About Amerisurv| Contact    
Magazine | Newsletter    
Flickr Photos | Advertise    
HomeNewsNewsletterAmerisurv DirectoryJobsStoreAuthorsHistoryArchivesBlogVideosEvents
 
advertisement


Subscriptions
Sponsored By

Software Reviews
Continuing Series
     RTN
An RTN expert provides everything you need to know about network-corrected real-time GNSS observations.
Click Here to begin the series,
or view the Article PDF's Here
76-PageFlip Compilation
of the entire series
Test Yourself

Got Answers?
Test your knowledge with NCEES-level questions.
  Start HERE
Meet the Authors
Check out our fine lineup of writers. Each an expert in his or her field.
Wow Factor
Sponsored By


Product Reviews
Partner Sites

machinecontrolonline 


lbszone.com

GISuser.com

GeoJobs.biz

GeoLearn

 

Spatial Media LLC properties

Associates

ASPRS

newsnow 

Home arrow Archives   The American Surveyor     

Things I've Learned: Humble Observations from a Life in Practice Print E-mail
Written by C. Barton Crattie, LS, CFM   
Friday, 06 June 2014

A 832Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

Keep a sense of humor". In the March, 2014 issue of American Surveyor magazine, surveyor/attorney Walter Robillard quoted, then expanded on surveyor/President George Washington's youthful reflections regarding some words to live by. Some of my personal favorites from Mr. Washington:
• Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
• Never attempt to palliate your own foibles by exposing the error of another person.

Some of my favorites from Mr. Robillard:
• Never stop learning.
• Read, read, read, anything and everything from all points of view.
• Keep a sense of humor.
• What it means to be absolutely certain about the truth. . . Wait, next time you see Walt, ask him.

Woe be unto me to rank myself to a level of a President George Washington or the honorable Walter Robillard. Nope, I tend to traverse a territory somewhat south of the Pope but a little north of a person that can look another person in the eye and say "If you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor. Period (Ironic disclosure: Because our survey company is composed of mostly dinosaurs or pre-dinosaurs, our company premiums declined 45%--this year. The young folks across our country provide the subsidy). I offer to all of you some of the humble contributions and humble observations I've garnered over a 35+ year period measuring dirt. This list formally began in 2002 and will continue, with each mistake I make and each boneheaded action I observe from day to day. So bear with me and let me reflect.

1. If your Chapstick tube tends to mush up in the cap, simply reverse the position of the tube in your pocket by 180 degrees or just switch the pocket you carry it in.
2. Once you are a licensed professional, you lose all right to blame anyone other than yourself.
3. Document, document, document or as my old boss used to say: "docament, docament, docament".
4. As a surveyor, know the law but never practice the law. Read the law. Learn to research the law and read the reported cases.
5. Respect all of the associates you deal with in your day to day practice. Respect the rodman the same as the multi-millionaire developer.
6. Never, ever sign the other fellow's contract. Make him sign yours or come to an agreement somewhere in the middle. After all, a contract is mutual agreement between two parties.
7. Don't trust or rely on spell-check. "Beginning at a pimp . . ."
8. Take all of your telephone calls and return all of your telephone calls post haste.
9. Does anyone reading this know of an expensive mistake, law suit or lost client that was not the direct result of poor communication? This is so very, very important. Learn to listen. Listening, not simply hearing, is a developed art. Learn to do it. Then, strive to deliver clear and concise instructions and explanations to a listening audience.
10. You will never commit a mistake that will not be found out. In the inevitable case of a mistake or error, be the first in line at the full disclosure table. Fess up. Loudly and proudly proclaim your error(s) and faults to the world.
11. The survey is always on the ground. The survey happens in the field. What you deliver to your client is merely a report of the survey. Research is essential but only supports the survey.
12. Never place yourself in the position where you don't know absolutely every aspect of your surveys, business or investments, especially where everchanging technologies are concerned.
13. Gamble a little every now and then.
14. Once a year, maybe during your birthday month, change your smoke alarm batteries and then read: a) A.C. Mulford's Boundaries and Landmarks; b) Justice Cooley's dictum The Judicial Functions of Surveyors; and c) Riley, administratix etc v. Griffen et al 16 GA 141 (1854).
15. In the field, seek monumentation for two days. Measure for two hours. If a corner is set based on a numeric derivative only, the surveyor has failed in his or her responsibilities and duties to the public. Numbers within a deed or on a plat are nothing more than finger pointers. Mathematics is, to a poor surveyor, just what cocaine is to a dopehead.
16. In any survey office or in any survey related communication: No Pronouns. Smith sold his lot to Jones, then he moved his fence over on his property. I measured over to it and what they said was right except it's not on his property. What??
17. Lawyers are no different from the rest of humanity. Many can be good, ethical people and many can be a good friend. Disregard and ignore the jerks just the same as you would a rabid dog or smelly rancid meat.
18. In the course of the survey or on the drawing or report of the survey, the absolute most essential purpose for that survey is to perpetuate the corner (and to protect the public). This is why surveyors populate the earth. Be creative; try means of perpetuation other than math. Tie to something substantial that won't be easily destroyed and will be capable of defying bull dozers. Think permanency.
19. Keep your remote in your spouse's hands. If you need to change channels or adjust the volume, the exercise will do you good.
20. If one decides to pursue higher education, do it for the knowledge and definitely not for the degree.
21. Never commit to paper (or electronic medium) anything that has not been verified and you have proof of its truth. If the field guys say "18" CMP", make sure they put a ruler to it and the damn thing isn't made of concrete. Assuming and guessing are for sissies and folks that watch figure skating and eat cotton candy.
22. Ethics and Professionalism 101. If you get a call about working on a project that you know another surveyor has been involved on: a) Tell the potential client you are going to call the other surveyor. b) Call the other surveyor and find out what's going on. c) Do not take the job if fees have not been paid. d) Spread the word.
23. It is sometimes inconvenient and maybe a little corny but try to do your duty to God and country, to help others at all times, to keep yourself physically strong, mentally awake, morally straight, and to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent and do a good turn daily but most especially, be prepared. (Boy Scout Handbook; many editions)
24. Share your data and files with other surveyors always. Share your data and files with realtors and strangers only if they pay a premium price. We are a service industry, in the information business. Information, no matter the media, is our only product.
25. Always seek to find the solution to the problem; nothing is ever gained in wasting time finding a culprit. Life is too short and you'll just anger someone.
26. Start your tomato and pepper plants indoors before the first of March.
27. A survey is never finished until you know you have the very last recoverable evidence in your grasp. Should something substantial surface after the fact, gladly revise your survey and inform all parties involved.
28. Coming from a fellow with shoulder length hair and a scraggly beard, a necktie never hurts when parading about in public representing land surveyors.
29. And most importantly, keep a sense of humor.

