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Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 10:10 AM

I very much enjoy reading and posting at CR4. The good discussion with other technically minded people in the US and from other countries is good for the mind and it makes me feel like part of a large technical family.

There is something that has at times has made me pause before giving an answer. The US is continuing to close down production facilities. This is often for the reason of business searching for cheaper labor or a company goes out of business because they can no longer compete in a global market of lower manufacturing costs.

This became more evident to me when I read a certain question today from a certain plant in a country other than mine. It is known for very low wages and its' capital city is one of the most polluted in the world. I have personal knowledge that this large corporation is shifting the production between their plants right now. This company makes similar durable goods at a facility that is 40 miles from my house in Ohio. This Ohio plant is still profitable and I have friends that have been layed off from it.

In no way do I want to encourage any kind of prejudice. I am just looking for others reasonable views on this.

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#1

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 10:57 AM

This is a gutsy post, DaveB. Thanks for sharing your observations, and in such a thoughtful way.

Speaking on an entirely personal basis (and in not any way as a CR4 moderator), I do wonder about the quality of the engineering education in some of the nations to which U.S. jobs have been lost. Some of the questions that I see on CR4 are very basic, but are asked by people who (you would think) ought to know better. For example, when someone who is working as a boiler technician asks "How do I maintain a boiler?", I'm left scratching my head - and worrying about their personal safety.

If I were to put myself in the shoes of a skilled but unemployed boiler technician in Ohio, I'd probably be more than a little frustrated that while I can't find work in the U.S., there's someone somewhere else who has a job - and doesn't know how to maintain a boiler that I could fix in my sleep.

Enough said be me. I'm hoping that others will follow your lead, DaveB, and share reasonable views on this subject without, as you say, "encouraging any kind of prejudice".

Best,

Moose

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#12
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 11:50 PM

It's often reported that countries like China and India graduate many more Engineering students than the US, but it is often overlooked or ignored that these countries do not distinguish between 4 year, 2 year or even Vo-Tech level graduates. They are all reported as "engineers". That being said, I try to answer questions that I feel most qualified in answering when I can. I also understand that these countries are growing their industrial output (or at least were until the economy tanked) at a considerable rate and the numbers of experienced engineers in these countries is spread pretty thin. This creates a shortage of mentors for these new graduates. I don't know of an engineer in the US (myself included) who didn't have someone they worked under to answer all the "dumb" questions that someone new to industry doesn't learn in school. An engineering student may learn that a level controller is needed on a tank to prevent over/under flow of the tank, but may not know how to connect a dP cell to measure that level. Just linking a wiki link or telling them to "RTFM" isn't helpful in my opinion. It may take me more than one attempt to learn something new, and multiple explanations from multiple sources has helped me "get it" sometimes.

I usually avoid homework type questions or questions where a misinterpretation of my answer can cause injury. But I try to provide helpful answers where I can. Enough people have answered my "dumb" questions in the past that I don't mind helping others where I can.

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#47
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/21/2009 9:03 PM

Moose,

Your a terrific writer!!!!!.... Enjoy your insight and knowledge.

Vinward.

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#55
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/29/2009 8:14 AM

be my guest :)

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#2

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 11:05 AM

These issues you brought up of protectionism are more internal at the moment. (probally because the ones doing it do not realize)

After having worked with people that resort to protectionism to save thier own asses. Even though I do understand why, what does get me is when you ask them a direct question on an issue and they refuse to answer it properly due to thier insecurity.

Even though it does appear to work for them, it creates a S#ity environment to work in.

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#30
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 6:28 PM

I worked in one place where most of the staff tried to hold onto their little sphere of fact and knowledge as if it were their personal fiefdom. Without the exchange of information, many costly mistakes were made that were entirely avoidable. I prefer to spread information around so it can be acted upon; if not by me, then by some one who can see either a better way or to avoid a potential pitfall that has eluded the rest of us.

I look at some of these posts as what happens when a company makes the assumption that because this guy is an engineer, he must be familiar with all aspects of engineering in all disciplines.

I also have just enough paranoia to wonder about having to use, or be affected by the use of what this engineer is working on. Therefore, if I see a query that I don't think has been properly answered, I'll offer my advice seasoned with a bit of humor.

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#31
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 7:11 PM

I believe you are have the point I was making from within.....

when a company makes the assumption that because this guy is an engineer, he must be familiar with all aspects of engineering in all disciplines.

