Monday, September 14, 2009

The Siege has Lifted

I arrived at work today and checked on the status of the siege project. Seems the project team worked through the weekend and took care of the drawings, and most of the spec items. I asked if I could do anything further on the specs, and the project manager said yes, could I do something about three items he wasn't sure how to handle.

So I spent the morning writing a specification section from scratch. Well, in the Google era there's really no such thing as from scratch any more. Just pop the magic words in the little toolbar at the upper left and find the answer to all your questions. Of course, that brought up a manufacturer's website and I had to take their words and make them generic to any manufacturer, but that was fairly easy. Somewhere around 11:30 AM put it on the project manager's keyboard. The siege was lifted.

Now I get to prepare for two other unusual things. One, a public meeting tomorrow night in Centerton concerning the flood study I prepared. Just what the sleep-deprived engineer needs: two dozen citizens angry about their property being added to the floodplain. The three dozen whose properties are coming out of the floodplain won't bother to show up; they are happy. And then either tomorrow or Thursday I get to give a deposition in a lawsuit against the company. Some client was not happy with our performance and is suing us. I had a bit part in that particular project, but since I had that part and am still alive and with CEI I'm called to testify and thus must give a deposition. The man who was our project manager left CEI to work for a city planning department and then died less than a year later from cancer. The opposing attorney will no doubt try to say he was incompetent

The work I did consisted of checking a preliminary set of plans for an hour of so on one day. That's it. And for this I get to take an oath to tell the truth and then tell it. I've done it close to a dozen times in my career, either a deposition or actual testimony. Once it was a criminal trial when the mayor was charged with stealing from the city. Twice it was in administrative law hearings over landfill projects. The other times it was disputes between our clients and a city or contractor. I think this is the first time for me to give where CEI was a party to the suit, in this case defendant.

So, the business day winds down. Now to go home to my second job, and see what works of greatness I can produce today to offset dwelling in mediocrity the last ten hours.

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