Please welcome today's Honored Guest: Camille Minichino. Camille is a proud alum of the LadyKillers blog (and grateful, she says, to be invited back as a guest). Her next releases are "The Quotient of Murder," the 4th Professor Sophie Knowles mystery (as Ada Madison) in November 2013, and "Madness in Miniature," the 7th Miniature Mystery (as Margaret Grace) in April 2014. "How to Live with an Engineer," now available on Kindle, is her first nonfiction book since "Nuclear Waste Management" in 1982. Website: http://www.minichino.com
----------Thanks to Ann Parker and the LadyKillers for hosting me today. It's great to be back!
Eleanor Roosevelt must have been channeling ahead to Priscilla's last post, when she said, "It's not vacations we need, it's vocations."
How can I not attach myself to those two great women and agree that the best vacation is one that never ends, that is a constant round of interesting, satisfying things to do?
Now here's the Great Segue to my new book: few things are more satisfying than wrapping up a project that's been more than 25 years in the making. HOW TO LIVE WITH AN ENGINEER is now up as a Kindle book. The book can be considered a profile of techies, and has snippets of dialogue that could come in handy if you're married to a techie, work for one, or write about them.
Having worked with tech-types for more decades than I like to admit, and entering my 37th year of marriage to one, I feel compelled to defend them.
For example, there's the old joke:
How can you tell an extroverted engineer from an introverted one? A: the extroverted engineer is looking at your shoes instead of his own.
BUT, I maintain that there's a good reason engineers don't do well at parties or social gatherings. They're basically troubleshooters, always looking for problem areas that need attention, something that has gone wrong or might go wrong in the future. Now, imagine wandering around, hearing bits of conversation like those that proliferate at a party:
"My son is having trouble with geometry."
"My sister found out she has a tumor."
"My Internet access is very spotty."
"Our roof leaks in three places."
What if you thought you had to solve all these problems? They're coming at you from all directions, and without much of a time interval in between. And you don't have your toolbox with you. See what I mean? The poor engineer throws up his hands. No wonder he'd rather be at home where everything is in working order.
Even "vacations" are dodgy for engineers. Besides the usual baggage, he needs to remember to take his battery tester, his tool-in-a-pocket, a few spare light bulbs, and a couple of extension cords. And that list is for a 5-star hotel.
The way to an engineer's heart: respect his love of numbers. Say he brings you flowers for your birthday.
You: Wow, thanks for the flowers.
Techie: Those cost almost as much as a 32-GB flash drive.
Ruining a moment? Not for him. Give him a break. He's merely sharing the fun calculation. More important, you can use this techie "hobby" to your advantage in other circumstances. For example, say you have a problem with an IT guy.
The wrong way:
You: You always put me on hold.
IT guy: I didn't put you on hold last Wednesday.
Busted. On a technicality.
The right way, with numbers:
You: You put me on hold 81% of the time. I can tolerate only 49%.
IT guy: Okay, got it.
Never mind that you made up the numbers. You've shown a familiarity with them.
Manipulative? Maybe, but that's not such a bad word. As an engineer might say, "It works."
I could go on, and I do. In the book.
*** I can't make the usual offer of a giveaway for a Kindle book, but I can offer techie tchotchkes to the first 3 commenters here. Anecdotes, supporting or contradictory evidence welcome!
LadyKillers: Thanks for letting me visit!