You have to question, or collaborate as in an earlier post, its a matter of a team effort. (how cliche)

I'll offer my advice seasoned with a bit of humor.

presentation and delievery of critism, some people are quite sensitive.....especialy when it consists of people in their own field

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#3

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 11:18 AM

Darn good post!

I think (although I can't troll the numbers) that 90% of the type of inane questions go unanswered - I know I steer clear...giving someone a lead to go to GlobalSpec for a multimeter is not the same as trying to help someone learn how not to destroy their infrastucture....

By Golly, if they don't already know what/how they are doing - I don't want to give them a free pass....

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#4

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 1:41 PM

I've thought about this myself, when helping marginally competent posters.

Sometimes I refrain from giving answers to questions if I think the answer would be over the OP's head and refer them to Google or Wiki.

As to the protectionist aspect, I'd say that's a personal decision, but you do have a valid point.

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#5

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 1:52 PM

Great topic DaveB!

I testified to the house ways and means subcommittee on foreign trade once upon a time as an expert on unemployment. I was a steel worker. I held up almost 4 inches worth of Ohio unemployment tracking booklets at the start of my testimony. In ~ten years i had been laid off over six years of actual work time.- 1973-1984

The market sets the price. And "we as customers" are the ones driving that price ever lower. Here is an experiment in irony,- go to Walmart parking lot, and count the "UAW" and "Union and proud" and "Teachers union" and yes, even teamsters union bumper stickers there. Apparently being a trade unionist doesn't forbid one from finding the lowest global prices for one's own needs.

I comment on a number of posts, usually metallurgical, or chemical and answer a lot of questions in these topical areas. My motivation is to use my lifetime experience to help "protect" people from risks that they might not understand. This is because I respect their needs as Humans to live safely as well as to welcome them into the global economy as producers rather than non producers.

My other reason is that it generally is from 'other places' that these questions originate. It seems no-one in Ohio cares to know about the limitations of heat treating of mild steel these days... They are having too much fun on facebook or their X-box or whatever. But if someone from over here asks, well, they get an answer from me too. But what I know is not in demand by many folks here any more. My Kids and their friends really aren't interested. But I have had personal correspondence from all over the world for sharing the simple and important things about my topics.

So to paraphrase Willie (Why do I rob banks? - Because thats where the money is.") Sutton: "Why do I answer Foreign originating requests for technical assistance?" Because they are the ones who ask so that their part of the world can also enjoy improved living standards.

I think that the real question ought to be, "Why the heck do so few people from "my country" ask these kind of questions?"

I welcome competition. I have abandoned making high volume low cost stuff- my labor cost is too high. I am now working at what I believe to be my current 'highest and best use'. And that is no longer shovelling iron ore spillage or gaging emissions at a coke plant that no American wants to live down wind of...

So if my advice can help some one somewhere not put out his eye, or blow off a limb or pollute the local water table where they live, sure- I'll help.

I'll even show him where to get templates for drawing up a process control plan- the web is loaded with that stuff. Why abett wasting of precious resources? I'll help him develop his craft. I enjoy being a mentor.

But I won't give him the process control plan that I developed. Or my employer's trade secrets.

The Apollo pictures of the earth from the moon (40 years ago this week!) changed my thinking from one of "us vs them," to a "we're all on this blue ball hanging in the darkness together."

"Like it or not, we all live here."

Why would I begrudge anyone the same life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness that I was given as my birthright?

Until they cheat me, I hold them innocent until proven guilty.

That's my message of "The Existential Joy of Technical Work" for the day.

milo

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#6
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 2:00 PM
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#8
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 2:04 PM

Good answer Milo,

I welcome competition.

This country (the US of A) use to thrive on competition,....quite agressively

But what I know is not in demand by many folks here any more.

Like any technical aspect, anyone that writes a book on a technical or skill aspect carries the same view as yourself, they do not intend on making money because that book would not make a best seller. but self-satisfaction, so your only vice could be that your being selfish, which as a mentor is a good thing.

phoenix911

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#11
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 11:39 PM

In the spirit of these postings, please let me recommend a book, "The Existential Pleasures of Engineering," by Samuel C. Florman.

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#13
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 11:53 PM

A joy to read Milo. GA

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#15
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 2:53 AM

That's not a Good Answer.
..
...
That's a GREAT answer.
Del

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#19
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 8:29 AM

Hi Milo,

I gave you G.A. Really good comment. I belong to the country whose name is hidden in the topic. First of all it was U.S who championed the Philosophy of Globalisation. Now when it is being achieved at whatever cost it is being felt with hurt.

