The Alien Species

12 July 2006

At the moment I’m auditing at an engineering firm, and I am always amazed by these strange creatures we call engineers. Let’s face it, no-one really understands what they do, not even to mention why they dress the way they do. So, when I’m afforded the opportunity to be in their presence I always take the opportunity to observe quietly and note just HOW different they are from normal life forms on earth.

Take today for example. It was lunchtime and I had some leftovers that needed heating up (in July in the Western Cape, hot food is a necessity, not a luxury). So I climb the stairs to the top floor where THEY sit. (Interesting to note that they are on an entirely different floor than the other staff – coincidence? I think not….). To start off with, the kitchen is inconveniently small; strange, if you consider that they are engineers after all, whose purpose in life is to design things to make life more convenient. So while one of them is busy in there, I wait in the hallway.

And here’s where my observation technique comes in handy. Because, without fail, they all comply with Enginerd Practice #7 – which is to stare at any member of the female species as if they’d never seen one before. Understandable, I suppose, if you take into account that their university years were spent mostly in social isolation from girls (the few females opting to study engineering are so bizarre, they do not seem to fit the normal female mould anyway). So, they all proceeded to stare at, no – inspect – me as I stood there, as if they were trying to reverse engineer the female form. Normally, glances one gets from the opposite sex tend to be quite flattering. However, when it is this kind of clinical inspection, the correct word seems to be creepy.

However, all said, I still love 'em...


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