my word vs the office guyPosted by cole on August 19, 2019 at 10:01 pm
so, i set up a job in downtown Denver last august, extremely tight boundary ie:basically the buildings themselves so when i went to set up, i couldnt use a long baseline to start the job. it was maybe a 50 ft line, and it was about a tenth off the office calc’s. i used it bc it was really the only line available unless i did a resection (which i dont like doing to set up a job) and i traversed around to capture other search points/property corners. by the time i got to the opposite side of the site (about 300 ft) i was 5 tenths off from the office calc points. I told my drafter to check it out. the next day, i went back after i was done with that days work and re-checked all my control points by traversing around again. my control seemed good. however, the small line i used to begin the job must have had enough error that when stretched out over the entire job, compounded, and now the building is encroaching the prop line and its already built.
this was about 3 months into this job, so i assumed i was good to go after asking the drafter to check it out. looking back, i really should not have staked any improvements until i KNEW it was addressed. at that point i had only been surveying for 1 year and i thought the office would look at my stored observed points and adjust their calc’s… looking back, now i know that this particular drafter/office manager does not really check our work and i would never begin a job like this.
i may be looking for another job but that makes me angry bc i specifically asked him to look bc i had serious discrepencies.
- 42 Replies
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 10:08 pm
Keep cool, either the people who need to will see the situation for what it is, or they won’t, not much you can do to sway it.
At this point it is all about composure and teamwork, be open to input and try not to be too hard on yourself, or the other guy.
If you are terminated for a good faith mistake keep in mind that may matter when it comes to collecting unemployment insurance, read the paperwork carefully.
If you feel like you are going to get shanked it may be a good idea to jobsearch, regardless off how this incident plays.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 10:21 pm
It seems for your specific situation this is a huge measurement concern. Out in the boondocks you would be lucky to get things to be that tight.
The firm needs to do a better job of assessing and assuring the best work possible at whatever the expense needs to be. That has not been the case.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 10:37 pm
A 50 ft baseline extended to 300 ft with no other checks on the bearing is asking for trouble. Was there no a found monument on the other side of the project to set the rotation? The office people should have realized that you ALWAYS need a check of some kind and not sent you out without some way to check it. You should have realized this and insisted on a plan to check it.
Now I hope the situation gets resolved without a severe impact for you or the company..
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 10:53 pm
If your firm does not bother to check and adjust control observations for high-dollar downtown work (or ANY work, for that matter) prior to staking improvements, then it’s only a matter of time before not just you, but the entire staff is out of a job, with the licensees possibly facing lawsuits. So maybe it’s for the best to look elsewhere.
I have done a handful of high-precision, high-dollar downtown projects and I can’t imagine turning a first- or second-year employee loose on site to run control and stake improvements without any guidance or oversight, much less careful QC/QA procedures. If they sent you to do such a high-stakes (no pun intended) job without going over procedures, then that is another sign that this place is probably not a good fit.“…people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.” -Neil Postman
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 10:53 pm
You can never ever really rely upon anyone else to fix your work for you.
That comes from 50yrs of experience and after working with and for people that that range from experience that they can hardly remember their name to some people that were and are a real genius at what they do.
Mostly, anyone will check it out and do some mumbo jumbo translate rotate and poof here it is and even then it will not be what you would actually decide to be fixed for you to continue on your way.
So, sit down and do it yourself and you will not have a problem and you will also know who to not ask the next time or ever again and perhaps send pink slips to in the near future.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 11:28 pm
@cole: Some day this mistake and this company will be way back in the rear-view mirror. What you do between now and then is important. If you want to stay in the profession, I’d recommend finding a reputable company with better training and oversight. It represents professional negligence on their part if they haven’t thoroughly trained you to perform the field work with confidence. Furthermore, not just a “drafter”, but an actual licensed professional should have been directly involved from the beginning.
In a few years, you’ll probably see that you should have declined to do the project without better support. We’ve all been there. Find a company that will actually train and supervise you.
- MemberAugust 19, 2019 at 11:59 pm
If you wouldn’t use resection? to start a job, the maybe you should not be in surveying. I put a question mark on resection? because most surveyors now understand that the term resection is most often followed by a program that does a “two point free station”. Once I had to set a corner from a point that was disturbed, so I treated it as free station point and observed two other traverse points. I did not like the precision reported but I saved it anyway. Then I did a second free station on the same point using the traverse points reversed.. The difference between the solved positions was close enough to satisfy me, so I then meaned the two positions and that was the position I occupied for my pin setting.
If I take your description of your problem you are saying that knowing how you started and how you finished that first day you did not do an adjustment, rotation or correction of your field work before starting to stake out. What you did the first day was to get the best start you could, what you did after that is your error.
Paul in PA
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 12:44 am
Did I understand you correctly suggesting that if the OP couldn’t or wouldn’t do a resection to start a job, off of someone’s office calcs, that he shouldn’t be in surveying? Well if that isn’t the most pedantic statement of the day. If I see any failing here, it’s on the part of the surveyor in responsible charge who failed in his responsibilities. Not the OP. Doing a resection off of some computed coordinates of unknown quality to start off a survey is just bloody irresponsible. You’re suggesting he hold someone’s office calcs over the physical evidence in the field. I’m sorry, that dog don’t hunt.Willy
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 12:57 am
Least squares analysis would help this one. Adjusted properly, maybe there’s only a tenth in any place. This is one for analysis. With a cross tie. Or two.
