The following article has been reviewed by the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association.  He has no objections to this story, providing that in his words, “I would ask that you make it clear that this story is fictional, but still makes the point that getting organized as a profession is important.”  John Murray

This author was concerned with taking facts from an interview from only 1 chiropractor, and then not verifying them.  This article was written over 15 years ago, so some facts may not check with today facts.  Although this story is fictional, it represents my frustrations with the land surveying and mapping profession, and was based upon an interview with my chiropractor, who is also my personal friend.

Surley, Gunner, Dr. DeCracker and the MisStake

Surley Surveyor and Gunner George were out staking on a property survey one Monday.  Gunner was fairly new to the profession and was still breaking in the new total station.  Both were under stress, because their boss back in the office was cranky and wasn’t sure that the new equipment investment was a good thing.  The boss wasn’t sure he could compete anymore with the other surveyors in town.

So Surley and Gunner were in a hurry and Gunner keyed in the wrong point.  It was relatively close to the correct point, so Surley slammed in a rebar with the sledgehammer.  No sooner than Surley was done slamming, Gunner announced he blew it!  From the backdoor of her house, the neighbor lady Nina Leigh began approaching Surley with that “you must be crazy” look written all over her body language.

Surley in a panic, embarrassed by the mistake, quickly summoned Gunner with the vice grips.  With one huge yank Surley had undone the obvious mistake.  He explained in utter pain to the about to be hysterical Nina Leigh,  “(Ouch!…) Mam, that was not a Mistake, …  that was just a MisStake !! (Ohhh!…Ahhh!…)”

The extra “S” in MisStake had also shown up in Surley’s back.  With all the muster that he and Gunner could get together, they managed to get Surley, now in obvious back pain, back to the truck.  Gunner had to drive because Surley was in too much pain and beside himself.  Nina Leigh sprinted back to her house and dialed 911.

In the weeks that followed, Surley had some interesting sessions with Dr. Cecil DeCracker, DC, the chiropractor.

Hey! Surley how is it going?

Not good, Dr. DeCracker, or I wouldn’t be here.

Surley, got a little back pain,  Uh?

Not a little…  A Lot!

Climb up here on this table.

CRACK!!…    CRACK AGAIN!!….   AND AGAIN CRACK!!

There!  Surley, that should help somewhat!  And I need to see you back here 6 more times in the next two weeks.  You’ve obviously got a little misalignment problem in your back!

Oh and Surley, before you go, how are the wife and kids, and everything else?

Well, Dr. DeCracker, the wife and kids are fine.  It is my boss and my job.  And you know, Dr. DeCracker, I have been a surveyor now for 26 years, and I don’t see things getting much better in my profession.

Well, Surley, that doesn’t sound good.  What’s going on?

(After nearly an hour of Surley bearing his professional soul to Dr. DeCracker, the following is the advice Dr. DeCracker had to offer Surley.)

Surley, you guys have got to decide who you are and what you’re about.  If somebody else is doing your work, Surley, for heaven’s sake all you surveyors have got to get together and take a stand.  You have got to have unity in your organization!

Look at the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association (WCA) in that big building as you drive into Madison on University Avenue. 

Surley, back in the 1960’s the chiropractors were like one of the most persecuted races in history.  If you know your history, Surley, the __________ have been the most persecuted race since the beginning of mankind. 

And we chiropractors felt like we were becoming all too persecuted in the professional sense.  We felt like our backs were against the wall.  People were calling us quacks and everything else imaginable.  But back in about 1985 that all began to change!

Surley, we chiropractors believed in our profession!  We all had quite a lot of extensive and formal training.  But we felt like we just couldn’t get any respect.  You know, like Rodney Dangerfield has always said, “I just can’t get any respect!”  But we chiropractors believed in ourselves, and the bottom line, Surley, was that we felt our patients were benefiting from our services.  Don’t you surveyors believe in yourselves?  Don’t you believe that your clients are truly benefiting from what you have to offer?

