August 2001

Welcome, students, to the Microwaves101 classroom. I am your professor. Why am I hiding my face?   Is it because I am on the witness protection plan?   Or because I haven't quit my day job for this gig?   None of your business, pal.

This months editorial topic is new hire engineers.

Because of the prosperity bestowed upon us by Mr. Clinton, Mr. Gates, Mr. Greenspan and others, most microwave companies are experiencing a period of growth unparalleled in history.   In order to staff every program, we all must complete for the same pool of talent, which seems to be getting shallower and more fetid each year.   Four years of engineering college now entitles the graduate to a job at $50K+, a new Pentium III computer, a cube with a view of the water cooler and restrooms, a huge ego, and the right to whine about how he/she is being mistreated.   Since I am not in the process of hiring any of you, let me set you straight: most of you are overpaid, whiney, lazy bastards that dont know s**t from Shinola.   That being said, Microwaves101 is here to help.   By the way, Shinola is shoe polish, and seasoned microwave engineers can tell the difference with one whiff.

In my day, if you were not in the top fifth of your graduating class you didnt even get a job offer from a real engineering company.   And you didnt get a computer in your office, you were lucky if you had a rotary-dial phone.   Fax, pager, cell phone, Razer scooter, we didnt have any of that.   Computer-Aided design?   You and your Radio Shack TRS-80 were on your own.

Let me give you some examples of how desperate the engineering community is.   Once upon a time, we had high standards, we actually hired only graduates with BS degrees.   As we got more desperate, we started to hire math majors, that seemed to work.   Later, we started to hire astronomy majors (hey, there must be microwaves in space, right?)   The last straw was when someone in H.R. confused astronomy with astrology.   Next thing you know, we are talking about the relationship between Gemini and Aquarius instead of the relationship between gain and noise figure.

You want to be a real microwave engineer? Book mark this site! I realize that 90% of it is under construction, but we are kind of busy here doing real work, so be patient!   Be sure to post your need/gripes on the message board, where we will "get on them right away". Or not.

For a poignant view from another "professor", check out   Tom Leykis may not know microwave antennas, but he is an expert on "frontal lobes"!


Check out the Unknown Editor's amazing archives when you are looking for a way to screw off for a couple of hours or more!

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