15 ways engineering tells you you’re getting older

15 ways engineering tells you you’re getting older

Looking for some engineering humour?  It’s often said that engineers never retire, they simply slow down.  Or they enter the “Expert Witness” phase of their life.  But the reality is – as much as it pains us to admit it – we can’t engineer or prevent the marching of time.  In many of life’s activities and pursuits, there are often subtle signs along the way that you’re getting older.   For example, that radio station you used to love listening to in your teens no longer does it for you.  Certain foods or drinks you used to enjoy no longer agree with you.  Or you discover your favourite bands that you grew up with are now referred to as classic rock.  Sometimes, the signs are more physical: That five kilometre jog you used to do in 25 minutes now takes you 40 minutes.  Except you only get as far as three kilometres.

Engineering humour aside, the engineering profession can be another medium that delivers you the not-so-subtle message that you’re getting older….

1. Buildings you designed and worked on earlier in your career are now being demolished and replaced with new buildings.

2. Your office is organising a touch football team. No one asks you if you’d like to join.

3. The younger engineers in the office are using design software you don’t even have installed on your computer.

4. You take A1 drawings to site with you now because you can’t make out the writing on the reduced A3’s.

5. Actually, you just don’t go to site anymore.  (It’s a seniority/cost thing, right?)

6. You get invited to join your local engineering institution’s Heritage Committee.

7. A project you’ve worked on for two years finally reaches completion and looks spectacular.  It never occurs to you to Instagram it.

8. One of the junior engineers is working on a building refurbishment project that was originally constructed with a long-discontinued building product. Instead of using Google to find information on the product, they just come and ask you about it.

9. Cardigans are “in”, right?

10. You thought SpaceGass was the place in the office where you’re allowed to go and fart.

11. The lecturers and professors you had at university are now appearing in the obituary section of the industry magazines.

12. Your trusty calculator only has a single row LCD display. Bonus years if you’re still using a Hewlett-Packard calculator that needs to be plugged into the wall overnight.

13. You remember when your office was apprehensive about making the switch to Windows95.

14. You still have a razor blade in your top drawer for scratching out errors made on tracing paper.

15. The first Limit-States design code you learned from was published before most of the staff in your office were born.


So how many applied to you?  😉


Got any more you can add to the list?  Put them in the Comments section below.  And for more engineering humour, don’t forget to check out our Facebook page.

PS:  If you enjoyed this piece, you can subscribe to The Working Engineer for free and be notified each time a new article gets posted.

Did you like this article?  Why not subscribe for more?

Subscribe for free and receive an email notification when we publish new articles...

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. And you can unsubscribe at any time.

The Working Engineer logo


– Engineering Humour – 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top