When I visit the family in the old country, many of our conversations start with “the problem is….”. No matter the topic, they love to talk about all the difficulties that the world has in solving the issues around us, whether that be societal, political, social, or any other topic other than “fussball.” The debates are endless as the participants recharge with coffee and strudel to fuel the next round finding more problems.
Sometimes I think that our (slightly aging) profession does this a bit as well. We Geos are really skilled at identifying and describing the problems that exist with our geo environment and associated construction industries. Our leaders have seen it all, or, rather, know that they haven’t, and we douse our proposed solutions with an appropriately large helping of “the problem is” hot sauce designed to keep the lawyers at bay and reputations intact. We then meet at the coffee pot to identify all the causes of our problems – unreasonable owners, short budgets, unreasonably demanding schedules, shortages of available talent…the old country list goes on.