I consider CR4 as best platform for technical discussions where in best brains from all over the world share their long experience, problems,also little bit of humor too. I have been recommending to many of my friends to join this forum.

As for as I am concerned I have shared my own experience to many of our friends in solving their specific problems related to Material Handling. At present I am trying to help our friend from Brazil for storage of pipes.

Thoughts expressed by our members are positive and should be considered in right spirits.

Suresh Sharma.

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#35
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 10:56 PM

"Why the heck do so few people from "my country" ask these kind of questions?"

They're standing in the politically correct line with elbows locked next to a sign which reads "We've got a tool to fix it but we're not going to use it"

ref:

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#36
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 11:04 PM

Thanks for that. "Maybe they 're afraid to use the tool because they fear in their heart that they are wrong..."

I thought it was because they "transcend" the realities of a world of cause and effect. Where stuff comes from stores and not manufacturers...

"Your kid can get a job like that , but my boy, why he' s going to college..." sort of thing.

milo

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#37
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 11:04 PM

Did you know.... according to Zecharia Sitchin, the ancient gods came to earth to acquire gold, which the were using in an extremely fine ground state, to help their home planet (X) retain it's atmosphere. All our concepts of Hell come from these gods mining gold in south africa (the lower world) before they created human workers to do the job. (our original raison d'etre)

Chris

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#38
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 11:18 PM

OHH! Those ancient Sumerians!

Use floating heavy metallic reflective particles to hold the atmosphere down instead of absorbent gases with thermal properties to retain the heat...

If only we knew what they did 450,000 years ago?

milo

uhmmm maybe we do...

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#39
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 11:39 PM

good questions... there is a lack of information... maybe they didn't have the same composition...

I believe the story starts out with Ea coming here and building a facility in central america. (I like to think that was Teotihuacan) and I think perhaps used electroplating to remove gold from the seawater, using the piezoeelectric energy of the pyramids..

I certainly don't know... but I am intensely curious if it could work.

I do believe that with the genome mapped, that we are closing in on finding the DNA clock which sets our lifespan at 120 years.. before Noah we lived ~900 years.. (Noah's wife was gifted with a 'divine' conception when she got on the boat. and ever since then, we've been limited) but that is nothing compared to their million years...

Chris

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#41
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/19/2009 4:08 AM

No, no it was space cats...everyone knows it was space cats wot done it....
Del
(BTW WTF are you spmoking this weekend?)

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#42
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/19/2009 1:05 PM

O not just this weekend.. but then you know that by now... I roll up herbal remedies in pages of my Zecharia Sitchin books, and light em up. There might also be pages of Alvin Alford, Chris Dunn, Graham Hancock, etc.

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#46
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/20/2009 3:33 PM

Thanks for posting such a strong and positive message Milo, and I especially commend you for holding to your belief that all people deserve a fair chance despite the hard times that you yourself faced over the years. This is what being American is supposed to mean.

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#7

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 2:04 PM

Love the post and the way you said what needed to be said. Many of us have the same feelings but have not been able to express them so well.

I am not,by education, an engineer but some of the questions posed by those who are holding that position in these other countries make me nervous. I have "met" a few engineers from there and some are brilliant but others...lets just say that if I am able to answer the questions being asked by them, they need to go back to school.

It seems that these large businesses moved into that area so quickly, for the cheap labor, that the people weren't prepared for what would be needed of them. Perhaps these companies were made to believe that the labor force was larger and more well trained than they truly were, so they moved in full force and forced the labor to rush through their training.

I don't really blame the work force for this. This is a part of the world where work and money have always been scarce. The promise of regular work and pay may have caused some to overstate their abilities, or the availability of trained professionals,with the hope of catching up with the knowledge later.?

As far as giving them the answers that are asked for, well I guess that if we don't help them they will get the answers anyway. But at least we know that if it comes from us they are getting the best knowledge that is available as opposed to what they may get from employers who just want to get the job done or others who are less knowledgeable. Another thing to think about is the fact that if these would be engineers have to find out on their own what you guys already know many people could be hurt or killed in the process.

I am against giving our jobs away for the bottom line but I am also opposed to standing back and allowing someone to be injured doing something wrong when I am able to help them to do it safely. Remember there are no child little or no child labor laws in those places.

