Has anyone else noticed that the dynamic of the typical survey operation has changed? I have operated as a one-man shop for the last 10 years and have found the hard work liberating. Primarily because it has given me the latitude to stay flexible in a hostile economy. The other reason is I do not have to rely on a technician to collect data for me. Don't get me wrong; I working in an engineering firm with lots of crews and I was their manager. However to be honest I really had no idea what they were doing or how well they weren't doing it. I did catch one party chief: while working in Kansas; sitting in the truck playing on his playstation and small TV while his crew was in the snow staking power poles. On another occasion I was asked to fire a young man who apparently could not keep his urine clean. My point is this type of stuff was daily. I was spending hours managing people and clients and very little time supervising the data. It was impossible.
What I see now is more RLS partychiefs and one-man crews. Plus more and more one-man operations. Even the engineering firms have realized that it is more cost effective to sub-contract their surveying tasks rather than maintain survey operations in house. I think this is a positive move. It will be uncomfortable but it is in the right direction. With the RLS being more hands on; there is better decision making in the field. An added bonus of course is the experience.
I am hoping this progression will calm the competitive nature and begin to embrace a cooperative nature. We should act as colleagues not enemies. Its hard but it is possible.