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Air on a purse string

Letters

Yesterday my son flew to the far east for his company - business class, of course.

Tomorrow I fly to the far east for my company - economy class, of course.

Embarrassing as that may sound, consider that I have a good honours degree in civil engineering and have worked over 35 years for one of the world's foremost firms of consulting civil engineers.

By comparison my son failed his exams in civil engineering at Bristol University and started work in the offices of his employer, Lucent Technologies, in a relatively menial position.

Since then his abilities have been recognised and rewarded in a far more tangible way than if he had succeeded in civil engineering.

How long have we debated the status of civil engineers and to what effect- As I recall, it was in the early 1970s that I saw the cartoon of a civil engineer complaining to his employers that the supermarket would not cash his pay cheque made out to 'Job Satisfaction'.

If anything, the status of civil engineers is getting worse. As for job satisfaction, what satisfaction is there in being cramped for over 12 hours at the back end of an aircraft?

Mike Tordoff, principal engineer, TordoffMA@halcrow. com

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