Anyway, as the final configuration for this satellite was still being tweaked, I needed to get updated mass properties (in order to simulate the physics properly) from the team working on the real satellite as the configuration changed (e.g., they added more batteries, solar panels, decreased RCS tank size, etc.). Ordinarily, these would be emailed to me in an excel spreadsheet every so often. I would make the updates, life would go on.
Now, internally, the simulator software worked with metric units, and the spreadsheet I received would also use metric units. Apparently, one day an engineering manager on the vehicle team found out that one of their engineers had been "helping" the simulator team by plugging the mass properties into an excel spreadsheet, translating the units from imperial to metric, and sending them to me (I did not know any of this, of course... I just knew the vehicle team would send me updated mass properties from time to time).
This was an outrageous affront to said manager, who ordered his folks to not expend any time helping "some other team." So, the next time I needed updated mass properties, what did I get? A faxed copy of something that looked like it had been generated on an old line printer. I called and asked "Where is the spreadsheet?" and got "Sorry, that's all I can do anymore."
Some of the numbers were questionably legible, but I tried to use it anyway. As I was making my updates, I noticed the numbers were way off. Units weren't labeled on the fuzzy faxed copy, so it took me a few minutes to realize that the vehicle engineering team apparently worked with imperial units internally.
Angry phone calls back and forth ensued, but I don't recall the (political) issue ever being fixed. I didn't stay much longer, so I don't know if it was ever resolved.
This is true for almost all engineering. I use metric but it is annoying in PCB design because mils is the standard there and those are just Tiny Freedom Units.
I'd be in favor of switching to metric for USA, but I see no indication of that happening. But a company has a choice esp one the size of Boeing!
One of the first things I was taught in engineering school was to always provide units! It doesn't matter if you're only using metric; that still doesn't tell you if it's a gram or a kilogram, after all.