Engineer thinking

Engineers think all alike.  We think the stuff we made is glorious and what was made by others is junk.  [Space Cowboy territory included]

The below comic illustrates that point.

Engineer vs roadrunner

Engineer vs roadrunner

The biggest trouble with this thinking is everyone else thinks your work is junk, too.  How do you deal with this?  You get to sit and argue in endless meetings about the benefits of what you’ve designed.  Or, you have to grumble about how the project you’re working on is so important to the company.  Yet, many times, you’re kept in the dark with the overall business strategy so you have no idea that the company has moved away from what you’re working on.

Exploration and expeditioning is pleasantly different but is just as full of its own petty problems.  You have to raise money, keep sponsors happy, prepare yourself and your equipment and actually do what you said you would do.  The nice part of getting out into the field after who know how long is the annoyances go away and you finally get to do what you’ve been working toward.

Trekking across Antarctica was like that.  Once I was in the field, my primary concern was moving forward and making miles.  Things breaking, food rotting and my body falling apart were just part of the challenge of moving forward.  These issues are different than petty problems at home because they’re not interpersonal or political.  They’re mechanical and biological.

Those are much easier to deal with as an engineer.