As the class proceeded, my intentions of paying any attention whatsoever disappeared. Switching on my phone, I checked my Facebook wall, something which was quintessential to almost every person in this planet having access to social media. One of the good things about social media is that it provides the latest info of almost anything happening around the world ,howsoever irrelevant it might be. Scrolling down I saw a plethora of posts on Engineer’s day. And suddenly, all the lores and myths featuring the engineers, that I have been an audience to, rushed to my mind. As a popular quote goes, “To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.” Engineers are truly a different lot with a different mentality. So, on this ‘auspicious’ day, when we celebrate the pride of being an Engineer, let’s take a moment to fathom the stereotypes we are believed to be, and the extent to which they are true.
Topping my list would be that Engineers can fix almost anything and everything on this planet (apart from relationships of course). The mess where we had lunch had a fridge which was beyond repair. As I commented on the poor state of the equipment, the mess workers chimed in, “Sirjee, you’re an Engineer, why don’t you help us repair this. Who has the money to get a new fridge?” Try as hard as I might, I couldn’t explain my situation, because to the layman, an engineer is a person, who can perform the duties of a mechanic, an electrician, provide technical support and build buildings and bridges as well.
Second on my list would be this one -”Engineers have no creativity”. Speaking from experience, when about to perform on stage in a music competition, which was held in another college which did not offer engineering courses, the hosts introduced our group by announcing, “To the audience present in the auditorium, engineers are here to perform. We never knew this was a talent possessed by their lot. So hold your breath!”
The third stereotype, which might be true to a great extent, are the typical ‘dork’ stereotypes who are socially shy and big science fiction fans. Most of my friends would be declared socially inept, with no interest whatsoever in heavy or tiring outdoor activities, should they be subjected to opinions of other people. They’d rather prefer a sci-fi marathon than a day off doing something different. Possible consequence of laziness.
The fourth, which is a generic symptom of engineering disease, is that they’ve got no fashion sense. They’d rather wear a worn out shorts and texted tee with something as stupid as “Sorry ladies, I only date models” written on it, than actually bothering to find something more suitable. We have done enough multiple choice questions to get into engineering.
Fifth, is the stereotype which stands true to its words. Every engineer is good at math, which I realized during my preparations for the CAT examinations. While most of the non-engineers couldn’t possibly comprehend our skill to find the solution before the question was over, to most engineers it was child’s play.
The sixth stereotype, which is my personal favorite is that engineers are the biggest muggers in the planet, and they can do almost anything and everything in the night before the exams or assignment submission deadlines. This is so true to its word because Engineers are the biggest ‘jugadus’ in the world. It is often said that an Engineer can manage to organize his entire wedding in the night before the big show. He can multitask between inviting guests, arranging food and making the necessary decorations in a couple of hours. Anyone who’s lived the life of an engineer can’t agree more.
Last, and one of the most hilarious stereotypes about engineers is that they can’t talk to women. This is partly true as many engineers are highly introvert by nature. So much that most are unwilling to even attempt to communicate with the opposite sex. However, most engineers are able to shed their initial inhibitions after a year or two of their college life.
No doubt, some of the stereotype are hilariously true. It doesn’t apply to all, but for several others, it actually does! But no matter what, all engineers take pride in being one. So, Happy Engineer’s day everyone. May the ‘Jugadu’ in you stay alive!