. They can always laugh, especially at themselves. Maybe it's because of all the times where the just have to laugh - like when a 6 inch part drops onto a floor with one 1/4 inch slot near the wall and it manages to find its way through it...or when they run back to the studio because the jock is screaming that the control room monitor is out, only to whisper, "Turn your mic off."
So, here are a few stories and jokes we've collected over the years. If you have some you'd like to add, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll see if we can get 'em on the page. But, please, none about the chief who told the intern they were going to sweep the visual transmitter and the kid went to get the broom.
Are you an engineer/ technician?
You have ever tried to repair a $5.00 radio
You think of the gadgets in your office as "friends"
You think your computer looks better without the cover
You have ever purchased electronic gear "as is"
You ask if that's RG-59 running to the camera and it's during your colonoscopy
You have ever saved the power cord from a piece of gear
You have burned your fingers holding a freshly soldered part till it cools rather than ruining the joint
The salespeople at Best Buy can't answer any of your questions
The microphone at a meeting doesn't work and you rush up to fix it
You own a set of “tweakers” and actually know where they are
You just don't have the heart to throw away the 100-in-1 electronics kit you got for your ninth birthday
You have never sat through an entire movie without having at least one device on your body beep or buzz
At Christmas, it goes without saying that you will be the one to find the burnt-out bulb in the string
Buying flowers for your girlfriend or spending the money to upgrade your RAM is a moral dilemma
Everyone else on the Alaskan cruise is on deck peering at the scenery, and you are still on a personal tour of the engine room
In college you thought Spring Break was a metal fatigue failure
You are always late to meetings
You are at an air show and know how fast the skydivers are falling
You bought your wife a new DVD writer for her birthday
You’re more interested in the ultrasound equipment than seeing your baby on the screen
You can quote scenes from any Monty Python movie
You can type 70 words a minute but can’t read your own handwriting
You can’t write unless the paper has both horizontal and vertical lines
You comment to your wife that her straight hair is nice and parallel
You forgot to get a haircut ... for 6 months
You go on the rides at Disneyland and sit backward in the chairs to see how they do the special effects
You have more friends on the Internet than in real life
You have never bought any new underwear or socks for yourself since you got married
You know what http:// actually stands for
You can watch 4 meters at once while you tune a final
You look forward to Christmas only to put together the kids’ toys
You see a good design and still have to make it just a little bit better
You still own a slide rule and you know how to work it
You think that when people around you yawn, it’s because they didn’t get enough sleep
You wear black socks with white tennis shoes (or vice versa)
You window shop at Radio Shack
You’re in the back seat of your car, she’s looking wistfully at the moon, and you’re trying to locate a geosynchronous satellite
You know what the geosynchronous satellite is
Your laptop computer costs more than your car
Your wife hasn’t the foggiest idea what you do at work
You’ve already calculated how much you make per second
Three surgeons were taking a coffee break and were discussing their work.
The first said, "I think accountants are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is numbered."
The second said, "I think librarians are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is in alphabetical order."
The third surgeon said, "I like technicians...they always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end..."
An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship. The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there. The engineer said, "I like both." "Both?" Engineer: "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go get some work done."
"A Boy and His Frog" A boy was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week." The boy took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to his pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the boy took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The boy said, "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool."
During the French Revolution a priest, a lawyer and an engineer were lined up at the guillotine to be beheaded. They were given the choice to look up or to look facing down in the guillotine.
The priest said, "Well Heaven is up, so I'll look up, so I can see where I'm going." They placed the Priest in the guillotine facing up and released the blade. The blade stopped just inches from the priest, so they let him go, thinking it was a miracle.
The lawyer thought, "Well if it worked for the priest, it might work for me," so they placed him in the guillotine looking up. They released the blade, and it stopped just inches from the lawyer, who claimed he can't be executed twice for the same crime, so they let him go.
The engineer thought, "Well why not?" So they put him in the guillotine looking up, and the engineer said, "Wait a minute! If you swap the red and the blue wires over, you clowns might make this thing work."
