Attired like an engineer

October 2012 » Columns » FROM THE PUBLISHER
Mark C. Zweig

We get a lot of mail from our readers and I always enjoy the feedback. If it's good, it reinforces what we're doing. If it's bad, we can learn something from it, hopefully.

Sometimes the feedback is just bizarre. I got an interesting letter the other day, sent to me by an anonymous person with a Yahoo email.

Here's the exact text letter I got:

Mr. Zweig, I'm trying to figure out if are you are somehow time warped in the hippie age, just trying to be cool, or maybe should instead be publishing 'this old garage' instead of structurald (sic) engineer.

In case no one told you, structural engineers in general don't dress like hippies or free spirits, despite the relaxed dress codes from when I started in 71. I don't know just what you're trying to do, but it certainly isn't relating to your audience. Trading on the Zweig White name, once highly respected, you're not doing it a whole lot of good.

Get with it. Realize the magazine readership. Would a business like appearance kill you?

I thought this was pretty funny. First, entrepreneurs, publishers and management consultants (just like structural engineers) come in a variety of forms. We don't all look or dress the same.

Beyond that, we don't all have to look the same. I think it would be pretty boring if we did.

I used to have a buzzcut and wear a suit every day. The older I got – and the more I got involved with other activities like construction and teaching – the less likely I am to dress up on a daily basis.

That doesn't make me less serious about my business or promoting the interests of structural engineers. We are here for you!

So, read on and enjoy this October issue of Structural Engineer. When you're done with it, pass it on to someone else who might benefit from it. And, as always, we welcome your feedback – even if all you want to do is comment on my attire!

Mark C. Zweig,

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