As you may recall, I traveled across the country to a small village to the north east of Norwich on Friday.
The reason being, to collect the Fletcher 1100 elliptical window mount cutter.
The gentleman I purchased it from informed me, during the course of conversation, that he had, in a previous life, been an engineer, before embarking upon his present occupation as a picture framer.
Now my experience of people who refer to themselves as engineers is peppered with ambiguity, misunderstanding and, on occasions, bordering upon outright deceit. The problem being that there are so many varied disciplines of engineering.
There are only three architectural disciplines: Building, Civil and Landscape.
There are only three doctoral disciplines: Medical, Scientific and Academic.
But there are many engineering disciplines.
Mechanical, Environmental, Building Services, Aeronautical, Nautical, Structural, Civil, Astronomical, Astrophysics, Chemical, Optical, Nuclear and so the list goes on.
However, one common trait amongst many employed at various levels of responsibility within the mechanical and construction fields of employment, is the tendency to refer to themselves as engineers.
Mechanics, of all descriptions are particularly prone to calling themselves engineers.
The one which always makes me chuckle is the guy in the pub, for whom, however companionable he may be, the idea that he may have passed an exam, indeed any type of test, is laughable in the extreme, yet blithely pronounces his employment status to be that of 'Civil Engineer'. When an incredulous enquiry is made as to his claim to be a 'Civil Engineer' his stock reply, usually delivered with a broad Irish accent is :
"I work on the motorways."
Further explanation reveals that most of his time is spent attached to the handle of a shovel.
Always be suspicious of a person who tells you that he is a Maintenance Engineer.
He is either, genuinely, a Building Services Engineer, or he's a 'jack of all trades' type who fixes things.
An Engineer is someone, first of all, with a degree, in the appropriate discipline.
He/she is secondly someone who belongs to the appropriate professional Institution.
He/she will, in all probability, have more letters after their name than they have in it.
So this gentleman declared himself to be an engineer.
He then followed this assertion with the statement that the Fletcher 1100 is a b****r to set up properly, and can take longer to get working than it does to do the job ~ but it's a great job when it's finished.
He then proceeded to attempt demonstrate the complexity of the machine and succeeded only in portraying his own ineptitude in the most alarming terms possible.
I brought the machine home.
I have spent some of the weekend re-organizing my study so that it is now demonstrably no longer a study, but is a picture framer's 'clean-side' workshop.
The Fletcher 2100 now stands upright. And the Fletcher 1100 has replaced it upon the bench. And I've stripped, serviced and calibrated the 1100 so that it is now (relatively) easy to set up, and works perfectly.
If only the Norfolk gentleman 'engineer/framer' had taken the time to read the instruction manual, he wouldn't have had to buy himself an £18000 computerised mount cutter (CMC) and sell the 1100 to contribute towards the cost of it.
Alternatively, had he been the engineer that he claimed to be, he could have fixed it with ease.
Now that I'm set up with my framing equipment, I can get back to my photography.