Monday, March 30, 2015

How Not To Draw A Diagram

Oftentimes I find myself gravitating towards a whiteboard or scrap pieces of paper during meetings to try to describe ideas I can't quite put into words. I may draw like a second grader (as you can tell from this blog), but the act of drawing helps me describe the problem. And hopefully, the act of seeing me create the concept on a whiteboard one line at a time helps others see the solution.

But, this one time I got so tied up in creating a flow chart for my idea that I didn't realize I'd actually drawn a huge dick on the whiteboard in the middle of a meeting with a bunch of middle aged dudes.

The moment I saw what I created as anything more than a flow chart, I started to frantically erase. I was totally mortified, but if they hadn't noticed I didn't want them to notice now. I realized that my frantic run to the eraser was drawing more attention to the drawing of doom, so I tried to pass it off by drawing something else while still verbally explaining the original technical concept. But I had no reason to draw anything else... so I ended up just drawing a random series of lines and numbers.

It was the actual worst. Although thankfully none of them men called me out on this awkward mistake (which allows a small piece of me to pretend that they didn't notice), I do not recommend drawing a phallic structure during a meeting... ever.

So, like any good engineer I've learned from the negative results and devised a plan to avoid this in the future. I've decided to start using lines and angles in flow charts, instead of using curves and circles. It takes an extra fraction of a second, but will hopefully same me from some awkward erasing aerobics in the future.




  1. It's so funny how that can happen. I once drew a sketch and was trying to emphasize certain things to a client with circle and lines. I sent it out to the client and then one of my coworkers told me it looked phallic. I was mortified when I realized it, and decided to do the same thing you mentioned... I use lines and angles now... But it is definitely a good thing to mention!

    1. *PHEW* I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's done this!


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