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RE: ACI or CRSI question-answer center

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An interesting response...while you are very likely correct on the facts
(i.e. timeliness in response, bureaucracy, etc) and as a result from your
prospective the critism may be valid, I am fortunate enough to have a
slightly different perspective.

Have you considered that first of all ACI staff engineers first job
responsibility is NOT answering technical inquiries from people (members
and non-members alike)?  Or that ACI staff engineers get large numbers of
technical inquiries?  Could it be that they don't like to answer calls
directly, right away but rather want the questions in writing because they
are not able to answer right away becasue they just might be doing
something else at the at moment, including even responding to someone
else's question(s)?  And do you factor in that some of those questions are
some homeowner that calls ACI with the desire that someone at ACI design a
fix for their cracked driveway or basement wall that they weren't willing
to call an engineer to design a solution for because it would cost money?
Or have you considered that ACI staff must be a little more careful with
their response because many people asking the question likely think
(wrongly) that a response from an ACI staff engineer is an official, "word
of God" response on the matter, when in reality it is worth no more than a
response from you or me?  Have you considered that the primary function of
ACI is different than that of CRSI or PCA which can change the priorities
of the staff engineer at the various organizations?

The point is that an ACI staff engineer's primary responsibility is to
help and support the 100 or so ACI technical committees, including
attending meetings, sometimes acting as secretaries, reviewing documents
from committees, making sure that ACI procedures are being followed by
the committees, attend the conferences, and other general things to aid
the committees.  They also do technical edit passes of CI articles, deal
with peer reviews of the manuscripts for the ACI Journals, deal with ACI
SPs, and other miscellanous items.  Oh, they also response to technical
inquiries from everyone.  And they typically do this with 5 or less
engineers (they currently are at four staff engineers and have been at 2
or three for much of the last year or two).  The end result is that they
don't sit around and wait for a call from you or me so that they can
answer a question that in many cases the person was a little too lazy (or
busy themselves) to research and look for themselves or supply the answer
that you or I already knew but wanted to believe that the ACI person could
gives us the "official" answer...they actually are likely doing something
else at the time and are not in a position to answer right then and there.
The positive side for the person answering the question is that you are
likely going to get a more thorough response on wear to get the need
information because they will take some time to look for it before they
get back to you, which means that you will have some nice publication that
you can use to have your "official" answer.

Now, having said all that, I don't want to give the impression that
responding to technical inquiries was a burden when I was a staff
engineer.  In fact, it was my favorite part of the job.  It was like
getting paid to participate on this list.  Nor does it change the fact
that we could have done things better...that is part of the reason why it
is desired that you send in your questions in written fashion so that they
can track what the question is, when it came in, and when it was responded
to.  The tracking system allows them to make sure that they have
responded, but will also allow them to figure out ways to be more
efficient in responding to commonly asked questions (after they determine
which are the commonly asked questions).

And you do not directly pay for this service (since you are a member, your
are indirectly paying for it, which is why they place a question from a
member as a high priority and will get a quicker response).

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Thu, 31 Oct 2002, Roger Davis wrote:

> CRSI is much more helpful than ACI or at least they use to be. I haven't
> called them for quite a while.  The last number I have is 847/517-1200.
>  When I have called them I have spoken to an engineer immediately and  I
> have gotten an answer immediately - and at no cost.  I am a member of ACI
> and have asked them for help at times also.  There is more bureaucracy to
> get through at ACI - sometimes you can get an answer relatively quickly,
> sometimes you can't.  CRSI definitely has a more customer friendly
> attitude.
>
> Roger C. Davis
> Architect
> SDS Architects, Inc.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Ken Peoples [SMTP:kspeoples(--nospam--at)lvta.net]
> Sent:	Thursday, October 31, 2002 11:59 AM
> To:	Seaint
> Subject:	ACI or CRSI question-answer center
>
>  << File: ATT00016.htm >> I know that AISC has the steel solutions center
> and am very thankful for this.  Do any of you know if ACI or CRSI has
> anything similar?
>
> Ken
>
> Kenneth S. Peoples, P. E.
> Lehigh Valley Technical Associates
> 1584 Weaversville Road
> Northampton, PA 18067-9039
> Phone: (610) 262-6345
> Fax: (610) 262-8188
> e-mail: kpeoples(--nospam--at)lvta.net
>
>
>
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