(Surley nods in the affirmative.)

Surley, it is not good that less than half of the land surveyors in the state belong to your organization!  In the WCA, I would say that 98.5% of the 1200 chiropractors belong to WCA!  And the other 1.5% is not thought of very highly!

Back in the 1960’s, there was a movement to have 2 chiropractic associations.  But we chiropractors overcame that obstacle and there is now one very strong and effective association!  And Surley, it has worked great for us chiropractors!

I don’t want to make you feel any worse, Surley, but all this talk about a full time executive director and a state surveyor…   that sounds like 2 guys trying to change the world for all you guys.  It is never going to happen.  Listen to me, Surley! 

(Surley tries to straighten up and listen even with his aching back.)

The WCA has an executive director’s office with at least 5 full time people.  They are not chiropractors.  These people are business and marketing people.  They are down there in Madison to represent the interests of us chiropractors!  And that’s what all of us 1200 chiropractors pay them for!

Our annual dues are $650 a year.  Of that $650, $170 is specifically tagged for legislative type activities, and therefore is not tax deductible.  In addition there is the CHIF.  This stands for the Chiropractors Health Insurance Fund, to which last year I contributed $1000.  In addition, if something really big comes up legislatively, I have been asked to donate as high as $10,000 at one time.  So I write out a check!  It doesn’t really bother me, because I know that if we chiropractors stand together, and if we all contribute, well then naturally our professional interests will be represented!  And our executive director’s office has been just awesome! 

If I have a problem with a particular insurance company, I simply call up the executive director at WCA, and they’re on it right away.  The folks down there at WCA start checking with other chiropractors asking for any further documentation relative to any particular insurance company starting to balk on claims.  Before long the office of the State Insurance Commissioner is flooded with calls.  The insurance company then straightens up real quick!  You can understand how that works, can’t you Surley? 

(Surley nods his head in the affirmative.)

In addition to the 5 full time people at the executive director’s office, I would say that the WCA is working with at least 15 lobbyists.  I hate to say this, Surley, but as a profession you simply need to invest in changing legislation these days!  Unfortunately that is the way the system works.  And that is what we chiropractors have done!  If that sounds underhanded, I suppose you could look at the whole process as a huge negative. 

But keep in mind the 2 major positives, Surley.  We chiropractors felt that we had a very legitimate service to offer our patients.  We simply believed we were legitimate as a profession.  We first had to believe this.   Secondly, from the testimonies of our patients, we were hearing that their pain was being relieved.  Our patients were feeling better!  They were getting back to their normal routines and getting back to their normal lives again.  Isn’t that what our profession should be all about?

Surley, at least 1/3 of all people in Wisconsin will see a chiropractor in their lifetime.  We felt that statistic alone was worth it to get our causes through the Wisconsin legislature.  How many people will come in contact with a land surveyor in their lifetime?  I know that I needed one when I put up my huge house on the lake.  Hey, Surley, I hope you don’t mind that I got that part-time surveyor guy.  I guess he is also an engineer for the state, so he should know what he is doing.   And his prices were almost half of what your boss wanted!

(Surley mumbles something nasty about moonlighting.)

And to top that off, we have 5 lawyers on board to take things to court if need be.  If things get a little out of hand, we just stick our lawyers on them and take them to court!  And when we win, and we usually do, then as a result of the court settlement there is a nice check written out to each of the 1200 member chiropractors in this state.  See, Surley, we have made an investment in our profession.  Certainly you surveyors are making an investment in your profession.  Aren’t you? 

(Surley is now in serious contemplation.)

It has been great, Surley!  You know, a little like David and Goliath!  We little chiropractors took on the big dogs like the AMA (American Medical Association) and the big insurance companies.  Think about it, Surley!  Those were some pretty big dogs!  But we did it, because of all the reasons I just told you.  And now the big dogs in the other camps now recognize us as the dogs to avoid!  You know who is going to win the battle between the pitbulls and the poodles, don’t you, Surley!!? 

