The Scout motto is “Be Prepared”. I think that is excellent advice for landmen to follow as well. There is nothing worse than an independent landman that doesn’t have the tools to do the job. My former project manager used to equate it to a painter showing up to paint your house, but forgetting his/her paintbrush. How ridiculous would that be? Don’t make the same mistake. At a minimum you need to have the following on hand during working hours: a reliable car, a working laptop, a good internet connection, hotspot, smart phone, printer, scanner and Adobe Acrobat. Basically, you should have everything with you that you need to do your job and answer any questions that come up while you are out in the field. If anything breaks or if it doesn’t function properly for some reason, it is your reponsibility to fix it or find an alternative solution as quickly as possible (especially since repairing equipment is non-billable time). We have all been there and had to deal with technological problems at one point or another, but it should never be an excuse as to why your work isn’t done. Believe me, I have had my fair share of issues come up over the years, and I have dealt with them accordingly. I have had to use my old laptop from law school in order to access a program that wouldn’t work on my Mac (I can’t believe it still functioned!), rent a car while mine was being repaired so that I could attend a meeting, and print things at FedEx and at the library when traveling out of town. There are a lot of creative solutions that you can come up with if you try.
By the way, speaking of libraries, many offer resources that may be helpful in these types of situations. Obviously, each library varies, but the one by my house, for example, in addition to books, offers the in-library use of computers, printing, Wi-Fi, and an Ancestry.com account, as well as the option to check out mobile hotspots. Pretty cool if you ask me! Obviously, if you need to go that route for a day or two (if you are having an ongoing problem, you really need to find a more long-term solution), make sure that you are not compromising any confidential information.