A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 13

Day 13

This morning we started out the day with our regular engineering staff meeting. There wasn’t too much unusual to report – everyone just gave an update of their recent work. And some even left the meeting early after giving their report because we are so busy and they needed to get back to what they were doing.

I spent part of the day with one of our project engineers checking on the sealcoating and striping of our parking lots. We also have our major road project going on, and the contractor should finish it this week. So we checked on a few items on that job.

After lunch a few of us met with a business in town where we are planning to build a new parking lot. We needed to show them the proposed location of the lot and ask them what they thought should go in between the parking lot curb and their building. All of us ended up prefering a mix of landscaping and service walks to doors and a dumpster.

The Bizarre Moment of the Day otherwise known as an “I can’t Make This Stuff Up!” Moment

One very bizarre thing that happened was that I got a call from my supervisor from a previous job. He told me a civil engineer who identified himself as a retired engineer who was a resident of our city had called him asking questions about me and my performance on my previous job. This engineer complained to this person that he was helping a friend and that I was requiring them to do something they did not have to do. The engineer described to my former supervisor a previous story I had written about on this blog where I shared how I had told a contractor he would need to provide a bond to drive heavy construction traffic on one of our local roads not designed for that loading. He told my former supervisor he was looking for details about that thinking he could use the information to help his client. Later I found out this engineer had contacted a few others with whom I used to work. One person told me she got the feeling he was trying to “find dirt on me.”

From what I could tell this is an engineer from another city in the Chicago area who has represented to us he is working for a resident in our city. The matter has involved the construction of a walkout for a home. We were asked inintially by the builder for the resident if they could build this walkout. The home is located along an overland flood route, and the subdivision plans clearly show the required elevation of the lowest opening for the home. From what we have received to date, which is not much, it appears as if they are proposing a walk out with a lower elevation. So we have not as yet been able to, based on the information we have so far, been able to approve their request. And it appears instead of meeting and working with us, this engineer is instead contacting our elected officials and my previous employees and co-workers.

I would like to share more about it on here, because it is highly unusual for another professional to handle a permit submittal in this manner. But based on this person’s behavior I am at this time going to have to refrain from sharing much more until the matter is resolved. But the other reason I did want to mention it is that based on his behavior, it’s difficult to know who else he may try to contact or what else he might try to do. So I wanted to share with my colleagues and friends the story in case they too are contacted.

Wow – I really need to add a “Bizarre” category on this blog! Of course, it is day 13 so perhaps a story like this is appropriate.


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