Ok, you guys have let me run on entirely too long!

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#9
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 2:06 PM

it can work both ways and does.

Look on this site

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#22
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 10:30 AM

"It seems that these large businesses moved into that area so quickly, for the cheap labor, that the people weren't prepared for what would be needed of them. Perhaps these companies were made to believe that the labor force was larger and more well trained than they truly were, so they moved in full force and forced the labor to rush through their training."

I will base my reply on this paragraph and I think your answer is a good one, by the way.

One of the threads I feel strongly about, and one that has not been addressed, is the decisions of the financial officers and accountants of the multinational companies. This has probably had a more profound impact on the moves to growing countries than any other.

Would I pass on my limited knowledge though, emphatically a yes to any query I felt I could answer and one that was of interest to me.

I just signed on with a growing international company that has specialized in infrastructure and is taking on a lot more mechanical projects, thus allowing me to be in on the beginning of this new and exciting division. I will be working internationally if I choose and the idea of sharing my knowledge with a people who appreciate it sounds awesome. Few in the US want it or think I can share it all in a couple of weeks, thus demeaning all of us here on cr4

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#10

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/17/2009 5:57 PM

It's pretty simple help if you want to, don't if you don't.
The CR4 karma seems to work for me, maybe it's better to give than receive. If someone isn't 'deserving' of your pearls of wisdom they will probably screw up regardless. If they are 'deserving' they will probably find the solution with or without your help.
Chill man
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#14

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 12:24 AM

Opinions and belly buttons, I too have one of each

Working in software, a VERY transportable industry, I have had equal reason to carefully examine my place in internationism/globalization.

Software didn't move to India (and others) because they were equally good then, but because the wages were low enough to make it worth investing to MAKE them that good.

So in my field the work moved first. Then the engineers capability rose to match.

So that pretty well took the emphasis off quality as a defining factor.

So I view it as any other engineer who has a question - no matter what where the originator hails from.

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#16
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 6:47 AM

Giving technical assistance to someone who might be a competitor is very unwise. Why would you give away knowledge that it has took years to learn. This is even more insane to help another country who unfairly competes with the US get ahead. I am truly amazed that this is even an issue,

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#17
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 7:10 AM

That's why you shouldn't encourage a baby to walk or talk, just lock 'em in a blank room.
Seldom have I read such rubbish!
Del

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#18
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 7:19 AM

If I were to assemble a team of people who is qualified in different areas to work on a project.

You would not be one of them.

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#20
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 10:13 AM

Its so ironic to read such a thing, on a website dedicated to doing just that; sharing information around the globe. You didn't put much thought into that answer...

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#21
In reply to #16

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 10:22 AM

To paraphrase

"He who steals my purse steals nothing..."

The answer to a question is rarely as valuable or useful as the education and experience necessary to come up with the answer.

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#23

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 11:51 AM

On a site like this, when or how would your determine when collaboration with colleagues should stops, when collaboration with colleagues is one of the foundations of this site.

phoenix911

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#24

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 12:37 PM

I think Milo and Moose both have valid points and I especially agree with Moose's point about what constitutes an engineering education in India is of questionable value in many cases. Judging by the level of competence displayed by many of the questions here and elsewhere, I have to assume that the educational system there is dominated by what would be charitably called degree mills here. I too have met some brilliant Indian engineers in my day, but I've met some really bad ones too. People that I have to I question how they got a BSME. One only has to look at the news of building and crane collapses and ferry sinkings to question if the safety of the public is at all contemplated when these wretches are handed their sheepskins. I am not by training an engineer. I have never claimed otherwise. When I am presented with a problem that I do not feel comfortable in relying on my own skills to solve, I am the first one to go find someone better equipped to solve them, and I lean over their shoulder and learn what I can from them so that when that problem comes up again, I am better able to handle it myself. Over the years the number of problems I am presented with that fall outside of my sphere of experience has steadily fallen off. Am I an engineer? Emphatically no. I am ok with that. But I let my knowledge and capabilities speak for themselves.

As engineering professionals, we have an obligation to "first do no harm" not unlike doctors and their hippocratic oath. Because, like doctors, when we screw up, someone can die. I do not think that the degree mills there in India, are accepting their share of the blame for loosing on the world people who have been convinced they are the equal of a well trained engineer, when in fact they could not carry the water for an experienced designer.

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 12:52 PM

Now your talking about competency, Digging a step further.

