News & Press: News


Monday, November 27, 2017   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Steven P. Douty, L.S.
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On the day before Thanksgiving I got an email from a surveyor I respect and consider a friend. The email contained the following for consideration; Attached is a plat and deed description for same. The issue ..... what is the boundary between corners 3 and 4?”.

I felt honored to be asked and thrilled that I would have something to occupy myself over a holiday that it is fraught with the dangers of interacting with relatives.  Maybe all the “friend” wanted was my opinion so that he could be comfortable in his choice that anything except what I said had to be correct.  Nonetheless, I was excited.

I studied the attachments and sent him my answer with all of the standard caveats.  I also forwarded the question to two other licensed surveyors whose opinions I value and respect.

Over the next three days cyberspace was alive with observations, questions, court precedence, standard practice, etc.  One of our group was communicating from a deer stand, one from a thousand miles from home, and two of us just looking for relief from the in-laws.  We were of different age, career paths, and professional heritage.  During the conversation each member of the group made observations and contributions that the others had not considered.  At the end of the long weekend I believe the group arrived at a consensus.  The client of the originator of the question will have the benefit of more than 150 years of surveying experience.  A decision can now be made without fear of endangering the E&O premium.

Most of all; I sincerely believe that everyone who participated felt like they were part of a family of friends, we all learned something, we had fun, and we got our money’s worth.

The point of this ramble is, that membership in organizations like the Virginia Association of Surveyors is not about the return on investment that can be accounted in a spreadsheet.  We get friendship, enjoyment that comes from sharing, the professional security of peer review, and an opportunity to smile when we meet with our larger brotherhood/sisterhood (tribe).  Our clients get thousands of dollars of free professional advice and a superior product.  Those feelings, and benefits can’t be bought, or measured by an accountant.  

Join, renew your membership, come to the meetings, and most of all have fun.


Stephen C. Letchford says...
Posted Friday, December 1, 2017
Well said Steve........ it is very often hard to express many of the "intangibles" that come as a benefit to membership. Yes our fee to each member is more than one good meal at a regular chain eatery, but is that all a complaining surveyor thinks there membership is worth....! I would also add that every surveyor (member or non member) should turn up to a chapter meeting once in a while, meet those who work in your region, get involved and draw on the friendships that are there in abundance. That way if they are ever faced with something that they are not familiar with they have the "value" of knowing your friends and colleagues are there to share their years of experience willingly. Nice article my friend.....look forward to sharing some "good grog" around a camp fire sometime very soon !