Hello everyone! I pose this question to you... What is happening to our profession? Yesterday, I was riding to a project site making conversation with one of my younger co-workers, and I asked him if he enjoyed surveying. The response I got made me physically ill. He quickly responded by saying, "No, I hate it. Surveying is a dead-end job." I was stunned! So I asked him why he felt that way. He proceeded to tell me that when he started working in the surveying field, he wanted to learn any and everything he could about surveying. He would pickup articles or browse through YouTube to watch different video clips. Then as time would pass, different jobs were given to him and he wanted to know more about the ins and outs of how the data was processed and how the end result was reached. To his surprise, he was told not to worry about it, just go collect the data. At that point, his interest diminished and he became a button pusher.


First, if we don't explain the reasoning behind the task, then how we to know the correct data are has been collected?  Or worse, if they develop an I don't care attitude or it's just a paycheck, which’s to say in what manner they collect the data?  Well, that's close enough or they won't know the difference. Then comes the many return trips to the same site which in the long run cost you more money. This could end you up in court or before your state board.


Second job security is one thing. I know from my own experiences, the more I wanted to learn or inquired, people that I worked with found them threaten and began withholding information. So being the Bulldog I am, if you can't go around the bush and you can't jump over it, you go right through it! And that is just what I did! Hence the nickname Bulldog, among others, but that's a different story. I feel it's wrong to stifle someone's curiosity or their willingness to learn the reasons why they are performing the task at hand.


And third, who are the surveyors of tomorrow? Kids today are all about video games and feel that they are entitled to these cushy careers they see and hear about on TV or the internet. If we don’t feed the curious and the eager to learn, then the professional known as the surveyor will become a dying breed.

Surveying is a hard, demanding job. You have to deal with the elements, critters, and the occasional upset property owner. For me, being able to retrace an old boundary and recover some of the existing monumentation left by someone else from years gone by is very rewarding. Or even performing construction staking of a Wal-Mart that now I shop at, knowing I set the corners of this structure and walking through the store remembering how hot or cold it was during those days of construction. Remembering setting the blue-tops for the dirt so the concrete could be poured. Knowing I had a part in the construction of this building that will be here for years to come. Not to mention, I have seen some pretty amazing mornings when the sun is just coming up and some gorgeous sunsets as the sun sits below the horizon. I have found some original BLM monuments and seen some really weird ones as well. 


So in closing, I can't help but remember a cartoon I saw in P.O.B. magazine, you all know the one I am talking about, where the Rod-man wants to be the Instrument-man, the Instrument-man wants to be the Party-chief, Party-Chief wants to be the Surveyor with his feet kicked up on the desk. And the Surveyor wants to be the Rod-man. I will take the field any day.


So again, I ask the question, "What is happening to our profession?" I will continue to do my part, how about you?

This Content Originally Published by a land surveyor to Land Surveyors United Network

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