Oct 2, 2023


Maybe he can find an app for that?  

Our office uses only a small fraction of the paper we used to.  Virtually all communication is electronic.  Almost everything we do is prepared and submitted and filed electronically.  Our plotters and copiers mostly just collect dust.  There are lots of  reasons why this is an improvement, and yet, there are still times when you need some good old-fashioned paper.  This is one of them.

Sep 12, 2023

Con Artist


At least he's being honest.  Or is he?

When he was a kid, this guy got a pass to leave school early because he claimed his mom was in the hospital and his dad was at the police station.  His mom was a nurse and his dad was a police officer.

Aug 8, 2023

Couldn't Resist

 Add this one to the list of jobsite safety hazards.

Jul 1, 2023

That There's the Horn

Engineers have a knack for overthinking things.  Wait 'til this guy learns about the accelerator and the brakes.  No doubt he'll spend the next hour pondering potential performance upgrades.  

Reminds me of a keen observation by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert: "To the engineer, all matter in the universe can be placed into one of two categories: (1) things that need to be fixed, and (2) things that will need to be fixed after you’ve had a few minutes to play with them. Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems.”

Jun 1, 2023

Preliminary Not For Construction


With the quantity and frequency of revisions on some projects, it's not hard to see how occasionally some things aren't built from the latest drawings.  

I've never seen quite like this, but I was sent a picture a few years ago of a large cloud-shaped hole that had been cut in a concrete floor slab.  The contractor had scaled the delta cloud on the plans and then duplicated it on the floor.  Click here for a cartoon commemorating that event.

May 16, 2023


We all have a good laugh at someone's embarrassing auto-correct typo (or maybe you've turned red by one of your own).  But careful, concise writing that communicates exactly the intended message is critical, especially when the consequences for miscommunication are considerable.  In the old days, poor communication could be blamed on bad handwriting.  That's not an issue today since almost everyone types instead.  But careless writing that is ambiguous, wandering, jargon-laden, or peppered with typos, is the new bad handwriting--and also just as unreadable.  

Apr 1, 2023

You Don't Look It

This guy still feels young on the inside--it's just that no one can tell.  They say with age comes wisdom, so he's probably a genius by now.  At the very least, as each day passes, he understands the statement, "I'm too old for this crap" on a deeper level.

Mar 1, 2023

Super Bad


A good coach understands that mastery of any skill requires much effort and perseverance, and that positive reinforcement encourages the desired improvement.

But the benefits of being positive go far beyond motivating learners.  Positive thinking leads to better mental and physical health, increased resilience, better coping skills, and longer life span.

Benjamin Franklin, who lived to be 84 at a time when the average life expectancy of his peers was around 35, believed in the power of positive thinking combined with hard work and diligence.  "I haven't failed," he said of his repeated attempts to invent an electric light bulb.  "I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work!"


Feb 8, 2023

Out of Business

You can't do good work for your customers if you can't keep yourself in business.  And you can't keep yourself in business unless you charge enough to make a reasonable profit.  Most people understand this.  

A few though, like this guy, have yet to learn that there's nothing more expensive than cheap design professionals. 

Jan 2, 2023

Double His Pay


This fuzzy math reminds me of the two engineers who argued over which of them was the smartest. One tells the other, "You don't know anything--I know at least twice as much as you!"

Dec 1, 2022

Santa and His Elves

This Santa act said they were high class, but that was just a lie.  I imagine the kids were all shook up.

Merry Christmas.

Nov 1, 2022

In The 70s

Some people wear weather-inappropriate clothes, but this guy has taken it to a whole new level.

Reminds me of me in junior high--always out of sync with the current fashion.  When bell bottoms were cool, all I had were straight leg Toughskins jeans from Sears.  The next year I showed up to school with bell bottoms only to discover everyone was now wearing baggies.  One summer, my mom made me a super awesome disco shirt that I couldn't wait to wear the first day of school, only to show up and find all the cool guys wearing "Disco Sucks" t-shirts.  I never wore that shirt again.  Tragedy.

Oct 1, 2022

Thermostat Wars

What are the chances everyone in the office can agree on the temperature?  For some, it's never warm enough; others prefer near-arctic conditions.  This inevitably leads to a cycle of thermostat battles with the cold-blooded cranking it up followed by the warm-bodied turning it down followed by...   It's easy to see why some have resorted to installing fake thermostats that aren't connected to anything so the self-appointed "rulers of the ambient temperature" can fiddle with the useless buttons to their heart's content.


Sep 1, 2022

Eye Trouble

I've been known to occasionally develop a case of severe eye trouble at the office.  Symptoms are usually brought on by a beautiful fall day or a Friday before a long weekend.  I'm not a doctor, but my advice is to leave the office immediately at the first sign of symptoms as this type of eye trouble is particularly contagious and can be easily spread to your co-workers.

Soon after Wright Engineers was founded nearly 25 years ago, chronic Friday afternoon eye trouble among my staff and me "forced" us to close the office at noon on Fridays--a healthy practice we've happily kept up ever since.

Aug 1, 2022

Internet's Down at Home

I know lots of people work from home and many of them feel they're more productive.  I wonder just how productive some people really are, though.  Whenever I've tried working from home I seemed to be constantly interrupted with things like, "Honey, since you're right here, can you just [insert any number of domestic tasks here]..." or, "Daddy, daddy, daddy, there's a bean stuck in my nose!"

It's clear this guy's been working from home for a long time.

Jul 1, 2022

Still on Mute


"You're on mute!" --the most common phrase spoken in every online meeting.  Followed by the next most common phrase: "Can you hear me now?"

Wouldn't be a problem if everyone was a mime.

(Note: No mimes were harmed in the making of this cartoon.)

Jun 1, 2022

Last Words

This cartoon may be a little morbidly funny, but jobsite safety is no laughing matter.  

And guessing about what "should hold it" is risky.  In my younger construction worker days, I knew an older worker who swore that 3" grabber screws could support anything.  "They'll hold the world!" he'd say. That seemed reasonable to me then.

As structural engineers, lives depend on our making certain everything we design will definitely "hold it," and we take that responsibility very seriously.

May 1, 2022


Feels like the supply chain is taking a lot of blame these days, and why not?  It's kinda nice to have something to blame for just about everything.

Can't get computer chips?  Supply chain.  

Costs going through the roof?  Supply chain.

Too hot outside?  Supply chain.

Reminds me of the story of the new superintendent.  On his first day at the jobsite, the outgoing superintendent handed him two letters as he was leaving the trailer and said, "If this project begins to go south, open the first letter.  If that doesn't fix the problem, open the second letter."  After a while, things were going badly for the new super so he opened the first letter.  Inside it read, "Blame your predecessor."  He did that, and things seemed to improve for a while.  But eventually the problems became even worse than before so he opened the second letter.  It read, "Prepare two letters..."

Apr 1, 2022

Dumb Question

Maybe there really is no such thing as a dumb question, but sometimes I wonder.

I know, I know--the only dumb question is the one you don't ask.  And if you don't ask, how will you ever know?  But some questions may be better left un-asked.  After all, as the proverb says, "Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise." 

And as my dad used to tell me, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."  



Mar 1, 2022

Corrections Officer


Some people swear that the hardest part of a construction project is getting the building permit.  Maybe it's because of guys like Bob?

All joking aside, it's been my experience over a long engineering career that most plans examiners are sharp, honest, hard-working folks who are just doing their best in a very important, often thankless job.  Here's to them.