10 Reasons Engineers Hate The Phone



10. Engineers would rather take their phone apart.

9. It’s OK to call an engineer when you have a cool science or math question because they will surely know the answer.  WRONG!  Google knows too.  Next time someone is too lazy to look something up themselves, send them here.

8. Because YOU can… make sure stuff’s plugged in, unclog a drain, tighten a screw, remove string from the vacuum, reboot your computer, replace the batteries, or take your car to a mechanic all by your freakin’ self.

7. Engineers have lots of hobbies.  Waiting by the phone for it to beep, ring, buzz, or sing is not one of them.

6. Engineers like to concentrate really hard on one activity without interruption (see my serious post on multitasking and meetings).  Try watching a whole movie, going for a walk, driving somewhere, or just having a complete conversation without answering, or even bringing, your phone.  If people in 1995 could do it, you probably can too.


5. The internet doesn’t mind when you stop in the middle of an article and change subjects.  People get mad when you hang up in the middle of a conversation and call someone more interesting.

4. Because engineers are always thinking about something else while people talk at them, they rely on visual cues to know when it’s their turn be polite and respond.  The phone makes this REALLY awkward.

3. Phone Call = Obligation to Talk = More Work = More Opportunity for Blame for Helping Someone Else

2. Without a doubt, whatever an engineer is currently doing is vastly more interesting than talking to you on the phone … unless it’s a girlfriend or wife calling.  Tricked you.  Engineers don’t have those.

1. No one calls an engineer to catch up.  People only call engineers to ask for things.  Therefore, answering the phone is always the wrong thing to do.

I Personally Can’t Stand The Phone!

My more serious post on Multitasking and Meetings delves into a bit of the science behind these evils.  After all, phone calls are just meetings in disguise.

Thanks to Dilbert and Scott Adams for the comic.

Why do you hate the phone?

Category: Efficiency, Humor, Interesting Stuff

Tagged: , , , ,

7 Responses

  1. Engineer says:

    This is probably the most truthful and entertaining thing I have ever read on the internet… absolutely terrific!

    Now I can send this link to everyone I know to explain why I never answer the phone.

  2. Juanchy says:

    I agree with you in all the topics. dilbert is the best
    I hate the ringtone with music of the tv program in the sms
    thank you for this funny moment

  3. [...] 10. The Phone (see our post “10 Reasons Engineers Hate the Phone“) [...]

  4. Dr.G.G.Rajan says:

    Depends on how effective we are in handling phone calls. The general rule of thumb is to cut short the talk time when you receive marketing calls by asking the caller to send you a mail. Be crisp and to the point in such a way that you don’t hurt the feelings of the caller. In my experience, I could organize a training program, only by phone calls and appropriate contacts. Blabbering phone conversation is the most irritating in my opinion.

  5. Ramani says:

    A score of 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.
    I do not even watch TV and only occasionally read the news paper. Was the last one in my organization to get a cell phone. Invariably leave it somewhere. So most people get missed call response.

  6. [...] Who doesn’t hate phone calls?  I’m not talking about calling your Beloved Parent, or your old roommate, or whatever–people you’d like to catch up with, but can’t because of distance.  Those phone calls are often ok.  I’m talking about the other sorts of calls: Calls to organize meetings.  Calls to ask for favors.  Calls to do favors.  They’re all bad. [...]

  7. The telephone does not have a searchable index of previously discussed items.
    I was talking to the design team about this last week… vs Here’s a summary of the emails on the this topic.

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