Friday, February 12, 2010

You have to have a degree to be this stupid

%&**#$%^@!!!!!! Engineer hating profanity laced rant on!!!

Let me tell you a story about how I ran my cell phone over with my truck today.

These days, I am married to my cell phone; not because I can't put the thing down -- indeed, I would have gladly punted this thing if I didn't need it -- but because of how my family situation is right now. I'm going to be vague on that point for now, but know that I have to have a constant line of communication with my family. It is an absolute must.

My now dead phone is a BlackBerry Bold. It does so-so as a phone, and ok as a PDA, and horrible for internet; so for all intents and purposes, it's a piece of shit in my book. I've had cell phone troubles for awhile now, so that's no surprise.

BlackBerries come with a shitty holster that breaks with the slightest touch. It barely has enough oomph to stay clipped to your belt -- I've spent plenty of time retracing my steps in rained out parking lots with a flashlight looking for my stupid BlackBerry that fell off in the dark -- but beyond that, some dipshit engineer connected that weak-ass clip to the holster part with the flimsiest little nubbins of plastic so that when you sit down, the daggone holster snaps right the fuck off and falls to the ground. This is true of other cell phone holsters for other phones, like the shitty HTC Fuze that I had. I have about half a dozen of these broken holsters, and I've thrown many more away in countless airports from all the times I've broken them while getting into narrow plane seats. And before you say it, I have a narrow ass, so it's not like the problem is on my end.

Now, you would think that with the popularity of cell phones in general, and BlackBerries specifically, that design teams for cell phone holsters would say during team meetings: "You know, this design really sucks. We can do better than this, and we should, because we're engineers, and making stuff better and stronger is what engineers fucking do!"

But that's not at all what happens in today's world. Instead, at these team meetings what is said is: "You know, this design really sucks. We probably should do better than this, and we could, but fuck it, making stuff better and stronger is for someone else to fucking do!"

So, knowing full well that shitty holsters are as prolific as cell phones, I took to ordering a holster for my new BlackBerry from a company I thought had a different mentality: Maxpedition. Because when you work in an office environment, you have to have Hard Use Gear Everyday. It just makes sense.

I have owned Maxpedition stuff in the past and have favorable things to say about their quality, but their Clip-on PDA Holster is a steaming turd, and is the terminal piece of my engineering fail that directly led to the death of my shitty BlackBerry.

It seems that during the design phase of this particular piece of kit, one of the engineering minions went to the engineering overlord and said:

Jimbob - "Hey Earl. I just got done building an absolute bomb proof PDA pouch for the SNF, and I'm stuck on the Ballistic Belt Integration Device part. I need your input where. . . "

Earl - "What's the SNF?"

Jimbob - "The Stealth Ninja Force; the new agency Obama created to hunt down Islamic cannibal zombies that try to blow up buildings and planes and such, and read them their Miranda rights with extreme prejudice."

Earl - "Oh yeah. Man, do those guys have a huge budget! Well, I see what your talking about with that Integrator thingy. Those SNF guys, as well as regular office dwelling Americans, need the strongest possible clip for the strongest PDA pouch on the planet.

It looks like you've done a hell of a job already with the 1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric; the Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance; the UTX-Duraflex nylon buckles for low sound closures; the Triple polyurethane coating for water resistance; the High tensile strength nylon webbing; the High tensile strength composite nylon thread, stronger than ordinary industry standard nylon thread; and the Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or "Box-and-X" stitched for added strength. Way to go! The last thing we would want to do at this point is to put some ridiculous clip. . .er. . .Ballistic Belt Integration Device on it and make it a piece of shit. Therefor, I say we loosely sew three thin pieces of nylon on the back, and hang a $.02 piece of stamped sheet metal all half-assed on it.

Jimbob - "Earl, your such a genius! What's your secret to being so smart?"

Earl - "A good breakfast, my lad! First thing in the morning I pour myself a heaping bowl of whole grain dumb ass, and then wash it down with a tall glass of pulp free stupid."
I'd like to kick the ass of the guy who designed this trash. When I walked into work this morning, I felt the emptiness on my belt where my lifeline to my wife should have been. The clip was there, but no pouch, and no phone. Jumping back in my truck to retrace my steps led me to the driveway of a family members house, where my phone lay smitten in the snow. Apparently it only takes a bump to dislodge the holster from its $.02 stamped sheet metal "Heat treated heavy duty spring steel clip, jet black power coat" belt clip. The guy or gal who designed it has probably already left this world because they clearly do not have the mental capacity to cross the street.

Thanks for your help, Maxpedition, but I think I'll pass on your products from now on.

