Here at work we have a built in optimist/pessimist test.
My company is in an old steel mill building and we have no hot water. It's not bad in the summer but washing hands in the winter is terrible. (I know, "do you want some cheese with that whine?").
After I had been here about a year it was mentioned in passing to the owner & he got a small heater installed right at the sink. It worked great (~ 2 years) until this past winter it just stopped.
So now there is the test -
Do you still turn on the hot water, hoping it will work?
Do you only turn on the cold with no hope of having hot water?
You may be wondering, "don't engineers have better things to do than to apply deep philosophical constructs and challenges to such silly daily things as a non-functional hot water heater on a bathroom?"
That's what engineers do. We take the philosophical and the theoretical; and put them to work in our everyday lives.
(yeah, I'm not buying it either. back to work).