Electrical Overconfidence

Posted on August 25, 2008 by


I am not an electrical engineer.  My degree is in Astrophysics.  And you don’t do much wiring or soldering in astrophysics.  But now that I have an electrical engineering job, I magically expect myself to know how to wire things in my house.  If I come across an electrical issue at home, my job title makes me think, “why should I need help with this; I’m an electrical engineer!”  In the few months I’ve been living in a house, I have now shamelessly cut off the plug of a cord so I could attach the exposed wires to a light fixture, and I’ve played with (for all I know, live) wires that were hiding behind a socket plate that I believed to be some kind of surround-sound hook-up (though I could never get them to do what I thought they would do).  And this weekend I spent a few hours dinking around with my stereo, DVD player, and TV wires.  I unhesitatingly stripped RCA cables to get to the bare wires despite having never seen it done before, and I tried inserting several wires at a time into my speakers just to see what would happen.  I just want you to know all this so that when I die of electrocution, you can be sure that it wasn’t the wire that killed me.  It was my job title.

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