The OP was basically questioning helping sending potential work to competition offshore.

When I am presented with a problem that I do not feel comfortable in relying on my own skills to solve, I am the first one to go find someone better equipped to solve them,

I am a designer, not an engineer. I have worked with engineers that when presented with a problem, and requires solving for risk with their name tied to it, they will down and out refuse to do it. Not because they can'tm but because they won't.

How is that for a confidence vote for internal engineers. The likelihood is.....they will be promoted to management.

phoenix911

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#26

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 3:19 PM

Perhaps I was a bit blunt, since I seem to have gotten some interesting conversation. From my perspective I would go out of my way to help someone on my team. I do not feel the need to help people who are in competition. Having said that let me clarify, I feel that anyone who is asking me to help when it is a competitor. This is more true when they are trying to compete by being cheaper and not knowing what they are doing. By virtue of not spending the time or money to This includes company's and countries that copy software and wholesale disregarded Patton's. It certainly includes countries that can produce cheaper because they do not follow the safety and environmental law that we follow. I am not including all of the reason that I remain silent.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 3:58 PM

spcr4hire:

From my perspective I would go out of my way to help someone on my team. I do not feel the need to help people who are in competition.

I do not understand, there seems that there's a contradiction of what you say.

The dynamics for technical experts and employees are changing, which you may understand by looking at your log in name. (and that is are you for hire?)

And these dynamics are contract specialist, that in turn when the current contract runs out, the next contract may be with the competition.

Are you still part of the team? or do you live for the day to put bread on your table?

phoenix911

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#32
In reply to #27

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 9:01 PM

It is from the old Spencer for hire detective series and I sold machine tools is where the 4hire came from. I have never seen a contract mfg. eng. my original vocation

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 9:54 PM

I have never seen a contract mfg. eng.

That explains some, I do not know about Manufacturing Engineer, But Mechanical, Electrical and Design. Paper mills in this area were good for that.

Do you see the point?

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#28

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 6:03 PM

Then there's this:
Good certification

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 6:06 PM

does make it sound like their in a candy store, or something

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#34

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/18/2009 10:07 PM

I am an engineer from a developing country (Guatemala), who reads this forum daily. I am one of those people who is always willing to listen for a better solution to a problem if someone can back it up with logic.

Every engineer, deep down inside, has a tendency to be a teacher. I, for one, am willing to offer asistance to anyone willing to listen. It gives me great pleasure to dish the little info I have to someone who can use it. I even feel honored, because someone is willing to listen to what I have to say.

There is a saying that goes something like this: the intelligent person learns from his own mistakes, but the wise man learns from someone else´s mistakes.

I love the US. It is like a second home to me. I love it, because it is so open to everyone not like Europe. Why close down this opennes which has atracted so many to the US, when it is one of its great virtues?

Lastly, technical assitance can only hurt someone if he or she doesn´t analyze the proposed solution. I want to believe that the people that read this forum think, to begin with. Any advice given has two possibilities: 1) don take it (think about why not), and 2) take it (think about why).

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#40

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/19/2009 1:14 AM

Hi I love all you people on CR4 . In a world of much negativeism .I need a dose of hope from such people. God bless us all and let's let our that little light shine.

John Minnesota

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#43

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/20/2009 4:24 AM

hi DaveB,

I empathize. and it is not just the US that is affected. even developing countries are also hurt by this "unequal" competition.

but we can take a step back and look at the bigger picture. with the forest in view, we ask ourselves: how far and how long will such low-cost production methods last? the answer is, not long, and we're even seeing the effects of such methods. very poor quality, high rejection rates and losses for the trusting customer (remember the thread about the LED lights?).

perhaps you can comfort yourself with the truth that whatever one sows that will he also reap. if in business one cheats to obtain profit, he will reap being cheated in a greater degree, because the fruit is always greater than the seed.

just keep on sowing good, and you will be rewarded in due time. as long as your heart is peaceful with what you're doing, keep on doing it.

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#44

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/20/2009 9:42 AM

After starting this thread on Friday, I never looked at it again until this morning. Yesterday I was having second thoughts as to what may be posted but in general I think it has all gone well, now that I read it all. My motivation was for the plight of the unemployed (my friends who have been layed off and have not found other jobs yet) or badly employed (see my pollution comment).

The area that the particular lost jobs I was talking about went to (in my original post) was not India but the specifics do not matter. A good discussion on the topic is what matters. At a personal level, I have been impressed with our Technical brothers from India right from the time I first met them in school years ago.

