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rinse your field specialists
#21
Sniper wrote

Quote:quote: I was the only one who was dressed (and sexed) differently

I think we have all missed the point here. I suspect a male counterpart in non-suited garb might have been more likely to have been listened to.

The discussion on clothing is interesting. For me 1man1desk is talking perfect sense on all the topics relating to this subject.
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#22
Superb! Evening everyone-this looks like its developing into a really interesting thread!1man1desk, Roy, accept and agree on most points.I must point out however that yes-there are some ego-inflated types on site but, overall, aforementioned sense of humour failures can be the norm for most "sane" and largely stable fieldies anyway! Tiz the job you knowBig Grin
I think it`s interesting that we still feel the need to apply certain clothing to certain contexts.That`s not really my point here-it is on another thread however.My main point here is that the general misconceptions (some would say dillusional behaviour) of the main players clouds the potential of a coherent and integrated approach required.Big Grin Not only that, it is also high time that field archaeologists are seen as specialists in their own field and not (as seems to be common)-the immature and ignorant labourers who do the sticky thing on the very end of a long process innitiated and orchestrated by the real(grown-up)professionals upstairs.Wink
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#23
Sniper, did you attempt to enter the discussion and get shouted down or ignored (a la those Fast Show sketches???) or wait to be asked?

Just wondered.

We owe the dead nothing but the truth.
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#24
Quote:quote:Originally posted by troll
My main point here is that the general misconceptions (some would say dillusional behaviour) of the main players clouds the potential of a coherent and integrated approach required.Big Grin Not only that, it is also high time that field archaeologists are seen as specialists in their own field and not (as seems to be common)-the immature and ignorant labourers who do the sticky thing on the very end of a long process innitiated and orchestrated by the real(grown-up)professionals upstairs.Wink

Coming from a multi-dicipliniary consultancy, with specialists ranging from ecologists, noise pollution, water pollution, air quality just within the environment team, never mind the landscape architects, engineers etc who all have inputs into the same projects, it is easy to see how difficult it is to pull together so many people for a project to obtain a common objective. You also get stuck into projects at higher up the scale, with management here dealing directly with the client (sometimes huge multinational companies) and planning conditions etc at their inception. Your perspective changes when you are in an environment like this. How could it do otherwise. The fieldork that archaeologists do, despite being very important in the discharge of planning conditions, is the end result of a long process of assessment and negotiation with the client, local curators etc etc. Sometimes a very long and exhaustive process. The "coherent and integrated approach" happens at a high level with varying degrees of success. It ain't easy with such large projects and people from all specialisms to have a perfectly planned approach. I doubt that exists. You're partially right Troll that people lack respect for archaeologists, but that's only because of weak and innefectual curators have long let developers walk all over them whilst ecologists and other specialists have taken a much more hard-nosed approach to dealing with clients, leading to much better prepared and integrated systems to provide for newt rescue etc

By the time a field team make it on to site, the consultant/engineer/agent (suit[8D]) just wants an efficient job to be done and feldwork to go smoothly to satisfy the relevant parties. He/she does regard the archaeologists on site as specialists....they just don't feel the need to hand out medals on site. They just want to get the fieldwork out of the way with the minimum of fuss. Why should field archaeologists be treated like royalty or with any difference to other contractors on site (chippies, brickies, electricians, builders, geotech people). Those are all jobs with varying amounts of skill which take years to become good at. Their skills are just more at a premium because of demand, hence their better wages.

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#25
Quote:quote:By the time a field team make it on to site, the consultant/engineer/agent (suit) just wants an efficient job to be done and feldwork to go smoothly to satisfy the relevant parties. He/she does regard the archaeologists on site as specialists....they just don't feel the need to hand out medals on site. They just want to get the fieldwork out of the way with the minimum of fuss. Why should field archaeologists be treated like royalty or with any difference to other contractors on site (chippies, brickies, electricians, builders, geotech people). Those are all jobs with varying amounts of skill which take years to become good at. Their skills are just more at a premium because of demand, hence their better wages.

