Engineering During The Collapse

Posted by $ Abaco 2 weeks, 5 days ago to Culture
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What I'm seeing... Lately, I've been observing that the Pereto Principle applies to American society more and more. As more and more people have dropped out of work, fewer and fewer of American's through their 30's studied STEM (and now want us to pay for their useless college degrees), and things like vaccine mandates have knocked the workforce on its heels I'm getting to experience, via my part-time gig, how things are changing. One of the more subtle things is the overall drop in the quality of work being done. The need for engineering of infrastructure didn't drop off. It's still there. But, now the engineering workforce that's supporting it is down to a skeleton crew. As a result I'm seeing A LOT of work done at full speed, with minimal backchecks, etc. Our firm is holding strong. But, all the partner firms and contractors have become non-responsive, under-effective. Plans and construction efforts are being thrown together in the last second and a lot of stuff is being fixed during construction (well...the stuff that's being caught, anyway). I've sat in meetings where huge items are being overlooked. Forever the irritator - I often chime in with, "Guys, I hate to ask a dumb question but does anybody know which direction these fuel pipes really flow?" (actual recent question) I'm handling it ok in my more seasoned stage of life. But, if I was dealing with this in my early prime I'd be fit to be tied. Overall....it makes me sad for America.


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  • Posted by mccannon01 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    I get discouraged with incompetence, some degree of which has become the new normal. Real competent individuals shine out because the background is becoming so dim. I know these are blanket statements, but the problem is sometimes hard to pin down.

    Here's some recent experiences to illustrate. In Walmart My wife asked an employee where something was. The employee just waved her hand and said, "Maybe over that way" and then turned her back to us and walked away. In Best Buy I needed a specific piece of equipment and asked an employee at the door where it may be. I received a smile and the exact instructions of the device's location. When I got there a second employee asked if I need any help. I had what I came for in my hand, but asked a technical question about related equipment. She personally escorted my wife and I to a section containing various items related to my question and, when asked, explained differences between products so I could be better informed as to what I needed. It was a pleasure talking to her because it was so surprising to meet someone that actually knew what she was doing!

    Take those two examples and apply them to any employment situation. It seems to me the Walmart employee type is becoming much more prolific and the Best Buy type is becoming more scarce.
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  • Posted by Lucky 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    Only partly due to cost cutting. There is a trend (a movement?) away from professionalism to managerialism. A professional engineer must defer to the manager. Quality, safety, performance as judged by the professional are over-ridden to suit corporate interests as interpreted by managers. Remember the Challenger disaster?
    Today this effect is shown most clearly in medicine. Medics who dissent, no matter how eminent, are derided, debarred, and censored.
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  • Posted by VetteGuy 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    I'm also an engineer. I am very concerned what will happen when engineering starts being done by the "2+2=5" generation! I may have to start planning my road trips to avoid bridges built after 2020!
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