Saturday, February 13, 2010

Romanorum Queribundus Machinator

I admire engineers. They know a great deal about the underlying laws of our world, they apply logic to solve problems, they drive technological progress and make the world a better place. I'm married to an engineer. That's because I can only love someone whom I appreciate and because statistically, many of the good Romanian Jewish boys at the critical time went to engineering  (or medical) schools. (Just like in England they became lawyers, accountants and doctors, in Yemen they were jewelers and singers- of course these are gross generalizations, but that is what this post is about.)

Do you know what do engineers and German shepherd dogs have in common? They both have an intelligent gaze but can't express themselves.

Well, that's one of their downsides. Their social skills could sometimes be lacking, they apply logic to 'soft', human matters, they are not smooth talkers or good writers. A salesman will tell you want you want to hear and even though you know it's not the truth, you enjoy the pleasant atmosphere. There are times we really don't want to hear the truth (like in a romantic setting) and times we absolutely need it (like for home repairs and maintenance).

Many of my friends are engineers, most of them of Romanian origin. They are excellent professionals, but only a few made it to management or business for a variety of reasons: they like engineering, they lack drive and entrepreneurship because of the socialist environment of their childhood, they immigrated late to fully integrate in Israeli society and enjoy the opportunities it offers.

Lately I made a [statistically invalid] observation. They all complain about management in their workplace, mismanagement to be precise. According to them, their managers take poor decisions, are bad leaders, don't have high enough degrees or sufficient experience, request too many progress reports, are involved in office politics, waste time on insignificant issues, are basically high-wage parasites, or all of the above. And of course, they, the engineers could do it better. Just let them put all the problems into equations and crunch the numbers.

Isn't it easier to complain and make excuses than push yourself to become a good manager and prove you can really do it better? Now, before you start hating me, consider my small token of appreciation - a species I made up specially for you: Romanorum Queribundus Machinator.


Jeff Meshel said...

I agree 1000% I think you were too gentle with them (your husband excluded, of course!).
I have been known to refer to engineers as autistic as a group.

villaverde338 said...

Here's a great link re engineers.