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Re: A Farewell to Structural Engineering

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To Bill and Vish,

I'm sorry to hear you folks are having this financial downer in your business.  I wish you both well in whatever you do and I hope this economy turns around soon for all of us.

Regards,
Ray Shreenan  SE  

--- On Thu, 11/25/10, G Vishwanath <gvshwnth(--nospam--at)yahoo.com> wrote:

From: G Vishwanath <gvshwnth(--nospam--at)yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: A Farewell to Structural Engineering
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Date: Thursday, November 25, 2010, 3:35 AM

Bill,

If it is any consolation, a lot of us are going through a bad time.
Even overseas.
I too am in the same boat now.
At 62 I don't have the options you have. You are much younger than I.
For 26 years I was content with the stability and  security and prestige  that a Govt Job provided.
I gave it up when I had 6 more years of service left in order to give a boost to my bank balance which didn't look too good at the age of 52. We retired at 58, per rules in force at that time.

I entered the big bad world of Knowledge process outsourcing, and set up a detailing business to cater to the overseas market. Detailing for USA paid us more than structural design for Indian clients.
The boom lasted about 5 years during which time I did fairly well for myself.
Then the economic tragedy in USA struck and its effects are being felt here in India too.

The US market is not recovering and the local jobs for Indian clients  we are now doing just don't pay enough to keep us going.
We got back into the local market believing the US recession is temporary but how long is temporary? 2 years? 3 years? Someone has now scared me by saying things are going to be bad for a few more years and that the detailing prices will never climb back to pre 2007 levels.  In the past I never lost a job that we bid because of our price. But now even our prices are not competitive. I can hardly believe anyone in USA is quoting less than what we quoted. But I now learn that there are quite a few desperate people out there willing do grab a job at any price.

The last three years have been the worst. I am surviving on crumbs now
Clients have defaulted on payment even when there were no contentious issues.
Projects have been abandoned half way and no compensation was paid for the time spent already.
The position is critical now and the next few months will decide what I have to do with myself and my career.

Hanging up my boots for good is one option, but I won't be happy with that decision.
My health is reasonably good and there is still some "juice" left in me.
I would rather be gainfully occupied with something or the other for a few more years at least.

I wish you all the best .
Do continue your postings to the list. I  always enjoyed it when things got dull and you stirred the pot with some provocative posts.
I was in California recently and had the pleasure of talking to some list friends.
My daughter and son-in-law live there and I was visiting them.
I may be visiting again next year. Hopefully we could talk on the phone and cheer each other up.

Regards
Vish (from India)