I know this is true of the more clued up developers, but there still exist the types that expect the archs to roll up in a camper van and go about the job in a relaxed dilletante fashion costing the developer far more than he bargained for.

To our shame we occasionally oblige.
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#26
Evening Roy. I also worked in a very similar multi-disciplinary environment.I`m not remotely interested in medals or indeed-being treated like royalty.You make one clear point-without the field archaeology the conditions are not met.It seems to me that whilst your good self and your colleagues enjoy a career with appropriate remuneration and benefits taboot, the field specialists are expected to put up with 2oo a week, absolutely no benefits, accept lowest level membership of Institutes and for me the worst of all...we have to put up with the end results of your "exhaustive process". Whilst a client may be only too happy to see 800-1000 a day as good value for money when paying consultants, the archaeology on the ground is in no way treated to such pampering. Quite simply, money is made and exchanges hands in the build up to the main event but when it actually happens- all the soddin compromises land on the trenches.Very similar to the way that Iraqs debt is bought and sold and massive profits made before the job is done.Huge business is generated in archaeology-its a national shame that the archaeology itself (the entire point of the whole exercise) is then carried out on a shoestring budget.Make lots of profit-stuff the finite resource.
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#27
Quote:quote:Originally posted by troll

It seems to me that whilst your good self and your colleagues enjoy a career with appropriate remuneration and benefits taboot, the field specialists are expected to put up with 2oo a week, absolutely no benefits, accept lowest level membership of Institutes and for me the worst of all...we have to put up with the end results of your "exhaustive process". Whilst a client may be only too happy to see 800-1000 a day as good value for money when paying consultants, the archaeology on the ground is in no way treated to such pampering. Quite simply, money is made and exchanges hands in the build up to the main event but when it actually happens- all the soddin compromises land on the trenches.Very similar to the way that Iraqs debt is bought and sold and massive profits made before the job is done.Huge business is generated in archaeology-its a national shame that the archaeology itself (the entire point of the whole exercise) is then carried out on a shoestring budget.Make lots of profit-stuff the finite resource.

Right, well, where do I start.

Firstly, it happens to be consultants who are in a position to flag up archaeological work within large corporations, and manage to inform managers and the client so that it's treated appropriately. As a result of archaeologists being brought into consultancies, we have become responsible for providing field units with a lot of work, so it's a shame you have to "put up with" this when we're putting employment your way.

The "compromises" you refer to mean to me that a level of negotiation has taken place with the curator to establish a practical level of mitigation for the archaeology, at good value to the client. Although the archaeology is important, it is of moral and professional importance that good value is achieved for the client. This is what consultancy is all about. With field units capable of ripping people off just as much as in other professions, we have a duty to protect the clients interests. Ultimately, justice is done for the archaeology if the local curator sticks to his guns and demands that things are done properly. When poor compromises are made which prejudices the appropriate level of mitigation, this is as often as not the curators fault for not being tough enough with the developer and/or their consultant. I've been aware of many occasions when curators have been railroaded. I know curators who are not tough enough. Similarly, it is the responsibility of contractors to put in proper bids for work and not keep putting in ridiculously low prices for jobs. Ultimately it's the field units who put in the prices.

The aim of my company is not to do the job at the cheapest price, but to do a good quality job that manages to satisy the planning conditions whilst not charging the client massive amounts of money. i have not felt that I have had to compromise my professional ethics just because I'm a consultant (and I like to think I care about archaeology and that justice is done to the finite resource).

You have also made assumptions about my pay level and benefits which are wide of the mark. Despite the fact I get marginally more than what I was on as a field archaeologist, the range of benefits I had when working for my local authority were far superior (more annual leave, superannuation, along with better maternity and paternity leave deals)than what I get now which is statutory bare minimum private sector standard. I'm working in consultancy because I fancied a change and the prospects, long term, were much better. To this day I've never been as well off as when I was a digger being housed in paid-for or subsidised accomodation, sometimes (OA) with a level of expenses paid for by the company employing me.

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