Sunday, September 26, 2010
It was a cold, dark night. The wind howled above the colar of my coat. Stepping inside and flinging off the few drops of rain which had landed on my shoulders, I knew immediately what was wrong. I strode with purpose for the lab. Begrudgingly, I swung open the door to reveal the usual suspects. James Frank, electrical engineer, senior. A shifty sort, but usually not dangerous. Justin Thomas, mechanical engineer, senior. Occasionally mischevious, but mostly harmless. Finally, the dreaded Richard DeBellevue. A junior bio-med, Richard had a streak that measured up to few that I have ever encountered. "Greetings, gents," I said as I entered the room. All eyes were on me, awaiting the great reveal to come. "Yo, fix it an' ged odda here," the cold reply from Mr. Thomas. "Calmly, calmly," I was nervous, but I couldn't let on. Thomas would surly sieze any chance I gave him. He was edgy tonight, moreso than usual. "Mr. Frank, what seems to be the problem?" "The voltage, it won't go over 2.5 volts without goin' all to crap." The answer came from DeBellevue. "And what makes you think that I can fix it?" My question was genuine. I had no part in this portion of the re-wiring. "Jus' DO it." Mr. Thomas again, this time visibly agitated. I turned to Mr. Frank. "We are in it this time, aren't we?" Mr. Frank and I had been partners on several previous assignments. He was bright, if occasionally nervous. All I got in reply was a sigh that could have birthed a thousand woes. "Have we checked if we are shorting anything?" I asked to no one in particular. Mr. DeBellevue expounded "Ain't no way there could be a short. The problem is all over the board, it is in EVERY LINE. Don' you get it? This is exactly what I was afraid of. We get into this and now WE WON'T GET OUT." "Cut your crap Richard" the first time Mr. Frank had spoken all evening, "I know that you tied power and signal ground together on all of these connections. I ain't gonna stay quiet about this any longer. They have to know." "This stool pidigin tellin' the truth?" asked Mr. Thomas. "Yeah, but it ain't gonna hurt nothin'. They the same voltage reference," spat DeBellevue. "Well, there you have it," I said, "Just make sure to un-tie the grounds, and you should be right as rain." I chuckled to myself. The inclement weather had made this turn of phrase more ironic than it usually was.
This is pretty much what every meeting I have looks like through my eyes.