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RE: Making a difference ??

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I don't have the love of debate that others here have so I'll make it short.  No one said that volunteering excuses shabby work.  I will say that when folks don't like the way I'm doing something for a civic group my attitude is not to get mad but rather that they are welcome to that high paying job.  These folks spend more out of pocket than most might think.  My boss has been on about a dozen ACI and ACEC committees at the national level and I'm 99% sure paid for all travel out of pocket.  This doesn't include lost billing time.  He went to all ACI National conventions, ACEC conventions and many others.  Starting in 2004 I'm going to at least one national event each year after an absence of several years.  I'll anticipate the argument that I'm paid to do that with the fact that my income is a % of what I bill and my insurance and retirement comes out of that total as well.  In effect, I'm AM paying to go.
Volunteering is sort of like good design.  How many times have we gotten butchered for the 1% that gets screwed up while no one notices the good stuff that was designed (no, this doesn't excuse the goof).  Good design tends to not be noticed because it's doing it's job.  Volunteering tends to be the same way.  We can all point to items in the code we don't like, but how many try to get involved and do something about it.  Our state SEA is heavily represented at the national level because we are blessed with folks that get involved.  The simplied wind procedure of the SBC and now IBC was written by an Alabama engineer.  It can be done.  I was at a SEA meeting last week.  A slide was shown listing 4 engineers who volunteer on an IBC committe related to structures.  They have code voting power.  2 were from Alabama.  One of those engineers has repeatedly talked about how voting code committees are always building officials, until now.  Those 4 engineers get a vote.  He's one of the votes.
Stan, I feel your pain.
A co-worker went to the NCSEA meeting in Denver.  Did you happen to meet a young lady from Alabama at that meeting?  Normally, I wouldn't ask but I understand that the NCSEA meetings are very small and most folks get to meet.
Anybody read Weingardt's(sp?) book on the importance of being a well rounded engineer and the importance of this topic?  Pretty good read, it came out a few years ago.
I guess I didn't make it too short afterall.  Sorry about that and have a good weekend.
I guess I'd better that I don't have any major beef with the code and my activities tend to be elsewhere as far as volunteering goes.

John C. Jones, PE
Barnett Associates
Pell City, AL
205-884-0099 (fax)