Sunday, January 28, 2007

Enjoy the silence

I arose at 6:30 this morning when Guy got up to go snowboarding, polished off a bagel with peanut butter while flipping through the Sunday paper, and finally got over to the office an hour later. Thankfully, blissfully, almost delightfully, no one was here but the cleaning guy and me. I sat down to my computer, worked on fitting ten pounds of hospital departments in a five-pound existing building, and tried to stay out of the cleaning guy's way. Four hours later, I got to a stopping point and feel better about going home now.

(Just now, someone walked in and proceeded upstairs; I remain unnoticed. Praise God. Only one other person here at my office knows I'm doing this blog, and I intend to keep it that way. It allows me more freedom to kvetch as well as dissect and expose just exactly what it is architects do. My professional aspirations keep me on the radar in the office, but my personal intentions keep this blog covert.)

I complained earlier about working overtime. When I have to do it, I prefer the weekend over an early weekday morning or late night. As I've aged (aged? yeah, I'm the ancient age of 31), I've found that I can only work about 9 hours a day and still produce quality work with my head on straight. I also learned while working on Wheatlands that if one must answer phones from contractors and clients while also producing documents and drawings simultaneously, one task or the other will suffer. In order to make phone calls when other people were actually in their offices, I found that using the weekends to complete drawings was indeed the most efficient use of my time. I've gotten consensus from my fellow interns and young architects that an hour on the weekend is worth 1.5 or 2 hours during the week in terms of productivity. Today, for example, I only spent four hours drawing, but I know from the past few weeks that it would have taken me at least one full business day to do what I did this morning, what with answering the phones for Wheatlands plus having to trade phone calls with the other folks on Pomme de Terre's project team.

So I work weekends now and then, but I like the quiet and solitude of listening to NPR on my computer while slamming through these plans. Now it's off to the grocery store, then home to take a nap with a cat on my head.


faded said...

During my time in the biz I found that I could get "in the zone" and turn out work. If I was interrupted I would loose momentum.

I was one of the first Autocad drafters. The process of drafting with Autocad became second nature.

If I had a day of wall sections, roof details and like, I would decide how I wanted to create the details and then I would draw. If I was left uninterrupted for several hours I would be working and I would dream as I was working.

The detailing had become a motor skill and I did not have to pay attention so I would dream while I was awake and drafting. The work was always correct and turned out quickly and I was not there. It was wonderful.

Interruptions could be a real kick in the head sometimes.

Miss Kitty said...

"ten pounds of hospital departments in a five-pound existing building"

For those of you who've never heard the old Southern phrase on which this is based: "It's like putting ten pounds of shit in a five-pound sack."

Hilarious, MHP!

faded said...

Where I am from, 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag was called a blivit.