Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Great moments in engineering

I'm not getting invited back to the engineering department any time soon. In fact, I suspect they may have posted my picture on the wall with a sign saying "Don't let this smartarse back in here." All because I tried to be helpful.

My reasons for being in this unfamiliar building aren't important (also, I don't want to give too much about my job away - I'm trying to be anonymous remember?) One thing I noticed while I was there was a range of what was obviously sensitive equipment mounted on the walls. I say "obviously" because each of these sensor thingies had a sign on top of them saying "WARNING: Do not rest items on top of this cabinet." The signs had simply been printed out on the laser printer, probably after someone had fucked up the equipment by resting stuff on top of it.

I noticed something seemed a little... wrong with the sign so I had this conversation with one of the engineers (who turned out to be the one who had put the signs up):

ME: So I'm guessing this equipment is sensitive?

HIM: Great guess.

ME: Did somebody break something by stacking things on top of it?

HIM: Yeah, it interferes with some of the readings, plus that wall can't hold too much weight.

ME: Did you have some problems with the signs blowing away?

HIM: Yeah, how did you know that?

ME: I noticed you've weighted the signs down with block of wood.

HIM: Because of the cooling fans here, every time someone opens a door we get a surge of wind so yeah, I had to weight them down.

ME: So you're holding the "don't stack things" sign in place with bits of wood?

HIM: Yeah.

ME: Heavy bits of wood on the sensitive machinery holding down signs saying "Don't put heavy things here".

(pause while this sinks in)

HIM: What the fuck do you want here anyway?

Like I said, I'm not getting invited back any time soon.

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