I was working for a large research organization, in a lab with a dozen or so other engineers. Each one had a desk and a lab bench next to it. Naturally, each guy would have a set of devices: scopes, meters, sources etc. in "possession."
We were getting the devices from centralized "Measurement and verification bureau" which was responsible for purchasing, registering and maintaining the devices.
Once they bought a few universal meters and they were wonderful things. They were compact, with nice digital display and they would measure current, voltage, resistance, capacitance and I do not remember what else.
Everyone liked them and everyone wanted one. Trouble was that the device was new and they had a shortage at first, so the bureau had to put us on a waiting list. We were all on that list and everyone knew who was before or after whom.
One morning, I came to lab a tired and a bit late. My senses were not as sharp as they should have been but I was able to notice one of my fellow coworkers setting up one of those new meters on his bench.
I knew he was after me on the list, so I asked him where he got the thing from. He scoffed and said that the bureau called, but I was not here, so they called the person next on the list. Well, to say I got upset would be to say nothing.
I put on my battle face and headed to the bureau prepared to defend my rights. As I walked on, a little bell went off in my head, and it suddenly hit me: It was 1st of April, the fools day. I just got made!
Now made sense why the whole lab was looking at me from the corner of their eyes, trying hard to hide their smiles.
My first move was to get back to lab quickly and pretend I just went out to washroom, but as I was making my way through the corridors I worked out a better plan.
In the lab next door I had a couple of friends who already had the magic thing. I went and borrowed a brand new device with the case and accessories for one of them, I promised to get it back very soon. I returned to my lab as if nothing happened, and I was carrying the case which I put on my bench. I opened it and started to take out the contents.
All faces in the lab turned to me as if on command. They would shout to me, interrupting each other, all same question. I made a surprised and innocent face and said that the bureau had a huge new lot that had just arrived, and that they discarded the list and were giving them out first-come first-served.
The entire lab went out crashing the door.
Nice! While in the US Army Signal Corps, (I worked field radio/crypto repair) one of the microwave/PCM guys was trying to have a baby (with his wife, of course!) He was a quiet, nice kind of guy, and got more than his share of being pushed around for it. So, when he went up to the central hospital, for a sperm count, he had a light bulb go off over his head, and came back to the shop, and explained to all the young dumb single guys that a "nurse would help you with the donation." There was a mass stampede up to the hospital, (my early sense of cynicism rescued me from this--I KNEW that you would not get a "free one" from the Army) and one by one, the guys all came back, red faced...apparently, several had even gone so far as to ask if they could "pick a nurse". And, typical army SOP--they were't allowed to "change their minds" once they discovered that it wasn't going to be so delightful as they had been led to believe!
Does anyone remember an article , posted in a ham radio mag , must have been around Y2000 +- 2 years , it was Titled "Engineers Beware " , and related the story of some spoof electronic circuitry , presumably backed up with some good spoof literature .... some guy saw it and used it in a professional project , with disaterous results ...
What was that circuitry ... does anyone know please ...?
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