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 1:41 am
It appears he had little if any redundancy, so LS is not going to help. What was missing was either any measurement at a large enough distance to control the bearings properly, or if there were such monuments no rotation was performed to align with them..
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 1:49 am
Wow. A new building in downtown <insert major metropolitan city> left entirely to a fellow with 1 year of experience and a draftsman. And things go wrong. No surprises here. And no insult to you, Cole. As a matter of fact I give you kudos for taking it on. But that’s just something that needs more input from more experienced people, especially at project kickoff.
My advise: run, don’t walk, away from that shi+show. Find some place with some idea of resource and project management.
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 2:13 am
Resection to office calcs is the best fit you are going to get to start off a project if you cannot find matching original monuments on site. Yes, I want my OP to start with the best he can do, not whine about it not being a easy job. I would only expect him to use a 50′ backsight to search for something better, not accept it as best he can do.
Question, why is this bothering him a year latter, when he should have been talking to the boss on day 2?
And I do not stake to office calcs, I do my field survey, and make sure it fits the record and the plan, before putting a hub in the ground. I was making sure there was reliable control long before I was surveyor. It was part of every project estimate whether the client asked for it or not.
Paul in PA
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 4:18 am
Because we don’t like to resect is not supposed to mean that we won’t do it that way.
It could mean that I simply can’t do it as it would not yield better results.
We must be able to match or data with the file for the rest of the project.
That takes planning and finding the control we are looking for.
Then we get there and we gotta get a new plan now or go home.
just get er done
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 9:12 am
Doesn’t sound like the most nurturing office getting around, you shouldn’t have even been let loose on a project like that without any significant experience or supervision., I’ve seen this happen to other I know also but at least their management supported them when things went pear shaped.
Moving forward, if you’re not 100% happy with the results you’ve got I wouldn’t be asking someone else to check, I’d be asking them what I’m doing wrong and what I need to do to get it right. It’s all a learning curve that everyone goes through, learn from your mistakes, don’t be afraid to put your hand up and say you think you have this wrong and ask for some help before it snowballs out of control.
Keep your chin up, don’t give up, you’re not the first and won’t be the last to be burnt by poor management practices, as stated previously find somewhere that will support you better than where you were working before.
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 11:04 am
No reason you should have a 50 foot backsight. No reason a company should have someone in charge of a field job that doesn’t know that. No reason for not having checks in place in the office. Wrong on so many levels. Someone needs to make a formal complaint to the board of registration.
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 12:14 pm
In a worst case scenario, when starting a traverse, if you take a 50′ back sight on 2 known points and then turn and set a control point 300′ away, I think it’s OK. AS LONG AS you rotate to a longer bearing (between the 300′ points, not the 50′) after you find more monuments. Never use the 50′ back sight again on return trips to that control point, always use the point set 300′ away. A rotation can be done in the field or in the office. Think about it by groups of points, calc’d point group & new field shots point group. Study and understand translate & rotate, this is something you must learn. When traversing, try and keep all shots as long as possible to reduce angular error. Think about it like shooting a pistol vs shooting a rifle. Taking short shots can create the pie effect. The most important thing is to learn from this situation. No excuse for the office guy to ignore and not fix this after you ask about it.
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 1:57 pm
This might be the market for you to switch jobs. If they sent a guy who only has 1 yr experience out to stake a project on such a tight site without much supervision then I’d say their a little screwed up. Don’t take the 1 yr statement as a personal slam. My back ground and most others who came up in my time is there was a progression. Rod man for a few years, i-man for a few years then crew chief but even then the young crew chiefs were watched until they had proven themselves. I know times have changed, we don’t have many 2 man crews much less 3 man crews anymore. They teach you which buttons to push to get you started and in 6 months you’re a crew chief/one man crew. I don’t know how they expect any mentoring to get done. The problem is you don’t know what you don’t know until someone tells you different, you see it done different or you read it. My mentors came up during the 4 man crew years, I caught the end of the 3 man crew beginning of the 2 man crew years and I really believe in the mentoring that went on. I hope you can find a place that can watch you a little more. Technology is great but it doesn’t replace/trump knowledge.
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm
If you are being sent out to control a site and have no in-office QA/QC procedures in place, then I myself would be looking for a more supportive company that has a mentoring program in place. Too many licensed surveyors are just rubber stamping anymore and blaming the field crew or the drafter when things go south. The field crew or the drafter gets canned when it should be the one in responsible charge.
- MemberAugust 20, 2019 at 2:24 pm
calcs from what? from where?
it’s not unusual to find .1′ in 50′, but that isn’t Control.
If your office is sending you out to an uncontrolled site there is no reason to hold calcs, in fact there are good reasons to never hold them. If the site has control then it should match and you should use it, sounds like they send you out to a site with guesses, at that point I would establish my own control network and locate all the monuments to fix the calculations. Of course this would slow down production. Still beats buying a building.
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