A "Ninjaneer"

Credit for this one goes to Tye Havey, our partner who oversees Wright Engineers' two Arizona offices.  Here's the email exchange:

Tye: Cartoon Idea:  Sometimes I walk quietly  - or come in through a back door - or forget to tell someone when I'm coming or going.  We've started calling me a 'ninja-neer'.  Seems like it could be adapted for a good cartoon somehow.

Me: (with cartoon attached) The fruit of your inspiration.  He does sorta look like you.

Tye: I love it.  And yes, it looks a lot like me in my pajamas :)

All I know is I wouldn't want to mess with an engineer with serious "plan"-chuck skills.

November 2014 Wright eNews

Inspected and Special Inspected!

Last month's cartoon showed a high schooler sandwich inspector proudly serving up a BLT.  This time it seemed like a good idea to add a special inspector.  After all, if one inspection is good, two's gotta be twice as good, right?  Especially if it's a designer gourmet sandwich - no way you can trust the plain old inspector to make sure it's whole grain bread and real mayo.
 
As a structural engineer, I certainly appreciate the need for special inspection on critical elements of a project (and since we offer special inspection services, I'm very glad it's required) - but I can't help feeling a bit bad for the plain old inspector.  Do we not trust him?  The way things are going, one day the poor guy'll be out of  a job unless he becomes more... well, special.
 
And if you think it's bad for the plain old inspector, consider the poor mason.  Unless his masonry work is inspected by BOTH the plain old inspector AND a special inspector, his work is trusted to be only HALF as strong as it could be.  Talk about a lack of confidence in your work.  It's a wonder they all don't have a complex.
 
For all the abuse the inspector gets, though, he can hold his head high knowing that in a very real way he's helping to make his community a better and safer place.  All you have to do is read about the horrific death toll due to collapsed buildings after almost every earthquake in a third-world country to appreciate the quality construction the inspector is enforcing.  He deserves a hug.
 
For more cartoons having fun at the expense of our inspector friends, click here.
 

Inspected!

I'm a believer that the best way to make sure a job is done well is to build quality into every system and process.  That prevents most problems from ever occurring.  An inspection to catch mistakes after its all done is good, but it's much better (and cheaper and faster) to not make those mistakes in the first place.
 
This cartoon reminds me of Sunday dinner at my house.  Most Sunday afternoons, all 17 of our kids and grandkids gather at our house for dinner.  As the little ones play, the adults assemble in the kitchen to prepare the meal.  I personally provide so much "quality control" while we're cooking that sometimes I'm no longer hungry by the time the meal's finally ready.
 
I thought it would be fun to show a high schooler proudly delivering a fully "quality inspected" sandwich to his customer.  At least he can personally attest that it is delicious.
 
For more inspector cartoons, click here.
 
 
 

What Are You Thinking?

Occasionally builders complain (and sadly, sometimes justifiably so) that an engineer or architect they know can draw pretty pictures, but he doesn't have a clue how to actually build anything.  And it's worse when that engineer doesn't know he doesn't know and insists that the builder just "build it how it's drawn." 

...and it's even worse if the engineer can only communicate in "engineerese".

On the flip side, it's not uncommon to hear an engineer gripe that the builder on such and such a project needs a lot of "hand holding", or that he fires off dozens of "duh" RFIs which the engineer could answer with, "Did you not even look at the drawings?"

It's a love-hate relationship.  Depending on the day, mostly love.

July 2014 Wright eNews

Looks Like a Case of Low "E"

Everything seems to be going low "E" these days - even some people I know.  For more cartoons on low E, click here or here.

June 2014 Wright eNews

It IS An Emergency!

You can't blame the poor guy.  He's got his trailer onsite and his crews and equipment ready to go.  All he needs now is the construction drawings so he can git 'er dun. 
 
Unfortunately, the design team is still revising the revised version of the last revisions that will now need to be revised once the owner stops changing his mind.  ...again.
 
For more "It's an emergency!" cartoons, click here or here.