Being in the possession of an Electrical Engineering degree, I can fully appreciate the engineer behavior described below.  Thanks to my bro Ken for thoughtfully providing some of these observations.

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said: "Where did you get such a great bike?". The second engineer replied: "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, 'Take what you want.'". The second engineer nodded approvingly: "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

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 greens keeper. 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 greens keeper replied: "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind fire fighters. 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?"

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company 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 multimillion-dollar machines. They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine 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 a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated: This is where your problem is". The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again. The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded briefly: One chalk mark:$1.00. Knowing where to put it: $49,999.00. It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers? Mechanical Engineers build weapons, Civil Engineers build targets.

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?". The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work? The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost? The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Normal people ... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet."

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 to the office and get some work done."

An engineer 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'll stay with you." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the 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 engineer 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 and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The engineer said: "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

Three engineers were in the bathroom standing at the urinals. The first engineer finished and walked over to the sink to wash his hands. He then proceeded to dry his hands very carefully. He used paper towel after paper towel and ensured that every single spot of water on his hands was dried. Turning to the other two engineers, he said, "At Hewlett Packard, we are trained to be extremely thorough."

The second engineer finished his task at the urinal and he proceeded to wash his hands. He used a single paper towel and made sure that he dried his hands using every available portion of the paper towel. He turned and said, "At Lockheed-Martin, not only are we trained to be extremely thorough, but we are also trained to be extremely efficient."

The third engineer finished and walked straight for the door, shouting over his shoulder, "At Microsoft, we don't pee on our hands."

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."

Top Engineering Terms and Expressions
(What engineers say versus what they mean)

1. A number of different approaches are being tried.
(We are still guessing at this point.)

2. Close project coordination. (We sat down and had coffee together.)

3. An extensive report is being prepared on a fresh approach.
(We just hired three punk kids out of school.)

4. Major technological breakthrough! (It works OK, but looks very hi-tech!)

5. Customer satisfaction is believed assured.
(We are so far behind schedule that the customer will take anything.)

6. Preliminary operational tests were inconclusive.
(The darn thing blew up when we threw the switch.)

7. Test results were extremely gratifying! (Unbelievable, it actually worked!)

8. The entire concept will have to be abandoned.
(The only guy who understood the thing quit.)

9. It is in process.
(It is so wrapped in red tape that the situation is completely hopeless.)

10. We will look into it. (Forget it! We have enough problems already.)

11. Please note and initial. (Let's spread the responsibility for this.)

12. Give us the benefit of your thinking.
(We'll listen to what you have to say as long as it doesn't interfere with
what we have already done or with what we are going to do.)

13. Give us your interpretation. (We can't wait to hear your bull.)

14. See me or let's discuss. (Come to my office, I've screwed up again.)

15. All new. (Parts are not interchangeable with previous design.)

16. Rugged. (Don't plan to lift it without major equipment.)

17. Robust! (Rugged, but more so)

18. Light weight. (Slightly lighter than rugged)

19. Years of development. (One finally worked)

20. Energy saving. (Achieved when the power switch is off.)

21. No maintenance. (Impossible to fix)

22. Low maintenance. (Nearly impossible to fix)

23. Fax me the data. (I'm too lazy to write it down.)

24. We are following the standard!
(That's the way we have always done it!)

25. I didn't get your e-mail. (I haven't checked my e-mail for days.)

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."

What it Means to Be a Real Engineer

1. Real Engineers consider themselves well dressed if their socks match.

2. Real Engineers buy their spouses a set of matched screwdrivers for their birthday.

3. Real Engineers wear mustaches or beards for "efficiency," not because they're lazy.

4. Real engineers have a non-technical vocabulary of 800 words.

5. Real Engineers think a "biting wit" is their fox terrier.

6. Real Engineers know the second law of thermodynamics - but not their own shirt size.

7. Real Engineers repair their own cameras, telephones, televisions, and automatic transmissions.

8. Real Engineers say: "It's 70 degrees Fahrenheit, 25 degrees Celsius, and 298 degrees Kelvin." And all you say is: "Isn't it a nice day."

9. Real Engineers give you the feeling you're having a conversation with a dial tone or busy signal.

10. Real Engineers wear badges so they don't forget who they are. Sometimes a note is attached saying: "Don't offer me a ride today. I drove my own car."

11. Real Engineers' politics run towards acquiring a parking space with their name on it and an office with a window.

12. Real Engineers know the "ABC's of Infrared" from A to B.

13. Real Engineers rotate their tires for laughs.

14. Real Engineers will make four sets of drawings (with seven revisions) before making a birdbath.

15. Real Engineers' briefcases contain a Phillips screwdriver, a copy of "Quantum Physics," and a half of a peanut butter sandwich.

16. Real Engineers know that Halloween is really the same as Christmas, because OCT 31 = DEC 25. (If you _don't_ get it, then you're not a Real Engineer.)

17. Real Engineers don't really find the above at all funny.

 This site was last updated 12/02/07