The number 5 is a very scary number for engineers. They may not even know it consciously, but it is there – lurking, waiting, about to pounce.

Five represents the number of people that it takes to officially have “an audience”. And, you know what that means. If the engineer has to speak and explain something to 5 or more people, he will consider it, in his mind, to be a PRESENTATION.

This is bad. This is very bad. The engineer may be awkward explaining a point of his work to one other person, two is a bit strange, three is uncomfortable, and four is somewhat unnerving. But once there are 5 people, all bets are off. The engineer goes into presentation mode – badly telling jokes (or what he thinks are jokes), using barely readable charts and graphs, and keeping a monotone level in his voice.

The number 5. If it wasn’t an engineer, I would say that emotions were creeping in.

5 people. That’s an audience.

5 is a number. A scary number.