Your actions are genuinely admirable. The quote by Gerry was "do a lousy
job and charge low fees", not provide a quality job for low fees.
I understand cynicism and frustration, it is frustrating to learn you spent
time preparing a proposal for a project that was awarded for less than you
were expecting to pay your draftsman.
>From your comments it is clear that you would not allow yourself to provide
substandard work because you under priced a project. The argument that
there was not enough in the fee to do the job properly does not wash with
me. If you accept a job you are bound by ethics, honor, self-respect, or
whatever, (or should be) to provide proper engineering services.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Structuralist" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net>
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 1:22 AM
Subject: RE: Engineering compensation
> I think Gerry was being somewhat cynical and sarcastic on the issue - pure
> frustration. Another "cynical" way to look at it is that many of us should
> underbid the bottom feeders - just to make sure the job is done correctly
> and the quality of the work is appropriate. I had a client walk in two
> ago who was building his own home. The drawings he had were the worst I
> seen. He was going to rely upon a builder who I knew would do a terrible
> and the client was building is first home - a 1250 s.f. starter home on a
> low income or lower middle income. He maxed himself out and wanted my
> as to what he needed to do to insure that he his home would be built as
> as possible. He understood that if the details did not exist, the
> under prescriptive methods, could do almost anything he wanted and this
> included cutting every corner he could.
> I drew up all the details and revised his plans with good specification,
> notes and cross referenced details. I charged him less than $500.00 for
> I would have charged $2,500.00 to any other client. I wanted to make sure
> was not a victim of poor performance and high repair costs in the event of
> an earthquake. In return, his wife and child dropped off a large box of
> fruit (dates, figs etc.) along with a letter thanking me for what I had
> for his family.
> My goal was to make sure his home was safe and although I could have told
> him I was busy or not interested, someone had to do it and only one thing
> mattered - the welfare of his family.
> I think that this is what Gerard was really acknowledging.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Paul Feather [mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)san.rr.com]
> > Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 7:06 PM
> > To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> > Subject: Re: Engineering compensation
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Gerard Madden" <GMadden(--nospam--at)mplusl.com>
> > To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> > Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 5:34 PM
> > Subject: RE: Engineering compensation
> > I hear ya loud and clear on the fees issue. Sometimes I think it is
> > to do a lousy job and charge low fees because those guys always get the
> > jobs - especially in low-rise commercial. Architects want it all for
> > themselves.
> > Take care,
> > -Gerry
> > This is something I just cannot accept. It is never "better" to lower
> > yourself to the level of general incompetence. These are the
> > same attitudes
> > that produce the garbage drawings referred to in the plancheck thread.
> > Architects who employ lousy engineering firms based on bottom dollar
> > eventually get what they deserve, plancheck delays, construction delays,
> > unhappy clients, litigation, and loss of future work.
> > Engineers need to learn that we pick our clients as much as they
> > pick us. I
> > have several architectural firms I simply will not work with because
> > either want everything for nothing, or produce such low quality
> > work product
> > I don't want to be associated with them. I have not seen a decline in
> > gross billings as a result, in fact quite the opposite. If you fill
> > schedule with low fee work you have lost the opportunity to pursue
> > clients.
> > I would rather spend my day at the golf course, or close my
> > practice, before
> > I would allow myself to feel pressured into producing sub-standard work.
> > Paul Feather
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