One possible reason why some companies lack the wisdom to hire geologists is that they are dominated by engineers who still subscribe to the old idea that engineers are self-sufficient in all fields. They could have learned this from their professors, I once knew a Dean of Engineering who got purple in the face when a faculty committee was discussing the financing of a broad gauged engineering project and suggestions were made that assistance be obtained from the Schools of Business and Law and from some of the science departments. He pounded the table and shouted “Engineers are trained to handle all this.”
In addition to commodity knowledge a company may employ an outside consultant because of his prior field work in an area where the geology is strange to members of the geology staff. If the area is in a foreign country, a consultant with experience in that country could be a big help. He not only may know something about the local geology, but he also can help with previously acquired knowledge of how to obtain exploration concessions, the legal statue of aliens, the names and locations of pertinent bureaus, surveys, and other government agencies, the names and addresses of local lawyers and geologists, and the character and restrictivity of mining and labor laws.
The consultant is employed under the assumption that he possesses competence, and the ability to work with little or no supervision. This is mutually advantageous; the employer benefits by having the burden of supervision removed. A few examples of the advantages of putting a free-wheeling geologist on a project follow.
On the nuts and bolts side, the outside consultant has not been steeped in company policy so he can feel free to pursue what he believes is the best way to get the job done. To me the seven day week is desirable where you are working 100 miles from the nearest store, or tavern, or what have you, with no connecting road. Therefore everyone worked on my coking coal project seven days a week for seven days pay instead of six and felt no pain, and no cabin fever developed during the seventh day.
It is recommended strongly that the employing company with a geological staff assign a younger geologist to the consultant to serve as field assistant and guardian angel. The assistant can learn a lot of geology, and modus operandi, from a man of experience. He may even learn how to prepare and present a report that will receive adequate consideration by management. There is quid pro quo in this arrangement; the senior not only will have companionship on the job, but he can learn from the junior about new ideas and techniques.