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The Wacky World of Radio - The Radio Engineer

Today’s Lesson: The Radio Engineer (Humor/Satire)

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Wacky World of Radio Logo

Wacky World of Radio Logo

Graphic Credit: © Corey Deitz
Engineers are essential to Radio because they’re the only people at a radio station who know how to fix the equipment and the all-important transmitter. These men and women are harvested from special eggs which have been fertilized by the frozen sperm of Canadian inventor, Reginald Fessenden. This is why most engineers are also known as “eggheads”.

Fessenden, himself, did early experiments with Radio including transmissions of voice and music. He died in 1932 and his sperm was gathered up in what was considered his last “transmission”. Today, radio engineers are hatched at the Fessenden Birthatory in Horsefly, British Columbia. Look it up.

Never Speaking to an Engineer Could Save Your Life

Engineers usually have quaint nicknames like “Doc” or “Grit” or "Doc Grit". They have an uncanny ability to drive most normal people insane by explaining in excruciating detail why anything happens.

For instance, if you thank an engineer for changing out the burned-out light bulb in your studio, he’ll spend 10 minutes explaining to you why the old bulb was a fire hazard, and if he hadn’t looked behind the socket he would have never have found the petrified squirrel which somehow entered through the duct system and died between the circuits. And then there’s the litany of dead squirrels he’s seen over the years and did you know that squirrels are actually attracted to electricity? "And did I ever tell you about the squirrel with one eye that I spotted camping when…."

Right about this time you have a gun to your head since you have decided you can’t live in a world where engineers explain things. Then, just as you're about to pull the trigger, you’re pardoned when his cell phone rings and he has to run down to the transmitter because the Digital Perplexer Thingy is only putting out 73% power on the left side or something like that. You lower the gun with your shaking hand and thank God AT&T has the least wireless dead spots.

E=MC Hammer

Radio engineers walk a thin line between genius and insanity. Often, they are usually brilliant people with no social skills whatsoever. Do not ask a Radio engineer to sing karaoke, rap, or mingle with people at a club. This will go badly because they lack the social grace to interact properly.

This is also why they are, by law, not permitted to use Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. I once knew an engineer who fixed a transmitter by shoving a No. 2 pencil into one of the components and believe it or not we operated our radio station for months by the grace of that pencil. So, the verdict: was he Einstein or just some damn lucky monkey? I still don’t know. But, something like that should scare you.

Three Seldom Discussed Aspects of Radio Engineers

  1. Most of them dress as badly as Emmett “Doc” Brown from the “Back to the Future” movies.
  2. Most transmitter sites are remote because society prefers these people work as far away as possible from humans
  3. 30% of Radio engineers have dressed up on Halloween as a Commodore 64 computer.

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