(Surley envisions his own cocker spaniel engaged in an all out brawl with a pitbull.  Dr. DeCracker just laughs!)

So the key is a strong executive director’s office well funded and backed by a solid, unified organization, where you are all in it together.  Believe me the investment is now paying huge returns.  You know the old saying, “Together we stand, divided we fall.”  It’s true, Surley. 

And you know, I feel my job as a chiropractor is seeing and helping patients get better.  I have contributed my share of personal time for the cause.  I have gone door to door getting my patients to sign petitions for or against certain legislation.  Believe me when some legislator’s office in Madison gets 35,000 calls or letters for or against some legislation, he listens.  And Governor Tommy has been very good to us chiropractors.

But the whole thing was orchestrated by the WCA in Madison.  And I feel the best use of my professional time is seeing my patients.  It is easier for me to give money to my WCA in Madison and let those professionals do their thing to protect my interests.  That is what they are down there for and that is what we chiropractors pay them for.  And you should hear our executive director out there on the road telling people about chiropractic!  He is just awesome!

You know Surley, it sounds to me like your profession is getting all the leftovers.  The lawyers write your legal descriptions, and they only call you when there is a real mess.  The engineers do their own surveying without you for the transportation systems across the entire state.  Assessors and their municipalities own the rights to ordering surveyors’ replats.  And now you tell me that these new GIS people are entering all your survey maps into one huge database, with disclaimers that they are not intended to be accurate!  This does not sound good, Surley, not to mention all the others that are cutting into your action!

(Surley’s mind is now in overdrive thinking of all the other technological changes and non-surveyors that are impacting real surveyors.)

When I speak of leftovers, Surley, this is what I mean.  Imagine yourself and all the rest of your surveyors at your annual banquet.  And the chef announces over the loud speaker that the dinner is about to be served.  The chef goes on to qualify that your main serving will consist of the leftovers from the previous 3 banquets!  And the dessert will be the leftover piecrusts and breadcrumbs from the state bar banquet the night before last!  How do you think all of you surveyors would react? 

(Surley does not like this picture!)

Well, Surley, short of an all out riot, I would be surprised if you all didn’t get up and at least walk out, grumbling, cussing, and complaining all the while.  And as you re-convened outside the banquet hall, I bet you were promising each other never to have the banquet at this location again!  You surveyors just ain’t going to take it!  You were insulted, right!?

Well, Surley, so it goes in your professional life.  You surveyors are taking it and you are eating what the others toss your way.  It doesn’t taste too good, does it, Surley?  But if you let them continue to feed you leftovers, piecrusts and breadcrumbs, believe me, Surley, they will just keep right on feeding it to you.  Come on, Surley, it sounds like you and the rest of your guys deserve to eat decently, too!  You should be entitled to your fair share of the piece of the pie!

You know it is like you describe in some other professions that I know.  Take for example the physical therapists.  My wife is a licensed physical therapist, and there is nothing going on to protect the interests of those people right now.  And the results are starting to show up in everyday real world situations.  A friend of mine had a daughter graduate in the top 5% of her class in the physical therapy program at Marquette, and she can’t find a job!  Apparently what used to be done by physical therapists is now being done by nurse practitioners!  I guess the nurses won that battle! 

(Dr. DeCracker laughs again!)

So Surley!  Does that help?  You know, Surley, I really wish the best for you guys.  To me, Surley, I have always known you to be a good surveyor, but it sounds like you’re a little down on your profession right now.  And the future doesn’t look too good for you guys right now.  I hope that will all change for you and the rest of your guys real soon.  You know, what little I know I about surveying, I would think you guys are worth it!

(Surley is now evaluating how he feels.)

