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This subject may not seam like it at first but it is part of Engineering.

During several years of practice I have conducted interviews with Clients, Employees, Local 
Residents, etc..

One thing I have learned is that if you let them talk long enough, with minimal directing, most 
people will tell you everything you want to know abought a Site or Structure and its problems. 
They will also tell you about all the gossip they know related to the subject and to the local 
area and to their families and to their likes and dislikes. 

What an Engineer has to do with this information is sorte through it for items pretaining to 
what ever project he is working on and then verify that information with additional sources, 
People, observation and testing.

The life of most engineering projects, Buildings, Site Developments, Product Designs, can be 
measured in decades or multiple decades. Therefore; the engineer who designed some project that 
you may be asked to work on may not be available to answer questions and you are then expected 
to second guess him.  

Engineers should develope the habit of listening to everyone, reading as much as possable, 
asking as many questions as possible and making up their own mind on what ever subject is at 
hand. 

I know it is impossible given the average workload of most engineers and the fact that most 
clients expect snap decissions when problems arrise and I am as quilty of not taking my time to 
do it this way as anyone but I do try and hope the rest of you put forth you best effort to make 
your most educated decissions when you can. 

Short Form  ;)  listen, investigate, decide -- what do you know that is what this list has been 
doing for Mr. Clinton. 

Personally I would still like to see more engineering discussed hear. 

New Subject: Question Does anyone have a story of some construction or site development problem 
they solved in the above described mannor or in some other way they would like to relate.

Robert Stevens,Jr., P.E., S.E., R.L.S.
Consulting Engineer