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RE: Engineering compensation

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Bill,

A few years ago I used to work for a gentleman who ran a one man show
structural consulting company.
This man was like your "plan stamping friend", he basically was selling his
stamp.  For him, a moment of inertia was a real challenge.
It is very difficult to imagine a person able to put on paper a more unclear
structure than this man was able to; a man whose mind was able to produce
completely new technical explanations on very well known technical facts,
able to see the un-seen.
His only abilities were to see the essence of the problem (actually an
extreme important quality!) and to act accordingly; and the skill to make
business (to sell, in other words).
I worked for him a little bit more than 3 years, and I had to.  At that
time, it was my only chance (at least I was not able to see another one).
Eventually I managed to leave him and now I work for a relatively big
consulting company (25 people).

It is very nice to work for the price you think you are worth.  Only if you
can.

I don't think it is a good idea to get an education on computers just
because it is very well paid.  A baseball player is I, think, better paid.
Moreover, what are you going to do if the trombone player profession would
be very well paid?
However, I do not think that selling for cheap, worry-free, like the "plan
stamp-er" is my idea about my profession.  It is not!

I think one should do what he likes to do and what he's good at.

The solution to the problem is to keep working, but with your eyes open.
I'll tell you if it works.

Vlad Cernescu


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc]
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2001 19:09
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: Engineering compensation

The problem is you have folks like me, just starting out with a rather slim
client base to start with, who "pee in the pool" so to speak. Although I
want to keep my rates up high, the fact is that it is AWFULLY difficult at
this juncture for me to turn down any work.

I just "fired" one client, an architect, for paying me peanuts, but I can't
really blame him for that. I agreed to take the job. In discussions with one
of his associates, it was revealed that the previous engineer they had doing
this work simply engaged in "plan stamping" of drawings that the Architect's
people would put together. He'd come in with a calculator, do a few quickie
calcs, scawl a couple of bits of info about reinforcing or beam sizing, and
then wait while the drawings were revised.

Then he'd seal them.

"Responsible charge?" You make the call. All I can say is, when I got the
drawings from the Architect (which I presume were the same design details,
notes, etc., that they previous engineer was signing off on) they weren't
worth printing on used toilet paper. So I'd spend one to two weeks, maybe
four hours a day, working on them, and getting paid about $300 for my
trouble.

Okay, so I'm not doing that any more. But I was willing to do it for nine
months or so, just to be busy and have some small amount of money coming in.

That's part of the problem, then. What's the solution?

If I figure it out before I starve to death, I'll let you know.

William L. Polhemus, Jr., P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company
Katy, Texas
Phone 281-492-2251
Fax 281-492-8203


-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Feather [mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)san.rr.com]
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2001 2:39 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Engineering compensation


Scott Haan wrote:
>
> There is a simple solution to having a higher salary and it is simply be
> unwilling to work for less than you are worth.
>
I could not agree more.  This applies to private sector projects as well.
Our office does not get many of the projects we provide proposals on,
primarily because we are too expensive.  I learned along time ago that there
is a big difference between being paid what you are worth , being
profitable, and being busy.


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