Al's Rantings

A view of the world from a hillbilly perspective.

Location: Virginia

I was born and went to school in the heart of the Appalachian mountains, in southern West Virginia. After graduating from college, I got married, and began working in Bristol, TN. I have have various jobs from Tennessee to up state New York and a few points between. Now I work in West Virginia. Some day, I want to live in Alaska.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


TLA, aka, three letter acronyms are things we see and use everyday. Some examples are FBI, CIA, ABC, CBS, NBS, ATF, DEA, NFL, NBA, etc. Have you ever heard someone use a TLA and not know the meaning? Well listen to this story.

As an engineer at a large manufacturing facility in the New River Valley, part of my job description was to give tours of our part of the facility. The guests were mainly students from Virginia Tech. Plant tours can be a bore for guest and host. One day, during a tour of VT students, I decided to do a test concerning TLA.

The area was loud and hot. Everyone was using ear plugs. Then I began to explain. Pointing to a process tank, I said "There is BRT-1 , it empties into LRT-1, each has a pair of RHT and a LCT." I saw a glazed look in every eye. I asked if there were questions and there were none.

During the tour I made up some TLAs. BRT was "big round thing", a process tank, LRT was "little round thing", a second process tank, RHT was "real hot thing", a heater, and LCT was "level control thingy", a level controller. There were no questions! But no one knew what I was talking about. I got a kick out of that.

I figured there are some reasons no questions were asked:
1. Everyone knew the meanings - NOT - I just made them up
2. They were afraid to ask and look stupid
3. They did not care and just wanted the tour to end
4. They couldnot understand anything, including my solicitation for questions
5. They were amazed at industry

Regardless, I learned my lesson. If I do not understand, I ask questions because it just may be a test.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » » »

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:14 PM  

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