You Know You're A Machinist When . . .

  • You help your kid do her math graphing homework and measure the points with a caliper.
  • Your girlfriend pulls in for a look at the junkyard without even asking you.
  • Your wife finds a chip in her bra and threatens to put some in your underwear, and that doesn't faze you.
  • You can't remember your wife's birthday or your wedding anniversary, but you can name all the tap drills up to 1 in.
  • You realize your not 1/10 as smart as you thought you were after one year on the job.
  • You let a young guy in your dept do it the wrong way first so the principle you show him when he asks for help is cemented in his noggin'.
  • You take your scale out of your pocket to stir your coffee then wipe it on your pants and return it to your pocket.
  • Someone from the front office asks to borrow your "ruler" you tell 'em you don't have one because you didn't realize they were talking about your coffee stirrer.
  • You lay down to go to sleep and wake up with the solution to a difficult setup you are working on...and it happens on a regular basis.
  • Someone asks you to build something that has never been built before, and you know what part to make first.
  • You curse whoever designed that new tool you bought. Then you redesign the faulty part and make it.
  • You go to a trade show and get annoyed because the booth babes are standing in front of the machines.
  • You tell someone they can't use a machine not because you're worried they'll cut their finger off, but that they'll break the machine and you'll have to fix it.
  • You can hear a shop full of equipment running and tell which one is having a problem.
  • You see the fractional tolerances of carpentry and you shake your head.
  • You can feel 0.001 in."
  • Friends you have not seen for a while drop by for a visit with a "sketch" of something they need made.
  • You dare not walk on carpet because of the blue chips wedged in the soles of your shoes.
  • You decorate the Christmas tree at work with long metal shavings instead of garland.
  • You can think of six other things you are qualified to do that pay more, but you don't even try.
  • Your heart fills with joy when someone hands you a freshly hardened piece of 16MnCr5 with a fine grey surface texture.
  • You ride a roller coaster, and the first hill gives you the same feeling as watching the first rapid Z move on a new program.
  • You grab the Machinist Bible to look something up, and you spend some time just thumbing thru it reading things you find interesting.
  • You answer naive questions by saying: "If there were no machinists there would be no machine tools, or machines that make stuff, or stuff to buy. Everything depends on a machinist for their manufacturing or processing. Without them the economy would collapse. Nothing of our culture would survive the next generation."
Editor's Note: Among the many pages on the Internet site www.practicalmachinist.com are seven pages on which the forum members talk about what it means to be a machinist. All of these were contributed by members of the forum, and Dimitri — a contributor from southern Ontario — put together a list of the best of the comments. There is not room in print for all of the contributions, but here is a selection. We recommend that anyone who has an additional comment visit the site and post a contribution.
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