Surley, maybe your guys should talk to my guys!   Or maybe you could invite our executive director to speak at your annual conference.  You know, Surley, there are all kinds of possibilities here!  You know, Surley, I would bet that we are treating at least 1/2 of the people in your organization as it is!  But then the way you pulled that bar out of the ground, I would expect we will be treating all of you someday!

(Dr. DeCracker laughs again!)

Surley, just take this form and give it to the receptionist.  Oh, and Surley, make sure that she has your insurance cards, for both the primary and secondary insurance carriers.  And once we have all that from you, we will take care of everything else.  And don’t forget to make an appointment for this Wednesday.  I have some more work to do on your back!

Dr. DeCracker, how much is everything for the day?

Well, Surley, after the x-rays and the 7 adjustments, time on the therapy beds and everything, it should run about $1200.

(Surley appears to have been overly adjusted.)

Oh, and Dr. DeCracker, how much for the professional attitude adjustment?

Nothing, Surley.  But remember, I think you guys are worth a whole lot more.  Good Luck, Surley, and I will see you on Wednesday!

Oh!…  say Surley…  one more thing!  Why don’t you and the rest of your guys consider investing right now in your profession?  You know you guys spend a minimum of 40+ hours a week trying to do what you enjoy in the prime of your lives.  Make it worth your while!

R. J. Leaver

Rich Leaver is a 30+ year veteran working in county land information systems, and is currently in private practice as a land surveyor. But his new title is really that of geospatial change agent.

For 22 years he was the county surveyor and director of the Dodge County surveying, mapping and property listing department. His county was the first county in Wisconsin to begin parcel mapping on a personal computing platform in 1983, and the first county to work cooperatively with a state agency implementing a statewide user densification of 3D control monuments. From 1988-1991, Rich spoke at the UW Madison Extension Course “Developing Geographic and Mapping Analysis Systems” with other featured speakers from around the country. He is also an avid writer and speaker about the paradigm shift that needs to occur within the geospatial community.

Rich has been identified as being passionate about his work. Not so, he would respond. He is only passionate about getting out the message of change that needs to happen within the geospatial community of professionals, and then seeing that change happen.

View all posts by R. J. Leaver

15 comments on “Surley, Gunner, Dr. DeCracker and the MisStake

  1. Article makes perfect sense, implementing it is another thing.

    First chiropractor that makes sense, they are all quacks as far as I am concerned.

  2. My Dad went to a chiropractor once a week for years. His job took him out of town once for 2 weeks. He never went back to the chiropractor and his back never bothered him again.

  3. ……. they are all quacks as far as I am concerned.

    I had a dachshund that had a bad back.  One morning he woke me up with his yelping.  I found him pulling himself with his front legs because he couldn't move his rear legs.  We took him in to the vet's office and they put him on an iv and fed him nourishment and pain killers as well as took x-rays.  They said they couldn't figure out the problem but wanted to keep him under observation.  They were talking about getting an mri and/or getting a cart with wheels so he could pull himself around with his front paws.  They kept him for about a week.  We told them we wanted to take him to a chiropractor.  The Doctor didn't want to let him go.  We asked that the x-rays be sent to the chiropractor, and they said they wouldn't send them but he could come look @ them there.

    We finally told the Vet that we wanted the dog back and took him to the chiropractor (a people-chiropractor, btw).  We got an adjustment and the dog walked out of the Chiropractor's office with his tail wagging.  We had to take him in for a few more follow-up adjustments, but he went on to live another 10 years walking and enjoying his life.

    You have to find a good chiropractor and some of them are quacks , perhaps, but they do have a greater understanding of the skeletal structure than most doctors.

  4. You all are missing the point.  This is not about chiropractors.  Now there is this debate about whether chiropractors are quacks.  If they are quacks, then they are the bad guys, right?

