Help Each Other…

As a consultant, you can’t know everything. Sometimes you need to bring in other experts. When you do, it is much easier if you have greased the skids ahead of time.

Here is a geek story from my college days.

Ernie was an ME (mechanical engineering) student, and a good one at that. However, he was struggling with a mandatory class, EE (electrical engineering) for MEs. It was pretty simple stuff, but he still didn’t get it.

So, he asked my roommate and me, both EEs, to help him out. We all lived in the same place, and that is what we did. Plus we all drank a lot of beer together, a common lubricant for dealing with engineering problems.

“I just can’t seem to get it,” said Ernie. “But Ernie, it’s so simple,” I replied, when I tutored him.  He still struggled, but through rote learning he was able to regurgitate enough to pass. He went on to graduate as an ME.

The following semester, I had a mandatory ME class for EEs on thermodynamics. Like Ernie, I just couldn’t seem to get it.  “But Daryl, it’s so simple,” he said when tutored me. Like Ernie, I was also able to regurgitate enough to pass, and went on to graduate as an EE.

To this day, I still don’t understand thermodynamics, nor do I have a burning desire to do so. But later, I realized the real lesson was in learning to cooperate with colleagues. Without that mutual help, both Ernie and I might not have made it to graduation.

So, help a colleague when needed, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. And establish those helping networks ahead of time.

Finally, don’t over look the benefits of beer, particularly if you are an engineer!

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