Specifiers Under Gag Order!

Well, did you do your homework? Did you visit the discussion forum at www.4specs.com? Let's look at some of the complaints we see there and elsewhere.

We need a specifiers' forum

O.K. - just what would that be? How can specifiers communicate with each other? How about an annual gathering where we could get together and talk shop? Oh, that's right, we have a convention. All right then, maybe something more regional or local, and…how about this - monthly meetings? Oops, got those, too. How about a monthly magazine! Hmm, we get that already, along with chapter newsletters.

I've got it - a website with a forum, and a directory of members, and information to help with our local activities, and certification study guides and, and - what? Oh - we have that, too?

What, exactly, are we looking for? Sadly, the answer appears to be that we want someone else to do all of the arranging, to make sure that everything works with our schedules, and certainly to do all of this without any effort on our part. Is it too much trouble to call or send e-mail to other specifiers without help from Institute? We used to get along pretty well on our own, using antiquated things like typed or handwritten letters, and later with telephones.

Many chapters have specifiers' meetings, and they have been having them for years on their own initiative. The discussion forum at 4specs.com, done without any help from Institute, is doing quite well, thank you, and many chapters seem to be able to host a variety of special events for specification writers.

In CSI's early years, members worked together to create many standards for preparing, organizing, and using construction documents, and to write and review specifications, and they did it without e-mail or cheap long distance phone rates. Members met locally, chapters met within regions, and eventually they began meeting at national conventions. And - with the exception of the national convention - they managed to do this pretty much on their own, with little or no help from Institute.

© 2003 Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA

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Material from CSI Chapter newsletters used with permission.