    I consider anybody who wants to be a surveyor or has been an experienced surveyor for years to be one of the good guys.  But in comparisons to other professions, I hate to admit it, we are the losing.  A recent article in xyHt by Amanda Askren PLS talks about 20-40 people coming together to save the entire land surveying profession.  Do you think that is going to happen with their 3 main action points?

    http://bt.e-ditionsbyfry.com//display_article.php?id=2536474&id_issue=321808

    Does that sound like we are winning?  Are we winning yet?  Or do you like to lose, and do you want to just continue right on losing?

    But in my state, if quacks are bad guys, well in my state they are winning!  How did then win?  Read the article again, and forget about the chiropractor who is telling you how to win.  I am telling you how to win again, because I wrote the article.

  5. How do I go about getting permission to share that blog post?

    You can scroll to the bottom of the article and use the share buttons to share it on social media or via email. It will also appear in a future RPLS Today Newsletter that will go out soon, and you can share the newsletter.

  6. Not to drift into P&R, but hopefully I will confine myself to philosophy:

    The type of people that get into surveying, in the USA, seem to be largely of the "live and let live" variety.  They don't like being told what to do, and they don't see telling others how to do it either.  (Check and see all the posts on this forum, we might gripe about other's methods, but we aren't much for prescribing once certain "right way",)

    It is part of who we are, typically.  Whether on the right or the left politically, our mindset is typically conservative in nature (politics aside).

    We are also opinionated.  We have to be in order to do our job.  Not all of us are argumentative, but we tend to come to our opinions carefully, and dislike changing them.  (Perhaps to do so would question our judgement, which in the end is the bedrock of our professional ability.)

    One advantage to requiring a degree for licensure: perhaps it would change the internals of our mood, our outlook, by requiring a different type of person.

    Also, it would tend to make surveying a choice, rather than something you kind of fall into, which is what about 85% of the people I know did…they needed a job, started surveying, and 10-15 years later…PLS.

    I think that all of the above makes us less willing to game the system, less willing to band together, and less effective when we do.

    Personally, I read that article, and I see comments about being "entitled" to a "piece of the pie", and I am reminded that I teach my kids that they are not entitled.  And, I am reminded that I have to pay insurance premiums that include chiropractic care, even though I don't use it, and do not want to.  See?  The even though it might benefit me, the idea of legislating my necessity, rather than earning it makes me uncomfortable.

  7. Not to drift into P&R, but hopefully I will confine myself to philosophy:

    The type of people that get into surveying, in the USA, seem to be largely of the "live and let live" variety.  They don't like being told what to do, and they don't see telling others how to do it either.  (Check and see all the posts on this forum, we might gripe about other's methods, but we aren't much for prescribing once certain "right way",)

    It is part of who we are, typically.  Whether on the right or the left politically, our mindset is typically conservative in nature (politics aside).

    We are also opinionated.  We have to be in order to do our job.  Not all of us are argumentative, but we tend to come to our opinions carefully, and dislike changing them.  (Perhaps to do so would question our judgement, which in the end is the bedrock of our professional ability.)

    One advantage to requiring a degree for licensure: perhaps it would change the internals of our mood, our outlook, by requiring a different type of person.

    Also, it would tend to make surveying a choice, rather than something you kind of fall into, which is what about 85% of the people I know did…they needed a job, started surveying, and 10-15 years later…PLS.

    I think that all of the above makes us less willing to game the system, less willing to band together, and less effective when we do.

    Personally, I read that article, and I see comments about being "entitled" to a "piece of the pie", and I am reminded that I teach my kids that they are not entitled.  And, I am reminded that I have to pay insurance premiums that include chiropractic care, even though I don't use it, and do not want to.  See?  The even though it might benefit me, the idea of legislating my necessity, rather than earning it makes me uncomfortable.

    In what I experience everyday and with what I read, land surveying is on life support and ?eeds to be revived.?nbsp; If we are talking a human body, that means near death.  If we are talking about a profession in need of reviving, then that means the profession is near death.  So with all due respect, what would be your solutions?  Or are you just planning on retiring and removing yourself as far from land surveying as possible?  (I have also had those thoughts, so this is with all due respect, but I feel I need to give back.)

