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Re: ethics/ lighter side

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>So how do you change the mentality of an experienced
>contractor, that we are not just conservative, office geeks, who overdesign
You don't change anyone's mentality (I think you mean 'viewpoint,' as 
long as we're talking about proper terminology). Some people have had 
closed minds for most of their lives; they're no-hopers and the best you 
can do is cope. If you're in charge or responsible, you bite the bullet 
and tell them how it is. Most people will listen to other viewpoints if 
you're respectful. When a guy tells me 'that's how I've always done it 
and I really know better, I'll explain why I do it that way and I'll tell 
him why I know better. I keep a collection of horror stories for just 
that purpose. Don't forget 'Haven't had any problems yet' could mean 
anything from 'I personally don't care enough to ask,' to 'No one has 
caught me at it' to 'None of my projects have ever experienced anything 
like design loads.' to 'I've only been in this town a couple of weeks.' 
Listen to what people have to say and make a judgement according to your 
assessment of the individual and his skill and your own experience. Same 
as you'd do when you hire an electrician or a plumber.

BTW, I didn't mean to imply that all skilled trades are diamonds in the 
rough. I daresay there's about the same distribution of liars and crooks 
and stupidity as you'll find in the average faculty club or board room. 
Just because some people are articulate or a good speller doesn't mean 
their judgement's any better or worse than it needs to be.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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