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Re: Ban The "I" Word (Re: Incompetent Plan Checker)

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Dennis S. Wish, PE wrote:

Why couldn't you have stated it this way to begin with?

Because when I have done that, I was ignored. That added insult to injury.

So I guess I've just taken to "popping off." When "the 'I' word" came up again--even though it was in a rather harmless vein--it just brought ti back to my recollection. So I popped off. I have done that a time or two before, with the same result: Others here say "why are you being such a ****?"

I guess I can understand someone objecting to my "popping off" like that. I happen to think what's sauce for the goose ought to be sauce for the gander. Certainly making an acerbic comment like I did is far, far less serious than what the other person did originally that riled me up so much.

When I complained, it was met with silence, except for the one reply by the other that was along the lines of "well, if you don't want to be called 'incompetent,' don't be 'incompetent!'"

You know, if someone really concludes from the tiny amount of information we post here--and it really is "tiny"; there is simply not enough time or bandwidth to explain all the "backstory" elements that go into each of the problematic situations we sometimes discuss--that another list-member is "incompetent," then so-be-it. But I am of the firm (and yes, "obstinate") opinion that it is NOT appropriate under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES to so state on this forum. The implications are disastrous. What we say here, doesn't stay here. I refer to my adventures with the attack-dog trial lawyer in support of that.

If an engineer here in wild-and-wooly Texas can actually have his license suspended as a result of making scurrilous charges of "incompetence" in a private letter or report, how much more serious do you think such a charge ought to be seen, made here on this public forum?

Can you imagine if Mr. Texas Über-Lawyer had got hold of that statement of Gail's prior to the trial of which I spoke earlier? How about the next deposition I have scheduled in a month or so? I hear that lawyer's pretty tough, too, and they've already found the transcripts from the earlier matter and are planning to say that I "perjured myself" on this or that question because I didn't remember that three years ago I had asked a question here about some building code provisions that could conceivably have stemmed from that case but under oath said I hadn't spoken of the matter to anyone. Can you imagine how much fun it will be in deposition, to have to answer the opposing counsel's question: "Isn't it true that on SEAINT other notable engineers have called you 'incompetent'?"

Notice the wording of that question, and think how I'll have to answer.

How about the Google searches that clients will do, concerning you? The negative as well as the positive come up all the time. What if I lose a potential client because they saw where one engineer, under the circumstances I cited, said I was "incompetent"?

Again I say: How is my so-called "personal attack" on Gail's use of the word "incompetent" in any way, shape or form "worse" than what she did? She has used the term in reference to more than one person here, yet I'M the "loose cannon"? Sorry, it's just more than I can bear. If that's the standard of acceptance, then in my extreme-minority opinion I'm in the wrong room.

Bill Polhemus, P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company

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