    I agree with you, surveyors do not like being told what to do, or how to do it.  We are independent, we are opinionated and we want to be our own bosses, and yes conservative.  And yes, I agree that land surveying is something most of us fell into because we could not find another decent job.

    I agree more formal education is absolutely necessary.  But with a profession on its way out, how do you get schools/colleges to even begin to offer a new degree program?  They know we are on our way out.

    I have often contended that we need an institutional psychotherapist to get us all together and explain why some of our attitudes just do not help us as a profession anymore.  Mine included.

    We all want the ?erceived benefits?of being a land surveyor, and we want all the ?oys? but we all want to do it our own independent, opinionated way.  And most often that also results in poverty, unless our spouse has a good paying career.

    I look around at what is happening in the land information arena in my state, and I can think of many new ways that land surveyors can be better part of that process and better serve the public, which is our number 1 responsibility, before serving ourselves.  That does not mean we need to continue as paupers in serving the public.  We should be able to make a decent living at it, too.  That is called fairness, if we are in fact professionals.  

    That is what I meant by being ?ntitled to a fair share of the piece of pie.?nbsp; Maybe a bad choice of words.   But those many new ways of involving land surveyors will not happen with more PR, more education of the public, new national logos, and more of everything else that has been tried by state societies for the last 40 years.  And some others (not land surveyors) will never be found advocating for those many new things that we as land surveyors should and could be doing, because we are suppose to know what we are about.  (And the others do not.)

    You will never find county boards, engineers, lawyers or any other profession advocating for new ways to involve land surveyors in serving the public in a far better way.  It needs to come from the land surveyors!  Do we have what it takes?

    I have also told my children that they are not entitled.  But how many land surveyors?adult children have chosen to follow what you or I have done?  How many 2nd generation families of surveyors are among our ranks?  Which state society of land surveyors in this country can even boast their rate of 2nd generation families of surveyors is even 5%?  Another indication we are on our way out.

    I simply think you and I, and all land surveyors are better than what they have thrown at us, which I have described as leftovers, pie crusts and bread crumbs.  And if that means legislation that accomplishes that, keeping in mind the public? interests must be served first, then I am strongly in favor of pursuing exactly that.

    And I refuse to accept the diagnosis that we are on life support and in need of reviving.  Although that is exactly what I believe, I cannot and will not accept it.

    You and I and all land surveyors are far better than that, and that does not mean we are entitled. It just means we should know far better than every other non surveyor what we all should and could be about.

    I conclude with the surveyor? poem from Ralph Riggs.

    Be sure to read to the end.

    A Surveyor? Poem

    Thought I would send this poem that my son wrote and if it is something that you feel would be of interest to your readers, feel free to use it. It was published in our state publication The Missouri Surveyor. My son patterned it after the famous ?o God Made a Farmer?poem by Paul Harvey. Ralph L. Riggs, PLS, CFedS, West Plains, MO

    So God Made a Surveyor

    and on the tenth day

    God looked down on his creation

    called paradise

    He said I need somebody to measure

    the land honestly

    So God made a surveyor

    God said I need someone who will

    wake up before dawn

    drive three hours to the boondocks

    work all day

    drive three hours back home

    put on some nice clothes

    go to church

    stay and talk to friends and family

    til 9:30

    go home

    help his children with their schoolwork

    til eleven

    go to bed

    get up the next day and do the same

    thing again

    So God made a surveyor

    God said I need somebody to

    fight gnats

    swat flies and mosquitoes

    trek through swamps and steep hills

    all the while watching for fire ants,

    wasps and bees

    also trying not to find copperheads,

    cottonmouths and alligators

    So God made a surveyor

    God said I need somebody who can

    hold a family together

    with simple kindness and words of

    wisdom from experience

    who will show his children manners

    and good conduct

    yet will let them know who is in charge

    of the house

    So God made a surveyor

    God said I need somebody who can

    settle differences

    between two landowners

    with justice and fairness

    God said I need somebody who won?

