Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Creative alternative/optimal solution: how low can you go?????

A recent widely-distributed job ad:

"TRC, Inc., in Austin, Texas is offering a valuable opportunity to gain lab experience in the area of collections management, curational procedure, and deliverable preparation. This is an unpaid position, but will add indispensable skills for the successful candidate. In this time of economic instability and widespread layoffs, archaeological experience in the lab is an excellent way to improve your CV beyond the fieldwork stage. The position is relatively flexible and may be adapted to candidate's availability in both quantity and scheduling of hours.  We would like to fill this position as soon as possible."

Boys and Girls, this is how you make it in today's CRM climate. VOLUNFUCKINGTEERS??????!!!!!!! Are you shitting me??????
TRR - TRC Companies, Inc. (NYSE)
2.48 +0.02‎ (0.81%‎)  Oct 26 4:01pm ET
Open: 2.45
High: 2.48
Low: 2.44
Volume: 6,065
Avg Vol: 18,297,000
Mkt Cap: 48.75M

Yup, that's TRC, Inc.: according to their interwebs "A pioneer in groundbreaking scientific and engineering developments since the 1960s.... As one of the nation's leading cultural resource management firms, TRC has worked with a broad range of clients to identify and address vital cultural resource concerns, and has maintained long standing relationships with local, state and federal regulatory agencies....Our clients depend on TRC as a trusted adviser to design and implement solutions to their toughest challenges. Building upon our long history as expert problem-solvers, we excel in developing creative alternatives and implementing the optimal solution that meets or exceeds each client’s expectations."

But wait, there's more:
"Every day at TRC, we strive to solve the challenges of making the Earth a better place to live – community by community and project by project. As a member of the TRC family, you will be challenged, encouraged, and actively supported in your professional development [FOR FREE]. We work so hard to create a culture that develops the individual, encourages career progression, and rewards those
[FOR FREE] with a real determination to succeed."

"TRC seeks clear sustainable solutions that improve the quality of life. To achieve this goal, we rely on our associates, whom we value as partners with management and clients
[FOR FREE]. You will be encouraged to think outside the box and explore new technologies, ideas and business trends that contribute to their personal and professional development together with the Company’s goals and objectives."

Gulp...here's the good stuff....

"Every employee has an opportunity at TRC to grow and develop their career [WELL, NOT ALL OF THEM, CLEARLY]...Working at TRC Companies, Inc. is about more than just having a great job—it means you have the opportunity to flourish in an exciting, engaging environment. At the same time, we recognize that benefits play an important role in the lives of our employees and their families. That’s why our comprehensive benefits package is designed to give you peace of mind—providing important coverage for you and your family."

Need I mention TRC is responsible for that SHIT STAIN of a pipleine scar that crosses much of New Mexico and Arizona? Not to mention the rush-job that resulted in some DAMN FINE ARCHEOLOGY!!!!

Like it? Complaints here:

Key Contact:
Brian Thomas
Atlanta, GA
P: 770.270.1192

Key Contact:
Howard Higgins
Albuquerque, NM
P: 505.350.5217

Friday, October 15, 2010

ACRA survey rant and raves!

A few poignant comments (other wise known as the Rants and raves section) from members of the greater community of the American Cultural Resource Association. Great directions to start taking the profession:

Lobbying for revision of federal "best value" definitions. Best value encourages shoddy workmanship.

- who could have written that one?

Stress the importance of using stimulus money for planning level work, not just construction work. Planning work has a longer shelf life than an asphalt top coat!

- on the head!

Mid-size CRM firms were probably hit the hardest by the economic downturn (- yup! I agree! a few are probably going down).  ARRA funds were largely sole-sourced to large firms (- disagree, but perhaps), though there were significant opportunities that trickled down to smaller (-low-ball like yours truly) firms. ACRA needs to influence federal purchasers and procurement officers [that...] opportunities for small and mid-sized firms within this industry should not be limited to 8a or disadvantaged business set-asides.

- i guess they work a a mid-sized company with no federal work, huh?

Find a way to have ACRA members unite as professionals a la architects, CPA's etc. (- oh, la la!) - out in the West the low-ball bidding (- pretty sure I know who wrote this one) on federal contracts is a travesty - such behavior on the part of cultural resource consultants and the federal gov't is illegal and unethical if someone cared enough to look into the quality (lack of) of the consultant's work, the quality of the regulatory review, the adherence to federal guidelines for wage/hour/benefits and the use of hiring of field personnel as "sub-contractor's" instead of employees, etc.

- an american cultural resouce association of sorts? or perhaps, in AZ, and arizona archaeological council? Oh, wait, they already exist. Aint doing their jobs...

support republicans - democrats are obviously clueless

- ha ha! can't agree more. Except to say, support teabaggers instead.

Look at the issue of many Federal Agencies (and some state agencies too) going to Indefinite Delivery Contracts or IDIQs, where only one of two companies end up with all the work for 3 to 5 years. This cuts out work for all of the rest of the companies not successful in the bid process.

- yes, nothing like a fair market economy! Add on-calls to that list.

Standards for Field Technicians (BA minimum) along with appropriate salaries that reflect experience, education, and travel requirements. Right now, we are woefully behind the curve.

- Seriously. except, most tekkies have the BA (needed so firms can be service contrcat act exempt, of course), they're just paid like high school dropouts. Now, appropriate salaries and travel reimbursement are a must.

 we most directly benefited from ARRA in 2008 right around the time it was passed to get projects shovel ready. since then, the flood of ARRA money has slowed to a trickle, but is still helping keep us afloat because the state - AZ - has absolutely NO money for cultural resources.

- stupid Arizona. No, really, they're fucked over the border in the grand can state. i'm suprised this bloke manages to keep afloat. that'll dry up after this election cycle!

I am appalled at process for cell towers, which essentially produces a worthless document for our office to deal with.

- a SHPO is presume. we're all appalled. So, SHPO dude/ette, set some goddamn standards for submission.

And, finally, my favorite:

I don't know enough to answer this...

- neither do I. Douche.