Point of Beginning

Offsets: Surveying psychiatry.

October 28, 2002


In my constant search for a new product or service to provide to the surveying profession, I have landed on a really great idea: surveying psychiatry. This is not just your average doctor who prescribes Prozac or puts you in the funny farm. I’m talking about a highly trained expert on the intricacies, even the travesties, of the surveying profession’s psyche.

On the surface, it might seem simple to treat the common ailments of the surveying profession. But there are deep underlying “issues” that surveyors have. This new medical service will specialize in counseling and treating all of these mental ailments. I have already seen a few patients so I could familiarize myself with the trends.

For instance, what do you suppose lies at the base of one’s desire to even be a surveyor? The BIG PAY? The stature achieved from the community? Respect from architects? No, none of these! It lies in a deep desire to work in the outdoors and to never have to deal with another human being. This grossly anti-social behavior is rumored to be closely tied to the parental upbringing of a child.

The modern trend of blaming parents for everything wrong with the child actually originated with surveyors in the 10th century B.C. while working on the pyramids. These guys realized something was very wrong with them. It wasn’t that one eye was open wider than the other or their strange habit of kicking every rock in sight. They knew their behavior was either genetic or a result of poor parenting. Egyptian physicians back then observed that such disorders require the releasing of… the “inner surveyor.”

Commonly called the “rugged individualist within,” most children grow out of this disorder with a minimal amount of parental guidance, such as making them take a bath. Those few who have to deal with the “rugged individualist within” in adulthood were generally raised by wolves and have never been house-broken. They often leave a trail of mud through the office leading to the surveying department.

Another important service of this new breed of doctors is to help evaluate dreams. Certain recurring themes in dreams are tied to the surveying profession. In particular, the dream of “finding the corner” indicates one’s desire to be a hero and save the day. A dream of holding a plumb bob in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a telltale sign of a perfectionist. One surveyor reported a dream of actually making a profit on a boundary survey. Unfortunately, such fantasies resulted in him being institutionalized and subjected to electric shock therapy.

Another surveyor dreamed she was filthy rich and living in a mansion. The textbook I read said it was a prediction that she would someday sell her soul to the devil and become an attorney. Think of how we could help people avert horrendous career moves in their lives with the proper counseling!

Finally, as a psychiatrist specializing in the surveying profession, I would want to establish a place to send surveyors who are “troubled.” The grounds would be lavishly landscaped in every type of briar, thorn and cactus possible. And the entire property would be home to hundreds of snakes, billions of ticks and dozens of other creepy-crawly type creatures. It would be called “The Field.” This provides a way to know if your surveyor is a “troubled” one; if when he comes into the office he says, “I’ve been to the field,” you’ll know!

The standard therapy would be to send them out with an incomplete set of notes, a set of deeds that do not match or a chain with a couple of “patches” in it. They would be told to find the corner or they would not eat that night. For the techno guys, they would have to do some underground tunnel work—with GPS only. This would help reinforce their surveying skills, while also helping them appreciate the beautiful natural setting. What therapy!

For those who are totally resistant to therapy, the only options remaining are heavy doses of drugs, a frontal lobotomy or a room full of realtors arguing about why a survey should only be $100. Either way, they would soon quiet down realizing they have it made out there in the real world.

So, if you are having “issues” call “The Field” at 1-800-SRVYNUTS. We’re here to help.