I wish that internationally there was more of a level playing field when it comes to industry. If everywhere there were reasonable (not slave like) wages for work and there were international pollution and safety standards the world would be a better place. I also wish that many of the countries peoples were not so caught up in consumerism.

Just my opinions so take it for what its worth.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/20/2009 10:00 AM

Hello DaveB,

You touch off some issues that needed to be addressed, and that at times takes guts.

And these issues you brought up I have address from experience.

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/34629/At-Least-Have-Some-Experience

If I have to do it over, I would, be may alittle different. And that is being more agressive against job protectionism and incompetence.

I feel its part of my job to be open (as long as its not giving away trade secrets) even if it costs me my position. But that is a matter of integrity, and the cost of that at times is very high.

phoenix911

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#48
In reply to #45

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/24/2009 3:01 AM

The fight over to pull or not pull the plug to the greed pump...part of the solution or part of the problem...

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#49
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/24/2009 12:26 PM

Not sure what you mean by that...

Yesterday, I had a job interview, and the question was ask why at my last employer lasted so short.

My response ...The project that the company was working on was over 4 months late and 2 more month if things went well before shipping, there were so many issues, and if I was going to take responsibility of the project, I had to find what the issues were to establish a reference point.

The biggest issues, was protectionism from an incompetent electrical engineer. And I told them "What I had to do was the right thing to do, but it was not going to be good for me."

I informed HR Operations Manager, Owner, and key personal as well as the engineer in question....or questionable engineer

What happened they asked, I told them I was laid off the next day.

The facilitator said, well that answers my next question about your integrity.

This is what burns me, People who protect their own little sphere by not giving out information, and yet they believe they have integrity. Integrity plays a huge part in engineering. ........ That being said they are hypocrites who claim both.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypocrites

phoenix911

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/24/2009 1:47 PM

People who protect their own little sphere by not giving out information, and yet they believe they have integrity. Integrity plays a huge part in engineering. ........ That being said they are hypocrites who claim both.

They have created false persona's and are afraid we will find out who they truly are. Of course we already know but they don't understand it's okay. They stay hidden; so they think behind their masks. Sad

It must take up all ingenuity to maintain a lifetimes worth of masking personas...ya think.

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/24/2009 3:24 PM

more like a craft is what I think

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#52
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/24/2009 3:52 PM

These are the same guys who have elevated avoidance of work to an art form

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#53
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/24/2009 4:07 PM

We called them lifers, a peculiar sort often not accurately recognized as a sycophant or sociopath.

A psyche evaluation is good SOP on scheduled occasions such as when creating a management profile for a new or stymied project.

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#54
In reply to #52

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/24/2009 4:21 PM

artist......yes a good label.

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#56

Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/29/2009 6:42 PM

Dave,

I must admit I've had conflicting thoughts on this ...

One side says protect local industry and hoard knowledge....bit irrational but thats the human brain...

The other side says no matter what happens, products & services are global travellers too...

So I listen to "side two" and help out where I can (except homework questions, which I refuse to submit or answer) on the basis that the life I save could be my own or a friend or family.

The line I follow is: - "Hoarded knowledge is useless knowledge because the holder can only be in one place at one time"...Therefore I Share.

Great Thread.

Regards,
Sapper

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#57
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Re: Giving Technical Assistance: Hurting by Helping?

07/30/2009 9:14 AM

Sapper, I agree with you and would like to add:

On a personal level I have offered technical advice (and I believe help) to many locations when responding to CR4 questions. The example of job loss (and loss of real honest manufacturing) I used at the start of the thread seemed to have particularly hard to swallow elements.

I am not promoting protectionism of the destructive kind that was spoken of in this thread. I also think is is irresponsible for healthy companies to maximize profit when it is at the expense of safety and the environment.

In my post 44 I said: "I wish that internationally there was more of a level playing field when it comes to industry. If everywhere there were reasonable (not slave like) wages for work and there were international pollution and safety standards the world would be a better place. I also wish that many of the countries peoples were not so caught up in consumerism."

Better wages and safety standards in some countries would benefit those populations as well as "level the playing field" for some. I also know that a unified intelligent approach to industry on an international level is naive to even imagine. The world is too full of "special interests" and greed to honestly care about individual lives.

Since I was the dope that started this thread I thought I might make my position clear although I do not consider my opinion to be any more valuable than other posters opinions.

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