http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.29Change: -0.09
R/$ = 11.70Change: -0.05
Au 1207.85 $/ozChange: 1.57
Pt 1174.50 $/ozChange: -1.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Aug 10, 2012

Engineering profession teeming with clever dicks

Back
Engineering|Concrete|Design|Fire|Building|Metal Sheet Roof|Insulation
Engineering|Concrete|Design|Fire|Building||Insulation
engineering|concrete|design|fire|building|metal-sheet-roof|insulation
© Reuse this



Igo out with the BH. She is a very volatile person, which goes with her psychic abilities, artistic temperament and extreme beauty. In terms of beauty, she is classic. Just on six feet tall, her wonderful figure and classic face give her the looks that cause men to cross to her side of the street, just to be near her.

I am not beautiful at all, but this does not matter to the BH – she has had her beautiful and pretty boyfriends and now she loves me.

In a recent incident, we were having a drink in a hotel. There was a group of guys nearby and one of them kept eying the BH. He edged closer and finally tried to get between the BH and me, and started a conversation, which I soon interrupted.

“I’m just having a little chat,” he said. “Yes,” I said, “so am I.” He said: “She wants to talk to me.” So I said, if you’re sure, then ask her, which he did. She looked at him with some revulsion and said words to the effect that if she were in a lifeboat alone with him she would rather drink seawater and go mad than indulge in light conversation.

This was about the fifth incident of this kind. In all cases, the men involved were a class I call clever dicks. They think that they have some ability not granted to normal people which puts them above the rules of physics or of normal society. I believe that, apart from socially, it is in engineering, and particularly electrical and acoustics engineering (both my field of practice), where you get the most clever dicks. Many times, more than I can count, I have been called in by a client to be shown a distribution board and asked my opinion of it. Very often, the boards are unsafe, have not been maintained and the earth bars are missing; additional circuits have been badly added, there are no labels and there are inadequate fault levels.

So, I say: look, this board is finished – you have to replace it. I give a budget. As night follows day, I will be called in a week later to argue, in front of the client, with an electrician who claims he can rebuild the distribution board and it will be as good as new. Naturally, it will not be. It will have no established fault rating and no certificate of compliance.

But the clever dick client listens to the clever dick electrician and they go ahead with the electrician’s idea. Further, as sure as the sun rises, I will be called a few years later by insurers following a fire. “Hello,” they say, “were you involved in specifying this distribution board?”

Clever dicks in acoustics are worse. On numerous occasions, I have been at an end-of-site party and the conversation with the client goes as follows:

Client: “So, which part of the professional team are you?”

Me: “Acoustics design.”

Client: “Strange. I can’t hear anything wrong with the building’s acoustics.” Duhhh.

Even better was the banking client. I told him that they had to insulate the roof owing to the intrusion of rain noise. “Rubbish,” he said, “I’ve been in my town office and I’ve never heard rain noise!”

He was correct. His town office had a concrete slab roof. His new office had an IBR metal sheet roof. The retrofitting of insulation cost a fortune.

It is not only in engineering that you get clever dicks. There are those who park their sports cars in the parking exit lane and go off to watch the rugby and scream at the guard who puts on the wheel clamp; the woman who parks in our local disabled parking and, when questioned, says, oh, I’ll only be a few minutes; the politicians who think that ‘carry-on baggage’ is any suitcase you can carry onto the aircraft without assistance and then expect the cabin staff to sort it out; and the taxi drivers who think the emergency lane is their very own bus lane.

Oh, you know the type? But you are not one of them . . . if you were, you would have skipped this page by now.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Terry Mackenzie-Hoy News
To mine coal in South Africa, mining companies have to be 26% black owned. To supply State-owned power utility Eskom, the highest coal user, the companies have to be 50% black owned. Mining companies which have a 50% black ownership will have an equal share in the...
You all have heard of John Glenn. Or not? You will know, I think, the phrase he used while waiting to launch on a rocket that would make him the second person to orbit the earth: “I guess the question I'm asked the most often is, 'When you were sitting in that...
As you may know, plans for the re-pening of the lime quarry on Robben Island are progressing well. An international firm of lime kiln manufacturers has acquired the rights to excavate the quarry and transport processed lime off the island. An environmental-impact...
More
 
 
Latest News
Salani Sithole
Updated 3 hours ago International consulting engineering company Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV) has appointed Salani Sithole as South African MD, effective March 1. Sithole has been with the company for six years and, prior to joining RHDHV, held various positions in engineering consulting,...
The Gauteng Provincial Government has outlined plans to develop a handful of “mega” human settlements as part of an ambitious long-term housing development strategy aimed at narrowing the housing backlog, with plans afoot to replace informal settlements with...
Eskom power stations
While State-owned power utility Eskom was unable to cut off electricity supply to some of its neighbouring trade partners, it was able to reduce energy exports by 10% when load shedding was implemented locally. The Department of Public Enterprise explained that Eskom...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
National flag carrier South African Airways (SAA) is in an advanced stage of renegotiating its deal with European airliner manufacturer Airbus to acquire A320 single-aisle (or narrow body) aircraft. The aim is to replace ten of the aircraft still on order with five...
Worldwide, the main thrust in the ports industry over the past decade or more has been to increase efficiency. Traditionally, ports have been run by engineers and mariners and, in the past, increasing a port’s capacity was achieved by expanding the harbour. “That has...
What do you do when an elephant has a toothache? You call Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s (UP’s) faculty of veterinary science, Onderstepoort, one of only two elephant ‘dentists’ in the world.
The 2015 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) competition was launched earlier this month in Johannesburg, with the main focus on creating and inspiring entrepreneurs to create jobs and boost the economy.
In a recent letter to the editor that I sent to Engineering News (Concerns regarding South African portion of Square Kilometre Array) and in a follow-up article elaborating further (We must start preparations to build our own synchrotron light source), I stated my...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96