It seems in this day and age there are so many lines on our plans that they have almost, I say almost, become unreadable. It isn’t just property lines and easements anymore. It is now different pipe sizes, every utility known to man (and woman) (both existing and proposed), seepage beds, steep slopes of varying degrees, different size trees, streams, stream buffers, wetlands and wetland buffers etc. The list goes on and on. With every project we, as designers, are requested to add more and more information to our plans and our plan legend continues to expand. We are literally starting to run out of ideas to differentiate between lines.
The simple “one dash” or “two dash” line type just doesn’t work anymore. So….in an effort to make our line types different as well as have them “communicate” their purpose we have come up with (and will continue to come up with) new line types over the next year. Our first new line type will be to delineate wetland boundaries, communicating to ALL that you “can’t touch this”(them).
Now, the first 3 people to take a picture of this new line type on one of our plans and email it to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) will get a $100 gift certificate to Sullivan’s Steakhouse or Fogo de Chao…your choice. Sorry vegetarians.
Denny L. Howell, II PE
Want my opinion? THEY SURE AS HELL ARE!!!
I’ll be honest, I started to notice this about 10 years ago and I thought it was me (maybe it actually is). We would interview fresh engineering graduates and a vast majority of the interviews were about as invigorating as watching remote control sailboat races. Potential new hires would show up very well dressed and then….nothing. No questions, not very interested or engaging etc. I would always ask about how their job searching was going and usually got the same answer. “Well, I have been on a bunch of interviews, but haven’t heard anything”. NO KIDDING! They all seemed disappointed, almost as if they had just been sent to the corner. We managed to shortlist some candidates and even hired a few, but they not only didn’t last long, they also never really embraced their new “career”. I was puzzled. I remember my senior year in college and all I wanted to do was get out of Drexel and start making some money. Now, I have had a few colleagues utter to me “young people are lazy, they don’t want to work”. On the surface, it may appear that way, but inside I kept saying to myself that they can’t all just be lazy. I mean, a 4 to 5 year degree is usually undertaken with the hopes of graduating, getting a job and making some good money. And while money isn’t the biggest motivator, to a college student that has lived in a block wall dorm and eaten cafeteria food for 5 years, money is a path to a better life. A new car, maybe an apartment, dining out, entertainment. Hell, in 1993 when I graduated from college, being able to have dinner (and sometimes lunch) at Applebees or Chi Chi’s was awesome. I felt like an executive. Nonetheless, I spent the last 5 years or so just complaining about this to colleagues and frankly anyone who was willing to listen to me. As I aged, I could hear myself and I sounded like a grouchy old man or woman or genderless person or gender bender (yeah, look it up)…nevermind. Now fast forward to the present and I am taking my son on college tours. Each college tour/presentation was catered to a major (in his case civil engineering) and was given by a very enthusiastic upper class “person” that attended that college. I would estimate that about 5 mins LITERALLY was spent on talking about the academic program and about 3 hours and 55 minutes spent on talking about the on-campus ski resort (Michigan Tech University), personal dairy bar (South Dakota State), lazy river beach club (University of Missouri), lobster dinner, err’day (Virginia Tech) or luxury “condo” dorms (virtually freaking everywhere). This, of course, is all in addition to the on-campus Chik-Fil-a, Chipotle, Insomnia Cookies, Indoor Rock Climbing Walls, skydiving club, Wizards and Muggles Club (William and Mary) and Clown Nose Club (NC State) to name just a few. When you are bored, google “The 25 Most Amazing Campus Student Unions”. It is ridiculous. It is no wonder that it seems as though a vast majority of recent graduates don’t want to work. Work and a career are now a step DOWN in lifestyle from college. In fact work sucks compared to college. I can’t say I blame them. Let’s compare. College luxury dorm vs. parents house vs. paying rent. College luxury dorm all the way. Requesting a vacation day to go rock climbing at a facility that costs about 60 bucks vs. walking a block after class with your buds and spending the afternoon on the campus rock climbing wall for “free” then topping it off with a custom smoothie from the on-campus dairy bar. DUH!!! But, we cannot blame this all on the colleges, I mean, they could never afford all of these upgrades if the Federal Government didn’t hand out student loans left and right by just providing a signature to every single high school graduate they could. I guess I am just jealous that one cannot get loans to pay for engineering bills as easily as they can to pay tuition at a college with a lazy river lagoon and on-campus ski resort. But hey, rest assured, if that does happen, it will be free Starbucks and all the rock climbing wall time you can handle here at DL Howell.