21 October 2009

The Amazing Disappearing Geotechs

Obligatory preamble: long time no post, busy real life, kicking blog in nuts, etc.

The other day at work I sent some requests for quotes to three geotechnical consultants for a pedestrian bridge job we're doing. Sometimes we just send out the letters to the companies as a whole and start with "Dear Sir/Madam:" but that's always very unsatisfying and we hate doing that. So we went the extra mile and dug up our company contact lists and found the names of the person at each company who actually runs the geotechnical investigations (two men and a woman). Very nice job, I thought.

So I followed up with the contacts at the three geotech consultants two days later to make sure they received the letters and found that man #1 no longer works at his company. Great. So I have to track down the replacement new guy.

So I checked man #2 at the second consultant's office, and it turns out he's away from the office until the day before the quote is due. Fantastic timing, eh? So I have to pester some people until I find the name of the guy who'll be taking over for the job, some Bob guy (not his real name). So I send him an email saying, "Hey Bob, I hear you're taking over for man #2 while he's gone, etc..." I get a reply from him, and "Bob" is actually Dr. Bob, company president. Hmm, maybe a little more formal, respectful tone would have been helpful.

So on to woman #1 at the last consultant's office. Guess what: she's away from the office, too. Strangely, she's away also until exactly the day before the quote is due, just like man #2. Hmmm. I wonder, is there a secret cross-consultant illicit geotech affair going on? (Nah, probably just a geotech conference or coincidental vacations or something, but this is funnier.) Anyway, I had to track down yet another replacement person.

Geotech consultants aren't exactly making my life easy.



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