Startup, Career, and Mentor Humor Tips

May 2, 2014

How do you know when a startup has gone wrong, it is time to retire, your mentor is an endangered species and your mentor's book will become a college text? These and other questions you have not asked will be answered.

Humor to me has been a way of breaking down barriers and opening up minds besides providing some fun. Often the more exaggerated and personal the item, the more dramatic is the enlightenment and comic relief. Humor is a big part of what makes us human. Of course not everyone is into humor. If this is the case, don't worry, this is just some temporary escapism. I will return to doing a totally serious blog next week.

Top Ten Signs a Startup has Gone Wrong

10. Product tanks are empty
9. Waste tanks are full
8. The startup team and DCS have negative free time
7. The entire design team is in the control room
6. The whole research team is in the control room
5. The managers have left the control room
4. The consoles are lit up like pinball machines
3. Operators keel over from doughnut overdose
2. A collection is taken for the startup budget
1. The order for souvenir baseball caps is cancelled

Top Ten Reasons not to Retire
10. You would really miss those two-hour staff meetings every Friday morning
9. You would have trouble finding how to use those hours you spend on your commute
8. You can't bear the thought of not starting your day with a delicious office cup of instant coffee under flickering fluorescent lights with the crackle of office sounds
7. You would have too much trouble finding reasons to use PowerPoint
6. You could not live without an annual performance review
5. You fitness would be compromised by missing the strength of carrying your laptop all over the world
4. It is too difficult to figure out what you would do with your office wardrobe
3. You are afraid of withdrawal symptoms if you can't spend eight hours a day doing email
2. You don't like the idea of having 52 weeks of vacation each year
1. The company canteen vending machines have the best cold hot dogs in town

Top Ten Signs Your Mentor is an Endangered Species

10. He finds conversations with himself more productive
9. His discipline is no longer on organization charts
8. There is no session for his expertise at technical conferences
7. His technical society changes its name
6. Vendors go into a feed frenzy when he shows up at a society meeting
5. His youngest colleague is eligible for senior discounts
4. He is looking forward to a “Users Group” at a retirement resort
3. A natural history museum asks for his job paraphernalia
2. The local zoo requests to put him on exhibit
1. He gets voted off the company's survivor show

Top Ten Reasons your Mentor's Books Won't be a College Textbook

10. Cost less than $100
9. None of the coauthors have PhDs
8. Contains “Top Ten” lists
7. Shows flow sensors upstream instead of downstream of control valve
6. Discusses sticky situations such as stick-slip
5. Shows unmeasured load disturbances as inputs to process
4. Gets into distractions such as sensor sensitivity, rangeability, and installation
3. Estimates tuning settings to only one decimal place
2. Doesn't use tensor analysis for flow loops
1. Depicts signal lines as digital instead of pneumatic

Top Ten Reasons to Migrate to a New DCS

10. The Function Sequence Table (FST) critical to your operation is named TOMMY.FST
9. You can't open a valve because your last COOP student is the only one that knows the interlock code
8. The application requires 8 override loops implemented across 4 controllers and you are still emotionally scarred from past virtual communications
7 Your technician can replace a controller power converter card blindfolded with one hand tied behind his back
6. The person you are talking to on the Support Hotline wasn't born when your system was installed
5. You console furniture color looks more like Mississippi mud than Seafoam gray
4. You project is debottlenecking a unit and you still want a life outside of work
3. The Control Diagrams in your unit have not been updated since the Reagan administration
2. You have to go out to the field to see if an instrument still exists before you can delete the point from your overloaded controller
1. And finally… you need to update your collection of hats and jackets

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