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Re: The Myth of Inadequate Structural Engineering Compensation

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Dennis,

I do not believe Bill believes that sole-proprietors are "bottom
feeders"...I believe his intent was more to express how some (which did not
include himself) might construe such engineers.  And I do not necessarily
think he meant it as a derogatory term.  I believe he meant it as more of
"those who make their living working at the lower end of the structural
engineering pay scale" (which is technical true as most sole proprietors do
not tend to get the higher profit jobs and tend to do it more for the
enjoyment that for the money)...as opposed to "scum sucking bottom feeders"
or "those who plan stamp or operate at a loss or are generally unqualified
to do the work and give the profession a bad name".  At best, I will "nick"
him for poorly chosen words.

While I do not generally give Bill the benefit of the doubt for the caustic
and wildly insensitive stuff that comes out of his mouth, I am giving him
the benefit of the doubt here.  I truly believe he did not intent it to come
across as you interpreted it.

Regards,

Scott ("bottom feeder" sole proprietor <grin>)
Adrian, MI


On 8/3/09 3:03 AM, "Dennis Wish" <res03tdc(--nospam--at)verizon.net> wrote:

> Bill,
> You're off your meds again! Us "Bottom feeders" design nearly 90% of all
> of the buildings in this country that include single and multi-family
> residential, low-rise commercial and light-industrial as well as
> foundations, retaining walls and seismic and wind retrofits. The large
> firms who lay off send their engineers to become "bottom feeders" as you
> well know. When you lost your job in public works, you entered the
> sole-proprietorship of "bottom feeders" and started designing
> multi-story wood frame buildings without knowing what you were doing.
> Still, you took the public's safety at heart and continued to learn as
> you designed asking questions of those of us on the list (including
> questions directed at me privately and one or two phone calls around the
> time you were also in the process of moving ). My point is that you
> endangered the public by not completing an adequate apprenticeship under
> the supervision of a licensed engineer with adequate experience in light
> framed wood structures designed in high wind areas.
> 
> You need to get off your high horse and stay out of a discussion that
> you are not qualified to be part of. You may have been laid off your
> last job and you may have another one soon, but the cycle will continue
> and when you average your earnings and your income  to debt ratio you
> will probably find yourself in a position of having earned far less than
> the average "bottom feeder" out their.
> 
> The small bit of truth that I gleamed for your redemption is that some
> of us do run a sole-proprietorship because we like it. It took me a long
> time to find a field that I felt challenged but to be frank, I never
> considered the quality of my work akin to what might be done by a
> "bottom feeder" - this is why we have Conventional Prescriptive
> Construction which may be bottom of the barrel but certainly not "bottom
> feeders" since engineers are not required for this type of work.
> 
> Finally, I can't be a "bottom feeder" - I'm Jewish and bottom feeders
> are not Kosher!
> 
> Dennis S Wish, PE
> A really Professional California Engineer who may be close to be bottom
> of the barrel but certainly is not a "bottom feeder"
> 
> PS: What country is Texas in again? I heard Leno ask a Texas gal how
> many stars were on the American flag and she answered " I can't count
> them while the flag is moving."
> 
> Bill Polhemus wrote:
>> 
>> Many of the people here on SEAINT are small operators, some of them
>> sole proprietors. They are sort of (again, meaning no disrespect) the
>> "bottom feeders" of our profession, taking work that large firms such
>> as yours wouldn't even dream of doing. They do it for the enjoyment
>> and they do it because they choose to do it. But they don't
>> necessarily do it because they are privileged to charge whatever they
>> want to charge. It is understandable, though, that sometimes they
>> would get a bit frustrated. I'm not working for myself any longer for
>> the simple reason that I just couldn't make enough money working in
>> that environment to allow me to raise the "second family" that was
>> suddenly thrust upon me.
>> 
> 
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