    cut corners

    go off line

    or ignore a landowner? wishes

    God said I need somebody who will

    measure straight

    respect the law and the surveyors who

    came before him

    and when the time comes

    defend what he knows is right

    So God made a surveyor

    God said I need somebody who will smile

    pull out his handkerchief

    wipe his eyes to hide his tears

    when his sons say

    they don? want to spend their lives

    doing what dad did

    So God made a surveyor

    ?egan Riggs

  8. In what I experience everyday and with what I read, land surveying is on life support and ?eeds to be revived.?nbsp; If we are talking a human body, that means near death.  If we are talking about a profession in need of reviving, then that means the profession is near death.  So with all due respect, what would be your solutions?  Or are you just planning on retiring and removing yourself as far from land surveying as possible?  (I have also had those thoughts, so this is with all due respect, but I feel I need to give back.)

    I don't necessarily disagree with you, I do think that forming an organization like you describe would be a monumental undertaking considering the situation.  Perhaps not impossible, but monumental.

    My solution, I do not have a single fix-all.  Of all the things we used to need a surveyor for, many of them no longer require experts.  We need to come to terms with that. Many of the other things you describe would be fixed by simply having fewer PLS's running around.  The supply is obviously too high in some areas (you can tell by the average salary).

  9. People will always need their boundaries surveyed.  This is a bedrock of our very society and economy.  Will it be us (surveyors) doing it?  Probably.

    You would think that a Torrens system, where people could walk out with their cell phones to a certain point would be just the thing.  Funny thing is, in WA, the Torrens system that was created never got going, and most people opted out, and those in it get out as soon as they can. And, nothing in law will  be able force people to decide the occupation limits between neighbors with a surveyor.  It has to be a value choice on their behalf.  Regulations don't make the chiropractor rich, you getting your bones cracked does.

    My point there is that the market will exist, but not perhaps at the current size.  Tech continues to shrink how many PLS's and crew we need, but reality says that the peculiar job we do will not be reduced to zero.

    My best solution is to not create new PLS's.  Do not encourage your kids to go into the field.  We have too many already.  But, some day in 30 years, that may not be the case.

    It is interesting to note, however, that we also have too many attorneys (really, we do).  Schools still churn them out.  But, good attorneys make lots of money, and that is the draw. For every successful attorney, there are 100 starving ones, but they still continue dreaming.

  10. I agree more formal education is absolutely necessary. But with a profession on its way out, how do you get schools/colleges to even begin to offer a new degree program? They know we are on our way out.

    BTW, I don't know if education is needed for what we currently do, and that is not just the symptom, but the core issue here.  Ideally, our profession would diverge, I believe.  Into expert geomatics, expert metrology, and expert boundary.  Kind of like an eye doctor is a real doctor, and knows about your whole body, but is specialized.  We can already think of areas that each could carve out as their niche, and how the public could benefit.

    I dream of a day when a boundary specialist-PLS in WA can go out, find a boundary issue, and actually fix the problem, without saying, "call your lawyer".  Can that happen without legislative changes?  No.  Would it happen without intense lobbying? No.  So, I agree with you that we should be interacting to improve the situation, and it will improve our opportunities.

  11. I am not using a chiropractor every week getting my bones cracked, so they can get rich.  Again it was just a fictional story.  I now use physical therapy.

  12. I think you and I are on the same page on this one, lawyers should not need to be called when there are boundary problems, as surveyors or their clients do now.  Surveyors should have expertise, training and education on how to solve 99% of what we are not solving now.  In my state the surveyor is given great latitude in replatting and solving problems.  It is hard working and getting paid by a single client when the problem is with your client and multiple neighbors of your client.

