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Re: Plan Stamping

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Ray, and others,

        This is a problem indeed.  Your bringing it up struck very close to home, indeed.

        Several years ago (as in more than thirty) I faced the same problem.  My employer didn't jump on me quite so hard the first time; but eventually I had to leave (because they fired me/I quit).

        I soon learned that you can't talk about this either.  When I did mention it in response to the question "Why did you leave Xxxx?" they appeared to brand me as a troublemaker.  The interview would end soon after with "We'll call you when something comes up."

        That sort of thing puts a lot of pressure on a man (I'm saying "man", not because I'm sexist, but because in those days engineering was a man's profession).  In my case, I was married and had three children to support.  Fortunately, my wife supported me 100%.

        At that time, in Canada, a person was routinely advanced to "P.Eng." status on the second anniversary of his graduation provided only that his supervisor and other associates would write the appropriate letters of reference.  I think the four years plus that are now required is much better not only for the greater technical experience acquired but also for the much stronger social and financial position that an engineer has achieved in the extra two to three years.

        As far as non P.E.s are concerned, you are right.  We had a case here in Calgary about  thirty years ago where some enterprising individual went to a stamp and stencil store and had them make him an engineer's and an architect's stamp which he then applied to some drawings which he had traced from someone else's project.  He got caught because he didn't trace the reinforcing properly and a reinforcing subcontractor came to our office for help (by coincidence, our office had produced the original structural drawings).  He was arrested and hauled into court on criminal charges (forgery, I think; but don't hold me to it) and fined $200.00.

        Thanks for writing your story, Ray.

Regards,

H. Daryl Richardson



Ray Pixley wrote:

> There is a more devious problem to plan-stamping.
>
> Many years ago, I worked for an engineering company, (rather large then, but now defunct).  Just after I started, one of their sales reps found out I had a NYS PE license and asked me to seal a report.  Since I hadn't even read the report and I wasn't allowed by this rep to do so, I refused.  (Omitted is the issue on whether I had any chance to agree, concur or disagree with it, but the discussion didn't get that far.)  He immediately bought me up on insubordination charges.  Fortunately, saner heads prevailed and he was stopped.   However, he was never disciplined for putting me in such an uncomfortable position.  And, of course, because it was handled internally, the situation never saw the light of public scrutiny.
>
> I can understand and even forgive this guy's mistake of asking for plans to be sealed.  But his immediate response of pressing insubordination charges is what really ticks me off, even though in the end my position prevailed.
>
> While it is great for the PE boards can discipline PEs for plan stamping, they don't have a method of disciplining non-PEs for insisting on that kind of behavior from their professional employees.  (Maybe I should say seriously disciplining.) And they don't seem interested in seriously addressing such problems.  Until that happens, the economic incentive for employers to insist on the practice of plan stamping will continue unabated.
>
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