Historically the definition of staunch independence, surveyors are in actuality a rather amiable and cooperative lot. Who knew?

Well, of course, y’all did. And that’s the best part of the shtick, right?

The reality that even the most solo of surveyors is more than happy to work with professional colleagues has been a recurring theme in our pages in recent months. A Licensed Surveyor in Virginia, Carl Correll summed it up nicely in his Solo Notes discussion last month with our associate editor Valerie King: “I don’t like ‘competitors,’ ” he said, explaining that he’s more than happy to pass along a job if it just isn’t right for him. “In my area especially, we’re all really good friends. We’re not bidding against each other. We’re really trying to get the job to the best group that can handle it.”

Well put, Mr. Correll.

This attitude was nicely driven home for us during an unexpected encounter in downtown Toledo, Ohio.

In support of our good friend Joe Fenicle, PS, a true professional leader who happens to have a very cool guest column on Page 28 of this issue, we had slipped down to Toledo to deliver some complementary POB products in advance of a seminar for surveyors. Afterward, not having any change to get out of the parking lot across the street from the gorgeous Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, and more importantly not having had lunch yet, I wandered into the lobby of a dusty ol’ office building to discover a gem of a breakfast and lunch counter called Saints and Sinners. Not sure which is which, but the young guys working hard there to make a go of it were just about done for the day when I stumbled in.

Regardless, they came up with the absolutely best Reuben I have ever had … and topped it off with malt vinegar for the fries on the side. It’s true, you find the real gems where you least expect it.

The best part of the story is most certainly not my appetite, though.

As I was head down into my sandwich, the establishment’s young owner leaned over to ask me if everything was OK. It was much more than OK, I replied, and then we sparked up a conversation about business.

He explained that it has its ups and downs, but then humbly added that he’s living out a dream by having his own place. He then, in the true spirit of working together, more enthusiastically explained how all the meat he uses comes from a neighborhood market that he has known about since he was a little kid. If he ever got his own restaurant, he said, he had always vowed to use this local market’s products. He then reached over to a stack of business cards, grabbed one and pushed it along to me. “Anytime you need meat, you have to go to Milo’s Food Market.”

Now, that was truly impressive. Here’s a young guy who, in the face of his own business challenges, was still more interested in supporting a fellow small business person.

I don’t know if I will ever be in the market for meat in Toledo, but I do know there are good people out there willing to help each other succeed … and that fills me up any day.

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