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What qualities make for a good surveyor

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Williwaw
(@williwaw)
1,000+ posts Member

Let's say that you could only have one person to assist you in your surveying duties and you could pick anyone you liked, for any reason. What are some of the qualities you would look for. I personally be most inclined to choose someone who is on the path towards getting their license. A mild case of OCD doesn't hurt. A curious and determined nature. Physically fit. Educated. Conversely there are certain qualities in an individual that I seek to avoid. Folks that love to argue even when they don't really have a clue what they're talking about, people that can't check their personal problems at the door, folks just plain lacking any enthusiasm for life. Folks that just refuse to admit that they don't know the answer to something and feel the need to make something up instead. Dishonest people. People that can't take constructive criticism. Okay, this line of thought is at serious risk of deteriorating into a rant. o.O

What are the qualities you would look for in your idea of an ideal helper, call him a party chief, IM, chainman, whatever and the why.

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Topic starter Posted : May 21, 2014 11:27 am
thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
1,000+ posts Member

The single most important quality for me would be honesty. Perhaps the form 'integrity' says it better. When I read notes, time cards, etc. I don't want to wonder how much of it is BS.
If the integrity is there I look for someone with mental pathologies that compliment my own...

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Posted : May 21, 2014 11:34 am
James Fleming
(@james-fleming)
5,000+ posts Member

Epistemic modesty

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Posted : May 21, 2014 11:37 am

paden cash
(@paden-cash)
10,000+ posts Supporter

"What qualities make for a good surveyor?"

Tall order. To start with, a lot of things.

First let me say that what makes a good surveyor and what makes a good helper can be two distinct things. Without flapping my feathers too awfully much, I don't need a good surveyor around...I've got one.

But I've got good help, too. Over the years there has been a few of my helpers (less than fingers on my hand) that have gone forth and turned into darn good surveyors. They did that on their own. I might have given them a grocery list they might need for the journey, but they did that on their own.

To coin a phrase, good help is hard to find. If you can find technical help that is honest and humble to a fault and naturally inquisitive, that's a good start. The love of the outdoors is a must with a childlike wonderment for every mystery hidden in the deeds. If your help has all that and shows some aptitude for math and abstract reasoning, a surveyor they might be, given time.

I have always been a firm believer that while geodetic measuring is a science, surveying is an art. A good surveyor has to know when to keep the Crayons in the lines...and when it's ok to color outside them as well.

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Posted : May 21, 2014 11:47 am
Dave Ingram
(@dave-ingram)
1,000+ posts Member

Had to look that one up, but I'm still not sure I understand.

The mere fact that you used the word might suggest you wouldn't find yourself when looking? 🙂 😀

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Posted : May 21, 2014 11:49 am
James Fleming
(@james-fleming)
5,000+ posts Member

I would define it as the ability to understand where one's knowledge comes from and the limits inherently placed on knowledge by it's origin.

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Posted : May 21, 2014 11:56 am

Williwaw
(@williwaw)
1,000+ posts Member

Reminds me of one of my favorite Clint Eastwood quotes, 'A man has got to know his limitations'. Trying to picture Harry Callahan using the words 'Epistemic modesty'.

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Topic starter Posted : May 21, 2014 12:02 pm
Williwaw
(@williwaw)
1,000+ posts Member

Excellent points Paden. At the end of my career I hope I can count on one finger someone who goes on to get their license because of the grocery list I helped provide them.

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Topic starter Posted : May 21, 2014 12:05 pm
cptdent
(@cptdent)
1,000+ posts Member

(1) Attention to detail.

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Posted : May 21, 2014 12:15 pm

flyin solo
(@flyin-solo)
1,000+ posts Supporter

somebody who WANTS to do it- whether that be digging holes or getting his or her licence, or anything and everything in between.

have had plenty of good help who worked their butts off, grasped most (if not all) the concepts necessary to be efficient and expedient help, but for whatever reason just didn't feel it and they eventually moved on.

not sure what it is about surveying that makes this seem more important than in any of the other, previous fields in which i toiled, but it sure does seem that way. it's a hard gig to mail in.

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Posted : May 21, 2014 12:24 pm
Kris Morgan
(@kris-morgan)
1,000+ posts Member

I want a drunk (mild), felon (or on probation), with a drivers license, who has no fear of the out doors, and a thick skin, who can spell and do remedial math and likes technology.

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Posted : May 21, 2014 12:41 pm
lmbrls
(@lmbrls)
1,000+ posts Member

Perseverance. Doing what it takes to produce a quality project despite the cold, the heat, the briars, the budget or any other excuse known to man.

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Posted : May 21, 2014 1:55 pm

StLSurveyor
(@stlsurveyor)
1,000+ posts Supporter

I agree. That sounds like the person that will get it done.

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Posted : May 21, 2014 1:57 pm
Williwaw
(@williwaw)
1,000+ posts Member

> Perseverance. Doing what it takes to produce a quality project despite the cold, the heat, the briars, the budget or any other excuse known to man.

My new hand comes from the a construction surveying background. Their motto to get a job done was 'by brute strength and ignorance'. I'm working on turning around the ignorance part. I prefer to work smart rather than hard, but will combine the two whenever necessary. That's what got me to thinking about this.

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Topic starter Posted : May 21, 2014 2:11 pm
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
10,000+ posts Supporter

That's a good point

A lot of them move on. The good ones that I have seen move on usually do so because of the money. That is a sad thing, but generally true.

As for myself, I've never done it for the money. I just loved the work so much I stayed at it. I raised two boys in the late '70s while running a crew making six bucks an hour. *There were lots of times I didn't have two nickels to rub together.

But it has been a rewarding career and I've loved (almost) every minute of it. So I guess another requirement for "what makes a good surveyor" would be someone who places personal satisfaction above monetary gain. (and the crowd drew hush...gasp..)

* This statement was for the benefit of all the younger folks that have never heard that particular phrase.😉

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Posted : May 21, 2014 2:15 pm

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