Editor's Note

February 28, 2006
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I'm an "expert" daydreamer. I practice it frequently. Oftentimes, my thoughts involve the surveying profession. And oftentimes, they involve the betterment of the profession. Allow me to share with you one of my recent escapades of the subconscious:

I was sitting down for a business meeting in an outdoor setting with lush greens, a stunning water fountain and beautiful flowers (hey, if you're going to daydream, do it well!). There were a good number of men and women at this meeting-all professionals, some with higher education than others, but all with solid experience in the surveying profession of some kind-practical, administrative, sales. They were of various ages as well-a good mix. There existed a mutual camaraderie among us and a concentrated purpose to enhance the profession of surveying. We discussed many topics on our organized meeting agenda, including government initatives, the safety of employees in the profession, the prevention of equipment and software license theft, promotion of the profession, and educational services for the members of the organization and of the profession. We discussed the impressive headway we had made in the area of recruitment-how increasing numbers of students were aware of the profession and applying to and attending the numerous(!) schools that offered courses in surveying and mapping.

The profession was not overlooked by school guidance counselors and associations nor was it overlooked by major government agencies, much due to our promotional efforts. And we were not only noticed-we were acclaimed. Hits on were off the charts and the worry now was if there were enough instructors to teach the courses so sought by potential and current students. We were already establishing a plan for this "good dilemma" since such positions were increasing in pay and on the upswing toward a highly regarded status. Scholarships and mentoring programs were organized and used to their fullest.

We desired to reach out to the public, too, to enhance their understanding of our profession. Through press releases to local newspapers came articles. Mobile exhibits highlighted our work. Reenactment groups showcasing our rich history as well as demos of our present-day processes and technology were provided for large-numbered audiences.

The government was well-aware of our impact on the nation's land as well. Strong communication with congressmen and women supported the education about our profession necessary for our legislators to take action on surveying and mapping issues. It was getting easier to find sponsors willing to support our lobbying efforts.

The professionals at the meeting shared ideas and progress in defeating equipment theft-how the implementation of GPS tracking technology and registration of equipment in a nationwide registry was improving the situation greatly. Sales data was shared at the meeting with no hesitation; members realized the benefit of a surveying industry index for the profession. The group worked well with other organizations including international groups, sharing ideas and acting as allies. And not just one person did everything for this group. No sir. Everyone was involved-and happily.

The group itself was praised as well. It was active-and its members were active. There was no talk that membership wasn't worth it; members felt they got what they wanted and deserved for their dues. They got involved themselves because the organization "showed by example." And when it didn't (because after all, even in a daydream reality can strike), members were honest and spoke up until something was done. The members felt the organization had a commitment to its goals and followed through on initiatives. We couldn't do it all with our resources but we did well at those items we prioritized. We were involved and we made change. Heck, we even had an impressive website. Everything you could want on one site. It was clean and navigable. Chock-full of resources and contacts. And updated frequently.

We advertised. There was media representation in the industry publications both national and regional, at conferences and seminars, at the country's schools, and get this-even on the radio. There weren't a lot of radio spots but some. And they were effective. People knew who we were and what surveyors and mappers do.

It was a good meeting that day, and we all felt equally satisfied with our progress and confident we could handle our upcoming challenges with strength and conviction. Our members would support us, we knew that. We ended the meeting by thanking each other for our dedication and commitment-to each other, to the members, to the profession and to the public who benefited from our efforts. We set the schedule for the next meeting-in Barbados. (Anything is possible in a daydream.)

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