All of us surveyors have been through the cycle of feast and famine, and more often than not we remember the famines much longer than the feasts. It’s kinda my theory of no one remembers when things went perfect, yet everyone has the stories of when things went terribly wrong. I can remember at least 10 stupid field crew stories, but who can remember 10 great successes in the field? For some reason the bad seems to stick with us and the good, well… is just expected I guess. Maybe it’s our hard wiring from caveman days, our survival instinct kicking in reminding us of how bad things can get so we’ll be prepared for a similar events in the future, maybe even have enough foresight to plan for the future and stockpile work, clients, supplies, employees or even cash if that’s possible. Whatever the reason, at some point business owners, project managers, field crews and even the lowly chainman will take it to extremes and try to stockpile work, equipment, supplies, coats, anything that was once in short supply to the point of nuisance and exhaustion. At some point even too much of a good thing can become unhealthy. Like a squirrel storing up food for the winter without any recognition of when to hibernate. Yet the question still remains when is enough enough? How much work it too much, how many supplies jammed in a truck is enough, how much money is enough???? Life is supposed to be about balance, yet as a business owner I feel the constant drive to pile it on, keep the crews in 50 hour weeks, keep billing up and still serve the client in a timely manner. Surely there must be a happy medium? If anyone out there has figured it out, can you please share? My wife, field crews, friends, dog, boat, waist line and hunting buddies will love you for it.
K. Jay Pannell, PLS
“The stench of poor quality lingers much longer than the sweetness of low price”