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Typical Day

Travis Tranzit crawls reluctantly out of bed, wishing he hadn't pushed the snooze alarm that last time. Now he'll have to speed up his shower and shave; although, come to think about it, he's only going to throw on an insulated jumpsuit and crawl around a job site. Who cares what he smells like? Travis just can't bring himself to skip the shower, so he rushes through the shave just a little too quickly. Now he's got a nice cut that will get him a few cracks at work. Well, at least he'll be clean.

After his shower, Travis throws on jeans and a t-shirt before slipping into his mummy-like, insulated jumpsuit. Today's survey site is smack in the middle of a cleared multi-acre construction site. There's no escape from the biting, January wind. Travis wishes he were running this construction job so he could wait for better survey weather...like July. However, he knows he's got to be there in half an hour, so he hops into his pickup and drives the five short miles to the job site.

Joey, his civil engineering technician, is already there. Unfortunately, Joey is goofing off with the construction foreman instead of doing his survey work. However, the sight of Travis trotting toward the duo lights a fire under Joey, and he quickly gets to work. You would think he'd want to get done and get out of the cold, Travis thinks as he shakes his head and hops back into his truck to warm up. He also makes a few notes on his tablet, which has proven to be ideal for field work.

Good thing this is a pretty straightforward planning and analysis job. Client is building a mega-warehouse and regional distribution center. There's a valid environmental impact statement, the cost estimates look good, and so far the dreaded red tape has been minimal. Travis just hopes nothing goes wrong with yesterday's soil test, although he won't have the results for a week or so.

Travis makes a mental note to surprise Joey with another visit right after lunch. Next, Travis heads downtown to his firm's office to analyze two more survey results. Good, no surprises, he thinks after viewing the first report. The commercial real estate agent was right on target with the parcel size. The second survey report, however, tells a different story. For some reason, the real estate agent has overstated the parcel size by almost a full acre compared to the recent survey figures. Travis can't speculate on the reason for the agent's error; however, he's got a call in to the guy now. That project is on hold until the glitch gets worked out.

Next, Travis turns his attention to the government regulations database that provides countless pages of guidelines and restrictions relating to building and infrastructure projects. Travis must somehow make sense of the legalese so he can plan another phase of the big transportation project his firm recently landed. He's a bit nervous about this one, as the scale and dollar amounts are much bigger than anything his firm has ever tackled. However, if they pull it off, the payoff will be huge.

Travis manages to spend almost two hours studying government regulations before he's fighting to stay awake. Man, this is excruciating, he thinks. How did these people write this stuff? Can't do any more of this right now...time for lunch. Travis heads to a nearby meat-and-potatoes diner that serves up a hot lunch at a ridiculously low price. He knows he shouldn't be chugging that turkey dinner with gravy and mashed potatoes, but right now it's cold and he wants comfort food. Travis refuses to feel guilty about it...let the food police come after him.

After Travis' stick-to-the-ribs lunch, he swings over to this morning's job site to check on Joey. Kid's hanging with the foreman again, Travis fumes. Common courtesy says he'll wait until they're back at the office, as he doesn't want to humiliate Joey in front of a client or other workers. However, the kid's got to learn there are consequences to slacking on the job. This is the real world. He'll probably dock Joey's pay, and he'll also put him on probation for three months. One more slip-up and he's gone. Travis has a stack of applications in his drawer right now, all candidates with the basic experience to train as a civil engineering tech. He doesn't have to tolerate dead wood on his work sites.

Okay, now Travis has calmed down after his anti-Joey rant. Good thing, too, since he has to prepare some Powerpoint slides for tonight's public hearing. Travis is scheduled to present two environmental impact statements, and he knows the nearby residents are already riled up over these projects. Guess he'd better analyze the reports again so he can answer the blizzard of questions he'll likely receive.

Travis also knows the public hearing will probably continue past its 8pm scheduled ending time. If he's going to get any dinner, he'd better get it before he goes over to the county's hearing room. Travis loads tonight's environmental impact statements, along with some site plans for a morning meeting, onto his tablet for review during dinner. Good thing his favorite meat-and-potatoes diner serves dinner, too. Travis' stomach is growling as he backs his truck out of his parking space. He's looking forward to a hearty dinner. It's going to be a long, long night.