Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

The Heaviest Object in the Universe

The Heaviest Object in the Universe

The Heaviest Object in the Universe

I think I have found the heaviest object in the universe and it is called the PHONE.

While I love these forums and have learned way too much and hopefully have offered some good advice - I still see so many questions like "What will this bolt hold?" or "How hot will this XYZ boiler get?"

I've got like 4 young engineers under me and when they can't find it on the Internet - they come in and say "I can't do this because I don't have enough info"

My answer is and has been for almost 40 years - PICK UP the damn phone and call the manufacturer!!!

They are usually the best source of info AND they want to sell you more of their "stuff" and really don't want you to kill yourself using it!!!!!!!

While you might think the Internet is the Have ALL - Do All thing - people - one on one are almost always more helpful.

Just my 2 cent rant - and that's what it is probably worth.

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe



...and really don't want you to kill yourself using it!!!!!!

Reminds me of one of my favorite bits from The Office (US version).  Jim keeps adding nickels to increase the weight of Dwight's phone receiver.  Then one day he removes the nickels, calls Dwight, and Dwight smacks himself in the head.

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

I totally agree with you Mike on the one to one front and would take it even further.

I always go out of my way to try and get technical/ sales reps in and make sure they get a good cup of coffee and a Danish. As well as the useful bits of information about the latest gizmos available they also have a very good knowledge of what is doing the rounds in the industry and who is looking to put work out.

After direct referrals and repeat business I would say they are our best source of new work.

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

I have a guy at Simpson Strong Tie's technical department that has memorized my phone number, I've called so many times.  I never get "hello this is HelperGuy, how may I help you?" I get "Hi SLTA, how's your family?"

Of course, I was also the one in college who had no fear of asking questions in big lecture halls to make sure I understood.  My parents taught me to try to understand on my own first, and if I can't, ask questions until I do.

MiketheEng, I can almost guarantee that your newbie engineers are scared of looking like they don't know everything, and too scared to admit it.

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

slta -

You are probably right about not looking stupid - but when they say things like "I can't do this" - I tell them to call the competitor that is literally 200 yards down the street and ask them how to do it - because if we don't how the potential customer will call them!!!!

That does get their attention!!

I too am on a first name basis with many suppliers...

Also - my mantra - "There are NO dumb questions - just dumb mistakes and accidents - BECAUSE you didn't ask!!"

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

I always ask our interns, "Can you find everything you need to know on the internet?".  Invariably, they answer "yes".  Invariably, I raise my eyebrow and give them a quizzical look.  Later when the can't find the information they want/need and come to me I ask them what Google and Wiki had to say about it.  Then I remind them that they said all of the answers are on the web. Good fun.

The internet probably has the answer to a lot of our questions, but knowing where to look and how to find them is trickier.  I know which books, folders, binders, drawers, etc. in my office hold the information that I'm looking for.

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

Let's play devil's advocate.

We have some old-guard here who have become entirely reliant upon "their guy" at manufacturer/distributor X.  They freak when they learn that "their guy" actually retired 10 years ago.

Eventually, the manufacturer's techie emails them the very same datasheet they could have downloaded for themselves, only without requiring a day of phone tag.

As an addendum:
"My computer is giving me XYZ error!".
"Solution is this!"
"How did you know that?"
"I typed error XYZ into google."
Repeat the next day.
And the day after that.
As a sweeping generality, I find there is a correlation between dependance on "their guy" and the inability to learn new tricks.

There is something to be said for being self-sufficient.   

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

The only two things I really learned in college were:

1.  Where to find the right book.
2.  How to read it.

I am not into building the next X-bomb or what ever.  Some poor soul has already run into my problem before and had the smarts and consideration to publish his results.  If they seem reasonable - I use them or go to the next poor soul who has also published his ideas.

The wheel has been invented - I don't need to do it again!!!

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

imcjoek, who you callin' old?  I'm only 35!

The internet and email hit it big my freshman year in college.  I've had a computer in my house since first grade.  Believe me, I get a LOT of info off the computer.  But what I've learned is there has to be a balance.  The internet can provide data, numbers, etc, but no finesse whatsoever.  I can't learn anything off Simpson's website that I can't learn from their catalog, but when I need imaginative thinking or ideas, a person on the phone is the only choice.

I think it goes back to not being willing to admit to what you don't know.  Admitting that is scary, but looking pigheaded because you won't ask a question is WAY worse.

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

Mike- That is the exact recommendations I give people who are studying for the PE exam. Go through your books so you know what is in there and where it is.

slta- be careful with what you read in the catalogs (and find on the internet). These are meant to sell products. When specing a product, go off the ICC reports. It's surprising what is in the reports that they don't publicize.

RE: The Heaviest Object in the Universe

It wasn't until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, I don't know.

"Somerset Maugham"

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close