Many family members of engineers will understand that the engineer typically has a different view of how long the couple or family should stay at a party. Most family members think that if the invitation states 6 – 11, then the family should maybe roll out of there at 10:30 or 10:45, or, if they are having a fun time, stay til 11:00, or even later.

The engineer, however, has an equation that differs from the rest of the family’s internal departure clocks.

Tp = 0.5 hrs/(N*R*S)


Tp = the time in hours to stay at the party

N = the number of people at the party

R = the percent of relatives at the party

S = the percent of strangers at the party

You may notice that the base time is a half hour. Then, the more people, the higher the percent of relatives and strangers, the shorter the time. It has been known that some engineers who are dragged to a party of, say, a wife’s coworkers, have been ready to leave within 1.8 seconds of arriving. It is in situations like this that the engineer wishes that the time travel in all those sci-fi movies and shows was at his disposal. Darn the one-dimensional, linear dimension of time!