To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude! The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greenskeeper. Let's have a word with him." "Hi George. Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greenskeeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime." The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight." The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them." The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"
A communication technician drafted by the army was at a firing range. At the range, he was given some instruction, a rifle and 50 rounds. He fired several shots at the target. The report came from the target area that all attempts had completely missed the target
The technician looked at his weapon, and then at the target. He looked at the weapon again, and then at the target again. He then put his finger over the end of the rifle barrel and squeezed the trigger with his other hand. The end of his finger was blown off, whereupon he yelled toward the target area: "It's leaving here just fine, the trouble must be at your end!"
There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things electronic. After serving his station loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their transmitters. They had tried everything and everyone else to get the box to work but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past. The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent two hours studying the schematics and taking readings. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a the side wall next to a feedthru capacitor in the final plenum and stated, "This is where your problem is". The part was replaced and the box came back up. The company received a bill for $2,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded briefly:
One chalk mark $1
Knowing where to put it $1,999
It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.
A man is flying in a hot air balloon and realizes he is lost. He reduces height and spots a man down below. He lowers the balloon further and shouts, "Excuse me, can you tell me where I am?"
The man below said, "Yes, you're in a hot air balloon, hovering 30 feet above this field."
"You must be an engineer," said the balloonist.
"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"
"Well," said the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct, but it's of absolutely no use to anyone."
The man below said, "You must be in management."
"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"
"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are, or where you're going, but you expect me to be able to help. You're in the same position you were before we met, but now it's my fault."
Three engineers and three accountants are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three accountants each buy tickets and watch as the three engineers buy only a single ticket.
"How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks an accountant. "Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer. They all board the train. The accountants take their respective seats but all three engineers cram into a restroom and close the door behind them.
Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens just a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.
The accountants saw this and agreed it was quite a clever idea. So after the conference, the accountants decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money (being clever with money, and all). When they get to the station they buy a single ticket for the return trip.
To their astonishment, the engineers don't buy a ticket at all. "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" asked one perplexed accountant.
"Watch and you'll see," answered an engineer. When they board the train the three accountants cram into a restroom and the three engineers cram into another one nearby. The train departs.
Shortly afterward, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and walks over to the restroom where the accountants are hiding. He knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please."
A Software Engineer, a Hardware Engineer and a Departmental Manager were on their way to a meeting in Switzerland. They were driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes on their car failed. The car careened almost out of control down the road, bouncing off the crash barriers, until it miraculously ground to a halt scraping along the mountainside. The car's occupants, shaken but unhurt, now had a problem: they were stuck halfway down a mountain in a car with no brakes. What were they to do?
"I know," said the Departmental Manager, "Let's have a meeting, propose a Vision, formulate a Mission Statement, define some Goals, and by a process of Continuous Improvement find a solution to the Critical Problems, and we can be on our way."
"No, no," said the Hardware Engineer, "That will take far too long, and besides, that method has never worked before. I've got my Swiss Army knife with me, and in no time at all I can strip down the car's braking system, isolate the fault, fix it, and we can be on our way."
"Well," said the Software Engineer, "before we do anything, I think we should push the car back up the road and see if it happens again."
A local TV engineer was walking down the strip in Vegas during an NAB show. A lady of the evening walked up and said, "Anything you want, baby...five hundred dollars."
The engineer thinks for a second and pulls out his wallet, getting $500. He hands it to her along with his business card. "Here ya go.
Tomorrow, you go paint our tower.
"So how'd you know he was a newbie in engineering?
"I told him we were going to sweep the transmitter and he brought a broom."
"He thought 'open mic' was an outspoken Irish bartender."
You Might Be an Engineer If (The Short List)
You have no life - and you can PROVE it mathematically.
You know vector calculus but you can't remember how to do long division.
You've actually used every single function on your graphing calculator.
It is sunny and 70 degrees outdoors, and you are working on a computer.
You know how to integrate a chicken and can take the derivative of water.
You think in "math."
You have a pet named after a scientist.
You laugh at jokes about mathematicians.
The Humane Society has you arrested because you actually performed the Schrödinger's Cat experiment.
You can translate English into Binary.
You are completely addicted to caffeine.
The "fun" center of your brain has deteriorated from lack of use.
You assume that a "horse" is spherical in order to make the math easier.
You understood more than five of these indicators.
You make a hard copy of this list, and post it on your door.