Brain Damage

Shh..listen.  Hear that?


That’s the sound of one of my brain cells dying.

It’s been happening a lot lately.

I blame work.

Like the other week, when I had to submit an SHT and F-ME form.

Never mind that both forms are almost identical, and could have easily been combined into one.

No.  We’re supposed to fill in both forms.

Because that’s the way it’s done.  That’s the way it’s always be done.

And nobody will ever change it.

It was especially fun, when I had to re-issue them, again.

Because I didn’t refer to a specific revision in one of the references.



Then, someone asks me to re-issue the Workplan  Task Form (WTF).

Because it doesn’t include the Procurement Identification Series Status number.

Not that this will remotely affect the outcome of the project in any possible way.

But no.  I need to re-issue the WTF, and put that special “P” number on it.

Because that’s apparently considered an important task.

If this is how they want to use an Engineer’s time, so be it.

But….it comes with a price.


Sigh.  There goes another.


And then I had to write a Quality Results Audit Plan.

I started it months ago,  but the QRAP isn’t done yet.

Because it needs several people’s approval before it can be issued.   And everyone needs to give their two cents’ worth.

So I revise.

And when they go away on vacation, their temporary replacements have their own comments to add.

So I revise.

But now, the QRAP’s changed again,  which may not necessarily agree with the original comments.

So I revise.

(Do you see a pattern here).

By the way, this is not the Magna Freaking Carta I’m writing.

It’s a one-page document.

(Aieeeeee.  Aieeeeeee.)

Oh, the humanity.


You know, they could probably get an Admin. Assistant to do half of my tasks.

But the AA’s are too busy, producing other high-priority documents.

Like  announcments warning of turtles crossing the road.

Or posting instructions on how to wash your hands at every sink.

And don’t forget the 12-page procedure explaining how to purchase safety work boots.

(Aieeeeee.  Aieeeeee. Aieeeeeee.  Save us, Friar!  Save us!   Aieeeeeee.)

Wow…a whole bunch of them  just went, just now.

Suddenly, the right side of my face feels numb, and I can’t remember my sister’s phone number.

This cannot be good.

But for some reason, my job doesn’t seem to bother me as much as it used to.

Explore posts in the same categories: Miss Management

20 Comments on “Brain Damage”

  1. Brett Legree Says:

    Don’t worry Friar, I have a plan.

    We’ll kill the rest of our brain cells on Thursday nights.

    Then, when the new regime comes and lays off all the egg-heads, you and I will be the logical choice to sweep the floors in the empty buildings.

    They can pay us in cheap American beer because by that point we just won’t care.

  2. Karen JL Says:

    See? Alcohol IS the solution to everything! 😉

  3. Kyddryn Says:

    Aww, sugar…that’s just so very wrong…

    I’d loan you some of mine for cannon fodder, but I’m afraid they’re all catatonic, overwhelmed by SpongeBob and legal documents, a lethal combination.

    You’re not really in trouble, though, until you start saying “Hey, y’all, watch this!” before doing things that seemed like a good idea at the time…

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  4. Friar Says:

    Forget the beer.

    We should switch to Victory Gin.

    I hate to admit it…but you make a good point.

    Surprisingly, SpongeBob NURTURES my cerebral cortex. When I watch that show, I feel my severed neurons healing and reconnecting.

    It’s that OTHER stuff that burns me out.

  5. Cath Lawson Says:

    LMAO – WTF are you wasting your time on all this QRAP when you should be trying to get in 10,000 hours, so you can be a genius at something.

    Just thinking about what you said on Twitter. Maybe you should get your 10,000 hours in writing comedy – you have a natural talent for it.

  6. Brett Legree Says:

    Doubleplusgood, Brother. Even now, the forces of Oceania are closing in on the Eurasian scum.

    (Or was that Eastasian scum.)

  7. Friar Says:

    heh heh. Thanks.

    Well, I probably already wasted 1000 hours on Twitter.

    I’m one-tenth there!

    Don’t forget your 20-gram ration of chocolate.

  8. Captain Push Says:

    My office and staff are located 220 miles from HQ. Still, they NEVER forget to invite us to the Wednesday Ice Cream Social or the “Casual Friday” luncheons.

    Oh how I wish I could Hob-nob with the important people who develop and plan these events.

    But I’m too busy filling out important reports that nobody ever reads. How do I know that nobody reads them? Simply because if they read them, they’d realize I’ve peppered them with scatological humor and “spicy” language.

  9. Friar Says:

    What? You can’t drive 220 miles on your lunch hour, to mingle with the Chief Bosons?

