Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Engineering FUNdamentals -- the Old Engineer

An old engineer with a small business was going through difficult times. His only remaining client, ACME Transportation, hired him to break up and replace a concrete slab that he had poured years ago – and if he couldn't do the job, ACME said it would have no choice but to find another engineer. He panicked because he couldn't afford to lease the machinery or hire the workers. His only son, Brad, who used to help him with the business, was in prison. The old engineer wrote a letter to him and described the predicament.

Dear Brad:

I'm feeling pretty desperate  -- I need to break up and replace that concrete slab we poured for ACME years ago but I don't have the cash to get the equipment I need. If you were here, I know you'd find a way to get the job done --
all my troubles would be over.

Love, Dad

A few days later, he received a letter from his son.

Dear Dad:
 

Even if you could break up that concrete, DON'T! I buried all the bodies underneath it.

Love, Brad
 
At 4 a.m. the next morning, the old engineer got a call from the FBI -- they had screened Brad's letters and were now on-site at the ACME location with men and machinery. The old man panicked again. Four hours later he got another call from the FBI: They  had broke up the slab but hadn't found any bodies, but they promised to replace the shattered concrete at the department's expense.

That same day, the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Dad:

That was the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love, Brad

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