The Mistaken Man

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The story by Viola Roseboro titled “The Mistaken Man” depicts a tale of the president of a road development company and a civil engineer who together build a bridge over a small town creek. Ten years later the bridge collapsed killing all but a few of the town’s children. The following paper will show how “The Mistaken Man” accurately describes an engineer’s ethical responsibilities regarding his or her design work. Early in the story, Roseboro tells of a man named Carson who was the president of C.Q.&P. road. Carson’s desire was to build a road which had to cross over a creek near Tolleytown, meaning he had to solicit the services of a civil engineer named Peyton. Peyton was a quiet, capable engineer but he had never taken on a job of this magnitude before. “….but he did want to build that bridge -- it was a bigger thing than he’d ever bossed before. He got the job, he built the bridge, only he didn’t quite boss the business after all.” This quote suggests that Peyton was possibly not ready for such a large project and that his experience level was not adequate for the task. In the Code of Ethics, section 2.1, it says that “A profession renders services based upon advanced knowledge, skill and judgment, which the public takes on trust.” This is reiterated in section 3.2 where it is says “Professional engineers … shall undertake only work that they are competent to perform by virtue of their training and experience.” From this section of the story, Viola Roseboro is able to capture the ethical importance of being suitably qualified to take on any given job, especially when the public trusts your judgement and skill. Shortly after, Roseboro writes how Peyton wants to make the bridge using caissons but Carson does not have the patience and decides to use piles instead. She writes that “(Peyton) wanted caissons, and he got piles. President Carson couldn’t

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