Wednesday, October 28, 2015

more documentation woes

It's been a while since I complained about documentation (see here), so here goes...

Sometimes the form just doesn't contain everything you need to say, or you drop it in a puddle, or you've been poking at a clay-rich mud while logging a sample and you smear it across the paper as you write. So you put the other half of the data on the back of the logsheet, or squash it vertically down the edge of the page.

That's ok. Your critical information is there somewhere, right?

Well, what often happens is that the dirty page gets shuffled in with all the other paperwork bits associated with the project and handed off to an intern to scan and then everybody forgets about it and the originals get lost. And then six months or a year later, I'm writing the report and need that critical information and it's gone because the scanner didn't catch the far edge of the page or nobody noticed the writing on the back.

Take the two minutes out of your life before the paperwork leaves your control to check this stuff and make sure that everything is filled out and legible. Or make sure that it's scanned and that it's still legible. Or refrain from shredding the original paperwork until the project's done. Whatever. Just don't leave me out to dry here!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

wild conferences?

I was comparing conference notes with a marketing person within the environmental industry, and boy, did he have different conference experiences from me. Mr. Marketing was all about the sort of conferences where contractors are playing matchmaker with each other and angling for clients, and they (used to?) turn into booze-soaked parties.

I... haven't experienced that. I go to scientific, boring conferences where grad students and industry tech people compare notes about new research and techniques, and then we load up on passed appetizers and drink beer. Maybe those scientific conferences do turn into wild bacchanals after hours/elsewhere, and I just wasn't invited?

So I don't have any wild and crazy geology/environmental conference stories. Are they out there, or did they go out of style with the big christmas party blowouts in the 80s?