Trust Your Engineers

My boss asked me to build a portable display unit for a product we manufacture: a small solar panel “installed” on a mock-up of a shingled roof. I opted to use our industrial-strength adhesive to glue the solar panel to a block of wood screwed into the mock roof. I was on a little bit of a time crunch, so the boss was concerned with the amount of time it would take for the adhesive to cure. He made a suggestion:

Why don’t you just drive a screw through [the panel] and into the wood?

I stared at him blankly as if to give him a moment to reconsider the folly of his question, then I answered: because it will shatter the tempered glass on top of the panel. He examined the panel, tapping on the glass surface.

Nonsense! This isn’t glass; it’s some sort of hard plastic! You should be able to drill through that with no problem!

All right, then. You’re the boss.

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For posterity, I entombed the shattered glass in packing tape before hanging the new art installation in my laboratory. The title: Always Trust Your Engineers.


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