Friday, March 28, 2008

...and not a moment too soon.

As I've mentioned, things are kinda slow around Design Associates, in the design and construction economy in general, really. When things get slow, I get nervous. I do my best work when I have a decent amount to do and a never-quite-emptying To Do List. Plus, a few support staff folks were laid off recently, which was really creepy and had an unsettling effect on the whole office's tone. So lately, Shorty's been a little anxious. While MHRC's radiology suite is getting built, there are few questions being asked of me lately, so I need other things to help fill out my time. I was able to help Derek for a couple of days, and then I got assigned to a team designing a commercial building with a parking garage below it. They were a little overwhelmed in trying to get a code study done for a fast-approaching deadline, and codes do seem to be something of a specialty for me.

Sutherland, our main hiring/firing/staffing guy in the office, came up to me yesterday and said, "Pixie, how long does the Rock Creek Plaza team have you for?"

I shrugged. "Beats me. Howie loaned me to Jann, and now Jann has loaned me to your team to do Rock Creek's code study, so I have no idea what y'all want to do with me. If you find out, let me know."

This morning, as I was preparing for my next intern developmetn seminar, I got an email from Sutherland, saying Thought you should know what's going on. I opened the attached email and read from the bottom up.

In the email, Sutherland asked Howie and copied Jann and Alex (my big boss, one of DA's owners) asking how long they had me for. He mentioned that depending on what the building department said, they could keep me busy through CDs on Rock Creek Plaza. Howie replied back that he wasn't sure; there were a couple of projects that might start anywhere between a month from now and four months from now. He then said that, while he was glad that we had the work available to keep me busy, but he didn't want me to get too far from healthcare as "Pixie is one of our very top healthcare architects, and her experience and work benefits our team immensely."

Oh Howie, yu ar teh awesum!!1!

I did my lunch seminar for the interns on the art and science of construction documents, including explaining to the kids how not to piss off Sarge, our CAD manager/software rock star. I think I struck a raw nerve there with a few of the interns who have sent him, intentionally or not, nastygrams about getting help. I've had several interns mention that they'd love to find out about how we get jobs, do marketing, and decide on fees for projects. I approached our new marketing director about some ideas or help.

She was almost beside herself with enthusiasm on the idea. Matter of fact, she envisioned it as three or four different seminars that would be truly interactive and involve some partner participation, which would help her with her job of getting them to make decisions on firm identity, formats for RFPs and RFQs, and other bringing-home-the-bacon-type stuff. She said she'd mention it in her Monday morning meeting with DA's more public-relationsish and design-oriented partner, and I thanked her profusely for her ideas and said I'd come up with a firmer idea of what/how the seminars would work.

So, after a seemingly very long and tiring and thankless week, I'm feeling better about where I stand at DA. It seems I might have more people in my corner than I originally thought.


St. Blogwen said...

Oh, thank God, thank God, thank God!

And Howie, etc., too!

I was in your position a year ago this month, seeing a project I was more than fulltime on coming to a close, and wondering what there would be in the office for me to do thereafter. As it turned out, not enough, and I got put on "contract" as of May.

Never mind. It's what I get for going off to seminary in the early '90s just as the whole CAD thing was taking off.

But I'm a really great hand-drafter!

You, on the other hand, are a really great healthcare architect. And the demand for that goes on and on!

Miss Kitty said...

[in fweet kitty voice]
Oh, you *mew* that DA wuvs you! And now you know for sure! Mwah-mwah-MWAH!

Suz said...

It's good to hear that your work is appreciated. Seriously, even if you sometimes endure times at work when it seems like no good deed goes unpunished - in the long run you will benefit from keeping a professional attitude and getting the job done. That's my perspective after 30 years in a different profession from yours, but I think karma is no respecter of professional boundaries.

And, at absolutely no extra charge, if you habitually do the best you can with what you've got, you'll have no trouble looking yourself in the eyes in the mirror every morning.

I hope that doesn't sound hopelessly hokey.

faded said...

ROCK ON and Congradulations. This is why architects SHOULD drink! Where do you want me send the beer?

Wilderness Gina said...

Havn't eye ben telin u thet aw-time aw-time? Beer hell. Nice Chablis, BIG bottle of Bailey's, hell- go fruity with a little Mogen-David!
Will this translate to $$$$$$ ?

Wilderness Gina said...

YUR DAD'S OCD (as you inherited it)FINALLY PAYS OFF!!