There is a madness out there as the search for a senior tailings/geotechnical engineer heats up. Two emails on the topic today. The first promises the job noted below this paragraph. Click on it and you go to Linkedin. As I am not linked-in, I could not access the site to find out more.
The friend who sent this to me did give this potential contact information:
Checking out the site, I find an impressive London company. Must cost a fortune to maintain such a site.
At supper, I tried to persuade my son-in-law to take the job. He is forty, has fifteen years as a geotechnical engineer, and in spite of no mining experience, he could easily catch up. But he said no: “It is cold in Canada. Why should I leave southern California where it is nice and warm?”
The Arizona university professor with whom I supped on Saturday said: “None of my civil and geotechnical engineering students can get jobs on graduation; but they will not leave Arizona, which they believe is their birth-right as a nice place to live.”
You see, the point is that young Americans will not work in the fields, preferring to leave that to Mexicans. They will not move, preferring to leave that to losers. They will not go mining as it involves places that are extremely cold or hot. They prefer to vote against the system and blame the president. It is not only the old who are Tea Party members. We have bred a generation of spoilt kids who believe it is their birth-right to live in the nice places we got to after many a move and much personal discomfort.
At the other end of the job scale I got an email that describes the person they are looking for in these terms. I do no editing, but present it as it arrived in my in-box. Personally I would avoid such a job if the people looking drop capitals, torture grammar, and disdain the hyphen. Still with a job pot of $150K up, they probably care little for such delicate points of presentation.
Looking for a Mining director for a national consulting firm. Company making a strong push to grow mining sector practice. has an office in Calgary and position can be based out of there other Canadian locations. Need solid 15 years plus in experience. Supporting mining clients in addressing their planning, design, operations and closure challenges. Specific focus will be on leading our mining geotechnical and engineering practice and growing our tailings management service portfolio. This senior level position will be a key member of our mining sector leadership team and will function in close collaboration with both our client managers and technical experts within this high growth market sector. Strong technical collaboration will be required with a multi-disciplinary team of experts involved with hydrogeology, hydrology, geochemistry, site civil, water management and treatment, ecological protection and restoration, planning and permitting and other key mining related disciplines. The technical focus of this position will be the application of soil & rock mechanics for mine infrastructure systems such as waste rock dumps, tailings storage facilities, waste containment systems (e.g., ponds, slurry walls, biowalls, deep soil mix walls), and soil cover systems. Reclamation earthworks will be another key focus. base salary in the 150K to 200K base range.
I will pass your email on if you want to know more about this job.
Fact is that I know of nobody who would fit either bill. Most of my friends who could do this have already established their own consulting practices and have no need to do it for somebody else. Plus they have no need to move to distant places, even for large jobs.
The problem is that they are seeking a 40-year old genius. Problem is the last fifteen years have been brutal in the mining industry and those with ability fled long ago and the forty-years olds do not now have fifteen years experience in the skills that are wanted.
The survivors are the old farts like me, who did other things when the industry tanked. Now we come back with lots of skill and no desire to get out of the way for fifteen-year kids.
Maybe such folk are out there. I know of many forty-year olds of enormous talent, but they are all taken up and not about to move to a job in Calgary. Indeed there is one I know who is already in Calgary but, working for an oil company, he gets way more for far less pressure.
Seems like the only way out of this skills shortage is to lower expectations or pay us oldies more for less work. Or for the Chinese to abort their economy. Or for South Africa to nationalize the mines so we can mop up those who flee.
Or we will have to shock our young into the facts that we faced: jobs evaporate, you have to move, you have to do work you would rather not, you have to earn a salary, not protest. Recall we were the immigrants and we did whatever was necessary to survive. If our kids do not, then other immigrants, legal and illegal, will come and do it, just as we did. I have no sympathy for the daughter of a friend whose marriage is failing and my friend, grown rich on mining, sees the only solution to her problems as a long trip to Berlin and Paris. That crazy indulgence, epitomizes current ills: the children of rich parents who vote Republican, send their kids to Berlin to help them get over a failed marriage. No wonder the times are out of joint.
On which point, said mining father having sent his daughter to Berlin complained about excessive government regulation. I reminded him that he is under-water on his house in southern Orange County, on the apartment in Newport Beach, and underwater on the apartment he bought for that daughter in West Hollywood. I reminded him that his banking buddies lent him the money and earned nice fees on the loans. Now he is underwater and cannot blame Obama for a nasty financial situation set up by his optimism and the greed of his banking friends.
He retorted: “You are always the pessimist, the crazy liberal, the economic conservative who saved instead of spending, and now you are a Canadian.” So be it.