Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hell yeah.

Ther's no other way to describe seeing an entire small town turn out to the ribbon cutting of a building you've worked on and bled over and stayed up for and missed eight months of weekends for and worried about and watched go up column by metal stud by sheet of drywall by light fixture by carpet roll. I've been on Wheatlands since the middle of October 2005, and seeing everyone stand in the parking lot of my little (well, 70,000sf) hospital on an unseasonably cold rainy day with tornadoesque clouds on the horizon means a lot. Some local politicians came out and chattered a bit, but it was more meaningful to have the bigwigs (the CEO, the hospital's board president, and my big boss Alex) thank us for all our work. And hell yeah I liked hearing my name over that PA system. That CEO's nly laid eyes on me three times, but he gave me major props during his speech (and attributed some tasks to me that I didn't do, which makes me wonder if Howie's head didn't explode). It was beyond a delight to walk around the building and listen to people go "oohhhhh" over and over. 100,000 words in the English language, and nothing says it better than "oohhhh." What can a shorty say?

I drove Susanna there and back. She designed the interior finish palette, which was glorious (and no, that's not a gushy exaggeration--they were glorious and warm and beautiful), and her car was having issues so I drove. We both agreed that Leslie, who was still having to partly run Pomme de Terre because Jacqueline is only back part time, is losing her damn mind and is frustrating the hell out of everyone. Wanda, on the other hand, has been given some tasks on a secondary PdT project that, combined with being on or doing whatever she's doing, makes her quite enjoyable to work with. Leslie, however, is doing what I did on Wheatlands. The team has been told that they're not allowed to work overtime, but she won't just tell Howie, "This new task you've given me requires that I work overtime if you want all of this done by the end of Thursday." Susanna has no problem saying this sort of thing. when she does, Howie prioritizes her tasks, which allows her to--guess what?--work only 40 hours a week like she's supposed to. Susanna also has a zingy sense of humor, which makes me like her even more.

She and I were the last to leave the ribbon cutting. Derek came out to see how the building's exterior (which he designed), then had to leave early to make an appointment back in Denver. Alex and Howie rode together, which sounded like a recipe for disaster. Howie tried to hitch a ride with me at first. "Would you mind?" he asked. "I've had two huge had-to-go-to-court speeding tickets, and if I get another one they'll take my license away." I quoted this to Susanna, who said, "So he wants to ride with someone as opposed to exercising some self control?" Like I said, Susanna's got a great wit. Howie ended up having to drive his car whil Alex used to the time to read some contracts and make some phone calls.

While standing in the parking lot at Wheatlands, my cell hone went off. Turned out the be Derek, laughing his ass off. "Guess who I just passed on the highway, pulled over on the side of the road by a Kansas state trooper just outside of Sunnyvale?"
"...oh God, no!" I started to laugh.
"Yep," said Derek. "Howie...with Alex in the car."
I passed the message on to Susanna, who crowed in vindication.
I got another cell phone call on the way back to Denver from my owner's rep. "Pixie, What kind of car does Howie drive?"
I described it (candy apple black late model muscle car), and the rep said, "Well, I think I saw him pulled over by a state trooper--"
"--outside of Sunnyvale?" I asked.

He cackled. "YES! That's just the place! Oh Lord, it WAS him!"
Susanna could hear the rep laughing al the way from the passenger seat. She shook her head. "The cops won't have to take his license away. His wife's gonna do it for them."

Was it a good day? An amusing day? Hell yeah.


The Wandering Author said...

Hahahahahaha - When my son was in the Marines, we'd always know when he got leave and went to visit friends. And where he went, too. Postcards and letters would come to the house, from lawyers, offering to help with his speeding tickets.

faded said...

Enjoy! Enjoy! Public recognition for work does not come very often. It is a shame that you cannot show any pictures of the hopsital, it would be nice to see it.

Miss Kitty said...

LORD. Howie will never live this one down. Ever!

ms. kitty said...

Pixie, that is so incredibly exciting! Wheatlands, that is, not Howie's debacle. I am IMpressed! Wish you could come out here and supervise our new church building.
Ms. K.