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Re: The failings ... I second the motion!

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Gary Hodgson & Associates wrote:

The original post attempted to address the issue of why
(in my words) so many engineers feel the profession is
not very highly regarded (or thought of, at all) by the
public and the author gave his reasons.  No one really
tried to pursue this thread, as it was side-tracked by
the issue of "class" societies.  I agreed with part of
that original issue, as so many engineers are just so
many heads or bodies in large organisations and are not
thought of as professionals.  Who else cares about this?
I thnk that's true of most anyone. You can be a physician yet "just another number" within, say, the AMA.

To what extent do we "need" to be "very highly regarded?" Not being rich or handsome, my wife appears to be somewhat unique in her "regard" for me as a specimen of desireable manhood. Certainly I have no problems with hordes of star-struck women hanging around outside my home, hoping to catch a glimpse of the "star" engineer living here.

I jest, but my point is actually a serious one. I seek to do a good job for my clients, and for the most part they have a "regard" for me that is expressed in the form of money periodically sent me in consideration of my work. One or two even express to me in so many words that they like what I do.

I suppose it would be nice to have further public accolades, but in truth of those who receive "Engineer of the Year" honors from the local chapters of the various engineer's organizations hereabouts, most appear to have accomplished such by being part of the establishment network, being good poiticians and good businessmen. At least that is my impression.

I do not begrudge them their honors one whit. This being a free society, they have the right to "pursue happiness" to the extent of doing wha it takes to have a certain subset of their peers--the subset that likes to go to society meetings and vote for "engineers of the year,' etc.--think them a capital fellow or lady, and give them awards and such. I've never been a good politician (I'm sure that comes as a surprise to many here), nor do I like to attend meetings and press the flesh, and so my name is curiously left off the nominating lists every year. I neither envy the "winners" nor do I bemoan my continuing mediocrity. "They have their reward." Mine lies in the realization that I haven't had to attend meetings and work the crowd at all that year; it leaves me more time for doing things that I DO enjoy.

Nor do I worry about myself as part of a class of professionals that is "not thought of as professional." I don't know that podiatrists or stock analysts spend that much time worrying that the world at large may not think of them synonymously with the word "professional." Moreover, I tend to view a "professional" as someone who does his job without a great deal of thought as to accolades stemming from it. Most "professionals" labor in obscurity and are content to do so. When they are recognized at all, they are as likely to be surprised and even a little embarrassed at having the spotlight.

Personally I do not believe either case is "right" or "wrong." These things are far too subjective. This is only one perspective, my own.

I need to know within myself that I behave in a "professional manner," and that I do a good job. I am my own worst critic in that regard anyway--and the only one who continually "cares" how well I'm doing--and if I can satisfy the man inside, and the Man upstairs, I will rest content when my earthly tenure is over.

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