Monday, May 11, 2015

Something Particular

Recently I have had the pleasure to regain contact with an old friend Richard in England .  (I mean that he's been a friend for a long time, he's not that old :-)

We have had a lot to talk about, but recently we've both been installing new home appliances.  I've come to the conclusion that we are all 3 of us namely Marcus, Agata and Richard are:

Extremely Particular

Marcus and Agata Perspective

- We do substantial Internet research on what is best for us
- We are normally limited by what is available in Switzerland
- And then from what is available, available at sensible and not insane prices
- We always take into account items like Design, running costs, recyclable, features, sound level, features we'll actually use, ease of use.

Richards perspective

- A professional
- Takes time to read the manuals
- As an Engineer wants to do an Excellent job

Perhaps our viewpoints are old skool and it brings to mind:

Lowered Expectations in a Relative World
I'm sure you all know the story about a father who sees his son crying as he opens the envelope containing his final year University course marks.  The dad asks about the bad news. The kid says:  I got 50% on that Computer Course Dissertation but I only needed 40% to pass.  I wasted that 10% of effort.

That about sums it up today, many people don't want to do an excellent job, just enough to get by.

Richard Reads the Manuals

 Before Richards installation we had a good chuckle at some of the over the top safety notices.   

Sometimes we concluded the manufacturer goes out of their way to ensure moronic owners will not be culled by Darwinian natural selection.

Marcus and Agata go Wobbly

- We searched and researched our new washing machine

- We made a buy decision which had to be compromised because we are not uber wealthy
- We waited for over 1 year until a /special offer/ turned up
- We bought and Marcus installed the plumbing
- We tested it out in the Washing room, 100% fine
- We reassembled into the alcove & found that at certain spin cycle speeds it vibrated and wobbles like crazy.

Option A: Do Nothing

It's primarily going to annoy the neighbours below, and the irritation is a few minutes in a cycle time of 1-2 hours.

Option B: Pull it all out, read the manual (again), see if it's levelling related, fix it.

- So on a Sunday, we had to pull out the washing machine

- Marcus got his head torch on
- We had to get some specialist spanners
- And a Spirit level, 
- And read the manual again

After checking, re-levelling, testing on different cycles.  We fixed it.  Now absolutely nobody can hear this machine operating, not us or our neighbours.  It's quite magical.

To Summarise
What have I learnt?

Well I have remembered that:

A good friend is never forgotten and when contact is resumed it's like you have never been away.

That face to face, person to person contact is nice but today when some of us live in different counties or in our case different countries a thousand Km apart, then digital contact via email, Google+ Skype or videochat provides togetherness like never before.

That being particular is not OCD

That taking your time to do a professional job is old skool good.

That doing a job well makes us Engineers feel not just good but great.