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Re: AW: footings look too big

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On Nov 4, 2007, at 11:27 AM, alfred mueller wrote:

 I haven't heard yet, that something is too small.
I have. I've also heard that it's too large, too expensive, too fancy, too theoretical, not theoretical enough, too complicated, too simple-minded, too many bolts, not enough bolts, over-welded, under- welded, too heavy, not heavy enough, and not the way we do things.

We are also doing site management and there are always workers, who think, they know better, how or when to do something (I give an ear to their opinion and if they have a good idea, I care about it), but most of the time, I have to realize, that they only have a lack of information or of theoretical background.
That's because they're human. Unless you've only been in the engineering business a very short time, your clients or your supervision has probably said the same thing about you. It's certainly been that way with me. And if someone's reasoning or his viewpoint is faulty I try to explain so he won't make the same mistake again.

And it`s getting boring, when you have to explain your work every day to somebody, who don't understand even the basics of what you are doing.
I have always felt very strongly that anyone who can't explain simply and clearly what he's doing may very well not know what he's doing. It doesn't mean you have to go into theoretical mechanics every time someone tells you the footings look big--all you need is a simple physical explanation. If the guy doesn't understand the answer, at least you tried.

Nobody wants to tell an emergency doctor, how to do his work, and nobody asks, why he is doing something the way, he does it (maybe in case, that somebody died during his work). Only in our Job, people think, they know better.
Big difference between asking questions or making comments and telling someone how to do his work. I always ask questions of doctors, but I don't tell them how to operate or what to prescribe. I may flatter myself, but I think they're glad I'm taking an interest. Same way in my job--if a guy thinks I've specified too much weld and asks me about it, I tell him what I know. If he thinks he knows better, I get him to tell me what he knows and I make my judgment on that basis, but I don't let it turn into a pissing match.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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