    I had a similar report I had to write. (Because the procedure said we had to). It was such a big deal. but once it was filed by document control, it was never referred to again.

    Next time, maybe I’ll follow your lead. IMHO, you can never get enough scatological humor.

  10. Hey Friar,

    My vote is with Catherine (imagine that). Spend those 10000 hours writing comedy and kiss the paperwork good-bye.

  11. Davina Says:

    Oh, I know what’s happened here… Aieeeeeee… you’ve just been sniffing too much Old Spice. I agree with Cath 100%. You could make a career… um… “activity” out of writing humour, and illustrating it for that matter. I’m SURE you’ve put in over 10K hours on this! Look how good you are man!

  12. LoLa Says:

    Your job makes ME lose brain cells.

  13. Friar Says:

    @Barbara and Davina

    I’m only really started writing humor for the past 18 months. But in terms of cartooning and doodling, I have WAY MORE than 10,000 hours (Much of it done during University lectures and boring meetings.)

    Oooh…that’s scary. How the Factory can damage grey matter, by just hearing about it second-hand. 😮

    The Bean-Counters are gaining WAY too much power for my liking. Somebody oughta do something.

  14. Bandobras Says:

    You are hilarious. Claiming to be an engineer and have live brain cells. Never happened never will.

  15. Friar Says:


    Based on your comment, I’m willing to guess that a) you’re a fellow engineer joking along with me, or b) your background is the Humanities/Liberal Arts.

  16. Bandobras Says:

    A bit of both. I got a BA in history but then worked as an inspector for GM for 30 years where we had to devise ways to do what engineers asked. Like the one who showed up with a con rod after machining and asked us to tell him how much they had ground off.
    I still can’t figure how that company ever got into trouble.

  17. Brett Legree Says:


    Paper engineers.

    That’s a term Friar and I have for “engineers” who have never taken something apart and put it back together again, without having any pieces left over.

    I’m an engineer, yet I can run a milling machine, lathe, cutting torch, build computers, run a crane, drive a fork lift, sharpen drill bits etc.

    Even stranger, I’m not a mechanical engineer but I can do this.

    Friar’s the same in many ways.

    I had an old boss who used to say, “you can’t legislate common sense”.

    I remember once (when working for a power electronics company) I had to have smooth spots machined on the fins of some heat sink. I took it to a British machinist who had decades of experience, he said “can’t be done, it will vibrate too much”.

    So I took it back to my shop, jammed blocks of wood between each of the fins, and machined the bastards myself.

    Then I took it back to show him, and he said “bloody fucking hell, why didn’t I think of that”.

    Your engineers have to get the hell out of the office and away from the computer, and onto the floor with the techs and workers and trades.

    That’s what it was like in the 50’s and 60’s, and then it went to fucking hell when they stopped letting us do shit with our hands.

  18. Bandobras Says:

    I have three engineers in the family. Two came from Britain where they served apprenticeships to become engineers. The one who moved to Canada had to go back to university while working as a tech till he had his paper. The one who went to India was building dams and bridges that are still standing as far as we know.
    The son born in Canada went to university and got the degree and a healthy job so he moved up into management and now never actually does any engineering.

  19. Brett Legree Says:


    The India story does not surprise me. One reason why (in my experience) we have many engineers doing nothing but paperwork is because many countries in the West have lost their mojo.

    We couldn’t fight the Nazis or put people on the Moon anymore because we’d consider it too risky, form a committee, study it to death etc.

    We don’t have any balls.

    And that’s why other countries are taking what we once had. They want it, and they have the balls.

    You want cutting edge stem-cell therapy, today?

    Go to China.

    You want a $2,000 car that meets European safety standards?

    Go to India.

    They have the guts. We just talk a lot, and write a lot of bullshit, to meet a lot of deadlines and tick a lot of boxes that mean two things, Jack and Shit.

  20. Friar Says:

    @Brett and Bandobras
    That’s the problem with engineers today. We’re not allowed to TOUCH anything.

    I built and designed lots of really cool lab apparatus and instrumentation, which I tested in the field. But that was as a Grad student, or working for a univeristy as a full-time researcher. When I was actually allowed to touch a wrench and soldering iron, and the machinist would let me play with his lathe.

    Once you graduate and get in the real world, all of that fun stuff is “HANDS OFF”. If you so much as LOOK at a tool, the unionized tradesmen will file a grievance.

    The best you can hope for at that point, is to write a safety procedure on safe tool use.

    (No wonder our country’s f**cked).

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