    This is why I am such an advocate for replatting. It is a great process and part and parcel of a new future for land surveyors.  Having done replatting extensively, I can say it works great, if the surveyor and his team in the field and office know how to deal with the public.  What is the replatting rate of parcels in my state for the last 15 years ?  0.007%

    If you have never done replatting as a surveyor, you are really missing out.  It takes everything Jeff Lucas has criticized about land surveyors and effectively silences his arguments.

  13. People will always need their boundaries surveyed.  This is a bedrock of our very society and economy.  Will it be us (surveyors) doing it?  Probably.

    You would think that a Torrens system, where people could walk out with their cell phones to a certain point would be just the thing.  Funny thing is, in WA, the Torrens system that was created never got going, and most people opted out, and those in it get out as soon as they can. And, nothing in law will  be able force people to decide the occupation limits between neighbors with a surveyor.  It has to be a value choice on their behalf.  Regulations don't make the chiropractor rich, you getting your bones cracked does.

    My point there is that the market will exist, but not perhaps at the current size.  Tech continues to shrink how many PLS's and crew we need, but reality says that the peculiar job we do will not be reduced to zero.

    My best solution is to not create new PLS's.  Do not encourage your kids to go into the field.  We have too many already.  But, some day in 30 years, that may not be the case.

    It is interesting to note, however, that we also have too many attorneys (really, we do).  Schools still churn them out.  But, good attorneys make lots of money, and that is the draw. For every successful attorney, there are 100 starving ones, but they still continue dreaming.

    I have been researching Torrens, obviously something that I do not have in my state.

    So why does it not work?  What specifically allows landowners to opt out?  I would hope that you, Wendell Harness, and Gavin Shrock will weigh in on this matter.  I think you all you should have some knowledge of Torrens in WA State, but more importantly why it does not work.

    In the very limited research that I have done, it is simple.  Lawyers do not like it because it will diminish their work.  I'm already starting to like this concept.

    From Wikipedia, 

    ?and ownership is transferred through registration of title instead of using deeds.?/i>

    ?e (Torrens) oversaw the introduction of the system in the face of often-vicious attack from his opponents, many of whom were lawyers, who feared loss of work in conveyancing because of the introduction of a simple scheme. The Torrens system was also a marked departure from the common law of real property and its further development has been characterized by the reluctance of common-law judges to accept it.?/i>

    So it? simple, and deeds are gone.  Which surveyor would not be in favor of this?  I think recorded, text-based deeds today in this day and age of modern technology and everything graphics is absolute INefficiency at its greatest.  The only thing text-based deeds provide for is the requirement not to have a surveyor? map or plat.  And if the deed is based upon a survey, the lawyer quickly discards the modern graphic, which is the surveyor? map or plat.

    If this is something we need to revisit with our friends, the lawyers, count me in!

    (I also have a special regard for the Australians, of which Torrens was one.  Some of the absolute best land surveying and mapping software has been developed in Australia, and I use it every day.)

  14. I have been researching Torrens, obviously something that I do not have in my state.

    So why does it not work?  What specifically allows landowners to opt out?  I would hope that you, Wendell Harness, and Gavin Shrock will weigh in on this matter.  I think you all you should have some knowledge of Torrens in WA State, but more importantly why it does not work.

    In the very limited research that I have done, it is simple.  Lawyers do not like it because it will diminish their work.  I'm already starting to like this concept.

    Here is a link that tries to describe the advantages and disadvantages.  I think the biggest hurdle is that it costs more to register land, and involuntary transfers are more complex. I am not sure how Torrens interacts with the existing laws regarding adverse possession, acquiesce, etc.

    Basically, it adds a level of complexity to any land transfer, I believe.  (And it is seems rational to surveyors, so it must be a bad idea.)

    http://www.americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/law_trends_news_practice_area_e_newsletter_home/torrenact.html

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