Now, I'm sure that there are some sharp engineers out there. As a matter of fact, I know it. I work with some of the finest engineers the world has ever seen. Where I work is kinda like in Better Off Ted, but with everyone wearing 5:11s and talking about guns. Cool place. Also, if you didn't catch the headlines this week, the US Missile Defense Agency shot down two ballistic missiles with a Laser mounted on a 747.

Smart engineers built that Laser, the missiles, and the plane; but some engineers are apparently too stupid to make a cell phone holster rugged enough to withstand an RPG. A hand grenade rampage. A machine gun assault. Getting out of the truck with two toddlers. Awesome guys.

And it isn't just the stupid cell phone holsters, or the shitty cell phones that go into them. No, engineers have really dropped the ball lately, like with my Triple Aught Design Stealth Hoodie Reloaded (thanks for ignoring my email on this, too); my Burris XTreme Tactical scope rings; my Gateway Computer. . . twice; my big ass Gateway monitor; my wife's laptop; my Samsung TV that makes a screeching noise and barely turns on; my Canon Elph camera that wouldn't focus right out of the box, and is waiting for me at Best Buy after its second repair; my Jard AR15 trigger that I noticed the other day has a chip missing from the sear (a post for later); that shitty piece of metal shit called a shelf that failed, sending my brass hither and yon; and the list goes on and on. I don't have the time to post them all here.

Again, there are some fine engineers out there; but it does seem that lately universities across the country are stamping them out of nothing and sending them out into the world to wreak havoc. Either that or they're taking a big syringe and injecting them in the forehead with a massive dose of Botard before they let them graduate.

What gives?

One day when I have time, I'm going to go back to school, get my engineering degree and fix the mess some of y'all have made of this world. It's gonna be a big job, but somebody has to design stuff that doesn't fall apart like a two dollar watch the very moment someone lays a hand on it.

That doesn't include un-fucking the Windows operating system. Someone else is going to have to do that. Or perhaps just leave the thing be and get some marketing gurus to help take the market back from the Microsoft scum.

That alone would quench a great deal of my bitterness.


Update: Several engineers have chimed in, and so far none of them are throwing barbs at me. Maybe I'm not crazy. Commenter Geodkyt has the money quote with this:
"I think that a prerequisite for entry into an engineering program should be two years in a Real World job, where shit that breaks get people killed."

Yes indeedee. That's what I'm talking about. Too much these days though, we have people who lack this experience going into places like OSHA, who sit around pondering day and night on how to wrap everything in bubblewrap so that there is no possible chance of getting hurt. I would rather have reliable equipment prone to surviving in austere environments instead of shitty equipment that won't put your eye out when it lets go at 15,000' at night while strapped to the back of some CCT operator.


Nancy R. said...

How about something from DeSantis?

Unknown said...

I like DeSantis. Their Nemesis and Super Fly holsters are great. The Super Fly more so. They don't have a holster for the Bold, unfortunately, but I may sell the warrantied phone when it comes in the mail. I'm not impressed by the BlackBerries these days.

Anonymous said...

I kept having the same problem with my cell phone and holsters, combined with not being able to hear it ring in the noisy industrial environments I work in.
I finally started clipping it to the front of my Polo shirt. I look like an idiot but in 5 yrs of doing it I've never lost it or missed a call. But I am and engineer so I've always put function over form.

Brian Salazar

Unknown said...

Yeah, the ringer! That's another one! We can send people to the moon in a rocket like plane, but can't seem to make a phone ring loud enough to hear it when it's on your hip.

Function over form is exactly what this world needs right now. That's a good idea with clipping your phone to your shirt.

bluesun said...

As an engineering student, I must say that I hope I do a better job than what those others you're talking about apparently are. First, of course, I'll need a job...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment. The phone on my shirt started as a necessity but now its a habit and I don't even notice it.

Geodkyt said...

I think that a prerequisite for entry into an engineering program ishould be two years in a Real World job, where shit that breaks get people killed.

Military, police, fire, merchant marine, crane operator, etc.

I cannot tell you how many times I have stood up in a meeting and dropped this steaming turd on the fine china:

"So how is Seaman Snuffy, about 20 hours short on sleep and just got dumped by his First, Only, One True Love via email, gonna fix this piece of mission-critical gear at 0300 in a storm? Yeah, that's what I thought. . . "

(This has become especially significant on USCG builds. . . after all, the Coasties run in at full speed where everyone with two functioning neurons is running AWAY from at flank. . . all because Mr. Dumbass "Yachter" wanted to play the Flying Dutchman.