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Treadmill To Eternity: : An engineer's trudge through seventy years of the Twentieth Century

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"Treadmill To Eternity" is not an autobiography but rather a compendium of the author's experiences as a professional engineer during the last 70 years of the 20th Century. After growing up in a rural town of 400 souls and educated as an aeronautical engineer, his career ranged across 16 countries on five continents. The book recounts professional and business events lodged in memory during a 50-year engineering career. In the assessments of family and friends, it was an unusual life. He didn't think it unusual at the time, and the employment diversity may portend the future for engineers in some ways. He began along the accepted path: education and engineering jobs with large companies, potentially leading to retirement and a 'gold-watch' lunch with friends and colleagues. After about 18 years in an orderly apprenticeship with General Mills Inc, Northrop Aircraft Company and Honeywell, Inc., he drifted into a consulting role with many clients ranging across five continents and 16 countries. During corporate employment he was fired twice: once a 'sort-of' and the other a genuine 'we no longer require your services.' In the first instance, an assignment began to take on an odor of fraud. Seeking relief from these duties, he was offered a promotion in another, geographically-distant, corporate division. Moving to the East Coast was not appealing, so he chose another route . In the second, he was called to meet with the company's chief financial officer called me into his office to tell me how pleased he was with the year-end financial data due to changes he made in the company's product line. Three hours later the company President told him his services were no longer required. Both incidents are covered in detail in what follows. His somewhat chaotic professional life was made possible by the advent of the jet airplane and in later years, the personal computer. An early morning departure, from a Minnesota base, made it possible to meet with people on the east, west or gulf coasts and return home the same day. Two or three day trips to Europe became routine, but he managed to be home almost every weekend. His wife, Betty, made all this possible with her self-sufficiency in handling the problems of life around home.