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A Shortage of Engineers: A Novel

A SHORTAGE OF ENGINEERS: A NOVEL

by: Robert Grossbach
Format: Hardcover

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Description

When Zack Zaremba graduates form engineering school, he wants little more from his career than to do useful, interesting work. It is not long, however, before life becomes more complicated: He's assigned to an Air Force contract with impossibly difficult specs, $100,000-a-day late penalties, bullying managers, disgruntled coworkers, and parts that must be ordered before there's a design. When he fall fervently, passionately in love with Lilah Li, a beautiful Asian-American programmer with a whistle-blower's agenda, he realizes just how irrelevant his engineering education was in preparing him for moral choices.

Zack's coworkers include Warren Kushner, who's never had a date and draws up flowcharts of even casual phone conversations with women; Shopper Jim, engineer-for-hire, whose engineering survival rules include, "Always keep enough cardboard boxes under your desk to carry out all your stuff"; the Frenchman, who wears his clothes backward as a sign of bureaucratic defiance; and the silky smooth Wonderboy, whose corner-cutting extends from finessing the Air Force to cheating on the office contest in tiny writing.

Zack soon discovers himself covering for the incompetence and corruption of others. Middle management-the dyspeptic A Boy named Hsu, the heavily pustuled Medieval Man, sick-leave king Whispering Bill, in-business-for-himself Marv-only makes things worse. As it gradually becomes clear that the hardware can't meet the promised specs, Zack is seized in a crosscurrent of loyalties when he must decide whether to lie at a Critical Design Review. His only anchors are Lilah, her son, and the six-year-olds he volunteers to coach in soccer, a sport he's never played. As his team loses game after game, Zack struggles with the mysterious, painful, age-old task of engineering: making things work.

Details

Product Code: 9780312275549
ISBN: 0312275544
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 2001-07-13
Number of Pages: 288 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1st
Dimension: 5.83 x 1.06 x 8.46 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.14 pounds