The Reason Why Engineers Should Not Design Awards

14 Jun

I work for a largish PC maker in Austin. I’m on a floor with a lot of people in beige cubes (maybe 230 cubes) managing the design and development of new computers.

Scattered throughout this largish four story building are several awards display cases filled with awards from various companies thanking us for using their component in our computers.

Thanks for shipping 1.5 million of our bla bla bla LCD panels
in the first year of production.

Presented with thanks on the event of shipping 25 million
of our yadda yadda yadda hard drive.

Most of the awards are little plaques and glass figures like you get at your local awards shop for twenty bucks. Some include images or parts from the device in question. There are several bare LCD panels signed by people from the company who provided it, hard drives embedded in blocks of wood and blocks of plastic shaped vaguely like the widget. All fairly innocuous and mostly ignored.

Then there is the awards cabinet on my floor.

Perched on top is not one but two of these things. (Sorry about the quality, cell phone camera)

Optical Drive Award

No doubt the engineers thought it would be really neat to do something unique and special to celebrate selling twenty million optical drives.

So they spray one of the drives with gold paint, stick it at a jaunty angle on a block of wood painted black and put it in a a plastic tube.

I walk by it daily and wonder why Mike didn’t want it in his office.


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