Please, not for a minute, believe the author lives up to these standards day to day. No, it's a wish list. What we do is called a practice. The implication of that is, we don't fully know what we're doing in our chosen profession day to day. We're not surveying, we are just practicing our science. By practicing, we can never become complacent in our pursuit of perfecting our skills and knowledge. Let's all hope we all learn something new tomorrow and then again on the next day. And then again, the next.

Bart Crattie is becoming an old fart day by day but still enjoys "measuring dirt" immensely and looks forward to demonstrating shoulder mounted artillery (a blunderbuss) at the 2014 Surveyors Historical Society Rendezvous in Mobile, Alabama this coming September.

A 832Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine—complete with images—is available by clicking HERE

 
< Prev

 American Surveyor Recent Articles
Editorial 
Thought Leader: Land is Too Important to Be Left to Land Specialists
A while back I was searching the Internet for an old treatise on land titles. A Google query yielded a book published in 1914. The author was Charles Claudius Kagey and the book was titled "Land Survey and Land Titles, a book for boys and girls, a reference volume for property owners, a text ....
Read the Article
Jason E. Foose, PS 
Decided Guidance: Wacker vs. Price - Irony in Sevenfold
This month's case takes us to Phoenix, Arizona in 1950. The Arizona Supreme Court went all guns-a-blazin' in Wacker vs. Price (216 P.2d 707 (Ariz. 1950)). Maybe it's just me, but I'm sensing plenty of irony and have taken license to point it out along the way. I like what the Court did with this case ....
Read the Article
Allen E. Cheves 
Around the Bend - A Visit to Carlson Software
The Ohio River is one of America's greatest, running near 1,000 miles between Pittsburgh and the Mighty Mississippi. Much of the coal and other products that fueled our nation's industrial expansion flowed between the shores of this maritime ....
Read the Article
Lee Lovell, PS 
Surveying & Mapping Economics Part 3 - Customers & Services
This article continues an inquiry into the economic conditions of the Surveying and Mapping industry (NAICS 541370) using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This time we will look at customers and services. The data comes from the Economic Census conducted every 5 years on American ....
Read the Article
Jerry Penry, PS 
True Elevation: Black Elk Peak
Black Elk Peak, located in the Black Hills region of South Dakota, is the state's highest natural point. It is frequently referred to as the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Two other peaks, Guadalupe Peak in Texas and ....
Read the Article
Larry Trojak 
Bringing The Goods - Mobile Scanning an Integral Component
When Jim Smith, Jerrad Burns and Charlie Patton left the Memphis division of a major construction company in 2015, they took with them the knowledge of how to get even the most complex jobs done and what equipment could best serve them in making that happen. So when they joined West ....
Read the Article
 
Lee Lovell, PS 
Test Yourself 41: Integers, Integers, and Integers
ABF is a 5:12:13 triangle, ACF is a 48:55:73 triangle, ADF is a 3:4:5 triangle, and AEF is a 7:24:25 triangle, all with integer sides and inscribed in a semi-circle. What are the lengths of BC, CD, and DE? ....
Read the Article
Wendy Lathrop, PS, CFM 
Vantage Point: Sunset or Sunrise?
While we often think of legislated government programs as static, they do change over time. Such evolution and opportunity for transformation are part of the dialogue in reauthorizing these programs. Every so many years there is a sunset on each government program, and this September is the ....
Read the Article
 

deliciousrssnewsletterlinkedinfacebooktwitter

Amerisurv Exclusive Online-only Article ticker
Featured Amerisurv Events
List Your Event Here
please
contact Amerisurv


Google
 
AMERISURV TOP NEWS

JAVAD Intros
Spoofer Buster

GOT NEWS? Send To
press [at] amerisurv.com
Online Internet Content

Sponsor


News Feeds

 
Subscribe to Amerisurv news & updates via RSS or get our Feedburn
xml feed

Need Help? See this RSS Tutorial

Historic Maps
Careers

post a job
Reach our audience of Professional land surveyors and Geo-Technology professionals with your GeoJobs career ad. Feel free to contact us if you need additional information.

 

Social Bookmarks

Amerisurv on Facebook 

Amerisurv LinkedIn Group 

Amerisurv Flickr Photos 

Amerisurv videos on YouTube 

twitter

 




The American Surveyor © All rights reserved / Privacy Statement
Spatial Media LLC
905 W 7th St #331
Frederick MD 21701
301-620-0784
301-695-1538 - fax