I am not!!!!! I fully understand that one-half of the people who read this will disagree with me, which is fine. It is not my intention to change anyone’s mind here. That is the beauty of America; we get to disagree and “coexist” at the same time. I have many friends and colleagues who have said this virtual thing is great, and they will likely never go back to their offices ever again. I also have my friends and colleagues (mostly colleagues as I don’t have many friends) that say they have had it with this virtual world. This is the side I fall on now. Yes, I embraced the whole Zoom thing back in March and April. We all marveled at how easy it was to “screen share” and were all happy that work didn’t completely shut down. But we simply cannot do this forever. No, I am not looking to put anyone at risk, and yes, I value human life, but I also value meeting with someone to discuss a multi-million dollar project. Everyone in our business knows that absolutely NOTHING is cut and dry, and no two projects are alike. Ordinances change every day, and many are clear as mud at best. The value in being able to meet face to face or even masked face to masked face is huge. Collaboration is essential to not only sound engineering but also solving problems and meeting our clients’ goals, not to mention the learning factor of our younger engineers. Those that know me know I have long been disappointed in the preparedness of many of our engineering graduates recently, and I lay that blame squarely at the foot of Universities that seem (in my opinion) to place making college fun and making money over education. Again…my 0.02 is that virtual learning will only make this worse. And before you get all “Denny you don’t care about human life” take a chill pill. I get it we need to social distance and stay apart, but to stand by and say that this “new normal” is fine is ridiculous. We had a project this week get sideways (and luckily back on track now) because there was no ability to conduct a face to face meeting so instead we tried to accurately convey our questions and concerns via email and telephone which takes much longer and inevitably results in something being lost in translation. And that is what happened. A face to face meeting would have most certainly avoided that situation.
DL HOWELL and HOWELL KLINE have been opened and back in our offices for a few months now, and yes, we take all possible precautions. Everyone’s temperature is checked before they enter, we limit in-person meetings, we wear masks when not at our desks, our clients wear masks and have their temperature checked and anyone who feels sick is kept out of the office. We regularly wipe down every surface that is touched but we have found a way to be safe and be back together again, providing the very best engineering and surveying we can. It is important to us that we are here as one team not only for our clients but also for each other. As long as we continue to stay safe and healthy this will remain our philosophy. Our clients deserve the absolute best we can provide, and that is what we are committed to doing. Have a safe and healthy remainder of the Summer.