Next Generation Land Surveyor Community
Everyone has at least one Odd or Funny experience in their past. Please feel free to post it here.
Latest Activity: Mar 1, 2016
Pass This On
Do you have a surveying story from the field that is slightly odd or funny? share it with us here...
Started by Tim K.. Last reply by Jaybird Aug 12, 2015.
Started by Scott D. Warner, PLS. Last reply by Arnel M. Domag Jan 15, 2012.
Started by Nick de Weger. Last reply by Scott D. Warner, PLS Jan 14, 2012.
When I was a young surveying technician my manager and I left the office to "take a couple of shots" before the storm rolled in. I set up the total station while my boss was setting up a tripod on the backsight point. Of course, he finished setting up before I did and he went off to the foresight point.
Meanwhile we both see the lightning and hear the thunder approaching, but it was well off in the distance, at least 45 minutes away.
After I got the instrument ready for a backsight and peered through the lens I noticed that a hawk had landed on top of the backsight tripod facing away from my line of sight. Yes, that meant that its tail was covering up the prism! So, I waited patiently for the hawk to find a mouse or something, but it wouldn't move. I tried to burn through his tail feathers with the EDM but without success.
What is taking so long?, I heard over the 2-way radio. I said you're not going to believe this, but I can't take my backsight because there is a hawk covering up the prism with its tail and its body is blocking the whole prism assembly.
Are you kidding me?, I heard from my radio. No, I cant get oriented because of this hawk! Ok, said my boss, we will both head toward the hawk and one of us should be able to scare it away. We proceeded to do exactly that and sure enough, the hawk flew away.
I made it back to the instrument and my boss made it back to the foresight point and history repeated itself. I said, you're not going to believe this, but the hawk is back and it's doing it again! I can't take the shot!
This time I stayed put while my boss walked back to the backsight tripod and guarded it until I actually got the shot. (hindsight is always 20/20, I wish backsights were too at the time).
We made the "couple of shots" just as it began to sprinkle a few drops of rain. On the way back to the truck it began pouring down on us like pitchforks and hammer handles, including small hail. We got in the truck and sped off toward the office which was directly away from the storm. After a few minutes of outrunning the storm, my boss looked over his shoulder where the total station is stored and asked me where it was. I can still remember the look in his eyes when I said #@!%&* I left it outside the truck when we were getting in!
So we drove directly back into the storm and recovered our instrument and headed back to the office even more drenched than before, but no worse for wear except for my embarassment. However, upon arrival at the office, we learned that a tornado had moved through the area we had narrowly escaped!
I'm not sure if I was almost killed by a tornado, a hawk with a vengeance, or pure stupidity, but once again, hindsight is always 20/20.
The moral of the story is up to you.............
God, there are so many..............
I worked with a crew in SOuth Carolina 1 summer in some environmentally sensitive lands South of Myrtle Beach...one of the helpers was named "turtle". My first day, I kinda laughed when I asked the other party chief..I said "Turtle? couldn't you find him a better nickname? The PC said..just watch him and you'll know why. It was a running ( :) ) joke about how slow he was....it wasn't that he was that slow, but he did everything methodically and purposely.... and was ALWAYS in the rear..........and never said a word unless you spoke to him.....you wouldn't even know he was in the truck.
SO we are cutting these narrow as possible to not-disrupt-the-vegetation grid lines. There is every kind of biting, stinging critter I have ever seen down there....even got into some of those Japanese Hornets...3" monsters...aaaccckkk!!!!! So anyway later on in the day the 2nd pc and myself were discussing tactics on top of an old "Indian Mound" with turtle and another guy cutting line a couple of hundred feet downline. We were turned backwards to them and we both heard and "felt" this clomping coming towards us that sounded like a 3 legged mule with his tail on fire and turned around...Turle, running at full gallop stopped right in front of me, eyeball to eyeball on this 3' wide corridor of thick brush and he just quietly said "here come the bees" and went into a Jesse Owens on steroids gallop further on down the line...... It happened so fast, we just looked up the line where he came from and swear to God, the line was brown and alive! As grandpa used to say "I only had a nannersecond to respond to the situation" which I did by not even moving, just squatting and launching myself blind backwards between two bushes. I had an instant choice to make between a sure thing involving 500 yellowjackets or an outside chance of landing on a cottonmouth mocaisin..so I took the chance on the snake.
Well, I didn't even think I was on a mound, so I went flying off it backwards and landed with a flat splat on my back in some of the nastiest, foulest organic greenish purplish brown silt....full of sulphur gas.....my God...it was in my ears!!!! everywhere!!!....never did find my plumb bob.......I had to go jump in the intercoastal waterway and wash off before I could go back to work......mosquitos still wouldn't bite me for 2 or 3 days after...then we proceeded to tell turtle by threatening bodily harm if he EVER ran towards us like that again.........
I started spending all my summers about age 8 (yes 8 years old) working with Dad's survey crews in Central North Carolina, USA. I loved it! I remember vivdly my first day "in the field". We were on an asphalt road somewhere between Smithfield and Clayton, NC and I just carried stuff, but we measured down a road, set a point and started cutting line. I asked what we were doing and Dad said "we are going to build a road". Now I thought this was almost as cool as the new TV show, "Lost in Space", so here we went thru the woods.
ANyway, later in the day, we crossed some railroad tracks a few hundred feet from a small crossing, and the bell went off and the crossing gate lowered and I started freaking out and yelling for them to hurry and pull the chain (remember those?) across because a train was coming. Now the old helper, Felton told me "timmie, you ain't got to worry.....when you lay any chain across them tracks close to a crossing, the gates will come down....."
Well that old man shouldn't NEVER told me that........because I was cheap labor and loved to help the crews, I had carte blanche access to the workshop where the old chains were kept for repairs......so I nabbed me a section about 6 feet long and tied a good cord to it and me and my best friend Jimmy got on our bikes and rode to the edge of town next Saturday morning. It was real convenient my grandma lived right by the tracks at 1 of the 2 crossings in our little town of 900 people............... we hid in the ditch a few hundred feet from the busiest one and anytime somebody would come by, I'd pull it with the cord until the lights and bell would go off and lower that crossing gate.....I'd mak'em wait FOREVER..until they got mad and started going around...THEN I'd pull it on across and the gate would go up.....was the funniest thing as we naturally did it at LEAST 20 times........then I saw my great uncle (the constable) coming and he stopped and parked his car.....we ran/crawled/clambered thru that muddy ditch like Marines for a couple of hundred yards and took off thru some woods before doubling back for the bikes............one of the few times I ever got away with anything..........well...this is a surveying inspired story anyway
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