Machinists Rule Because...

Go to almost any shopping mall and you'll find at least one store or kiosk selling T-shirts with funny pictures or catchy sayings on them. One vendor in a nearby mall is selling T-shirts that list the reasons why certain groups or types of people tend to dominate—"So-and-sos Rule Because…" is how the wording starts.

Columns From: 11/1/1998 Modern Machine Shop, ,

Go to almost any shopping mall and you'll find at least one store or kiosk selling T-shirts with funny pictures or catchy sayings on them. One vendor in a nearby mall is selling T-shirts that list the reasons why certain groups or types of people tend to dominate—"So-and-sos Rule Because…" is how the wording starts.

It seems that there is a shirt for just about every interest, hobby, habit, hair color, physical shape, sport, indulgence, life-stye, or occupation. Perhaps there's even one about machinists. You can imagine what might be on such a shirt.

MACHINISTS RULE BECAUSE:

  • They are smart with their hands as well as their heads.
  • They run machine tools that can make other machine tools.
  • Metal beats wood or plastic.
  • Modern civilization couldn't exist without them.
  • When the chips are down, they've been making money.
  • They know how big a difference a "tenth" can make.
  • They are part engineer, part mathematician, part metallurgist, part metrology expert, part computer programmer.
  • Everything they make is automatically in 3D solids.
  • They have no tolerance for being out of tolerance.

Maybe that's too much to get on the front or back of a T-shirt. And it's probably not cute or clever enough to make it to the print shop. And that's just as well. The metalworking trades don't need any false glamour attached to them, no artificial coolness to be borrowed by the faddish and trendy. True professionals confront the workaday world with a more realistic attitude. In fact, genuine dedication is highly suspicious of that which the outside world takes a fashionable interest in—and that's usually not an interest in the work to be done. Doing the job's the thing.

Any glamour in metalworking is dissipated by the day-to-day business of meeting the schedule and shipping on time. The ability to withstand, even be sustained by, the demands of ordinary production is what counts.

Not that machinists, tool and die makers, NC programmers and their colleagues don't take pride in their work. Most do indeed. But that's the point. The glory is in the work, even in the workpiece itself. "Meets all specs" is a personal compliment.

Yes, metalworking matters. Put that on a T-shirt.

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