Tag Archives: sewerage

Spring Sprung, So I'll Write To Ravi

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This Is Not Ravi
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Date: Fri Apr 24, 1998 5:25:31 PM

Hey Ravi, been extremely busy this spring with painting and cleaning, essays and professional responsibilities. Just wanted to zip off a short note to let you know I still count you among those two dozen or so in my E-mail loop.

How is the climate there right now? Do you live in a beautiful part of your city, or quite near the slums? The latter is truest in my case. Drug dealers hang around the alleys and gunshots are occasionally heard. Litter, paper, broken glass, ugly grafitti is everywhere, but I do my best to carve a bit of paradise out for myself here in DC with our own home, a two story brick rowhouse with basement. We are not minimalists in terms of materialism, but we do pick and choose our delights.

We drive an old 1989 Dodge Caravan. As you know, in America, the car is the soul of the personality, but we dare not invest in expensive automoblies in our neighborhood. Car theft is big business in urban areas. My personal library is rather extensive for poor white trash like myself, but aspirations to write that definitive novel of our times still urges me forward, even as I continue to procrastinate.

With a mechanical engineering degree, Ravi, what area of business do you intend to exploit? I spent ten years in the civil engineering field, have I told you this already? I forget. I worked for several different firms, ranging in specialities from sewerage & water disposal systems, and new home construction from the ground up, meaning clearing, grading for roads and layout, pipelines, and property corners. I retired from that particular endeavor in 1990 with the advent of the Macintosh computer. I wanted to write, and now here I am, a web designer, an unpublished novelist and poet, but plunging right ahead day by day.

So...

Gabriel

First Glimpse At Weideman & Singleton Engineering

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Topographic Survey with electronic distance meter
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Date: Fri Mar 20 11:29:10 1998

Attached is a local DC web competitor's pricing schedule, Peter, cheap in some areas, high in others, but that's how the game is played. Learned this when working for Weideman & Singleton Engineering in Atlanta, 1789 Peachtree St., NW, established in 1905, oh how the memory works; I still can't remember where you work, or any of my more recent addresses in the field—when tabulating multimillion dollar construction bids.

Each company decided for itself where to stick high values and low values in different areas of the bid, say, low in rock excavation and high in manhole depth footage, or the reverse, and perhaps, low per foot rates in clay pipe laid but high in gravel bedding for that same pipe. Depending on the unexpected conditions of the job, a company could go bankrupt (in three and a half years at W&S I witnessed a few who did, who suddenly were bounced to sub-contractor status rather than rootin' tooting' general contractors in the big scheme of things, having lost their bond rating) if they put no money in rock excavation, say, in digging out the pipeline over the course of the 10 mile job they suddenly hit an underground vein of previously unsuspected rock, the same for gravel bedding for the pipe in other circumstances. If rainy season roared in requiring much gravel or swampland required much more gravel to be poured into the trench for longer lengths than expected, a company could get rich or lose its shirt depending on how it had structured its bid, which had been accepted out of all the competing bids on a bottomline low bid, but structured individually, a la carte so to speak, based on that company honcho's intuitions after walking the job and reading the specs as presented by our firm who represented the county and city municipalities which were upgrading their sewerage or water pipeline system.

Just thought I'd take a shot here at describing some wonderful business experiences I've never forgotten from my early days when still in my late but married teens.

In the case of GSIS prices, the high-low game is still in place. We offer compatible set-up rates, lowball monthly server fees, and higher training fees. Evens out.

GT