Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Software and hardware are no subsitute for good thinking

For the past week or so, Intern Kimmy and I have been helping Howie with some graphics for an interview that's coming up next week.  The reason we've been available is that Frontier County Hospital was temporarily put on hold due to funding issues.  FCH is funding their surgery and ICU renovation through a bond purchased with some one-cent tax income (or something like that) from the past year or more.  Problem is, there are some issues with transferring or converting the bond into the liquid funds required to make the project happen.  So, they asked us to give them a couple of weeks to sort things out.  Just today, though, Bosley came by my desk to tell me that FCH's local jurisdiction (either the county or the city, I wasn't quite sure because honestly, I wasn't fully listening) agreed to front FCH the cash to pay the architects and keep the design moving forward.  So later this week, they'll send us a list of what they want us to deliver in the next couple of weeks and what they want by the end of July.  That part I tuned into, and it gave me a little lift.

The reason I wasn't fully listening to Bosley is that I was working like a madwoman on some stuff for Howie.  Every couple of days, he's showing Bosley what the PowerPoint presentation for next week's interview looks like so far.  He wants lots and lots of graphics on the slides, usually in the form of colored plans and the made-up floor plans I was working on.  Today, Howie was losing his mind because some floor plans showing the possible phasing of the made-up plans' construction weren't lining up just so on his slides.  I suppose I can understand why he wanted them to line up--the idea is that as he clicked through the slides, the phases of construction would plop into place like puzzle pieces, and any shift in the plans from one to the next is distracting.  However, I find that I'm losing patience with Howie's speed and demands, or perhaps it's more the way he makes those demands.  When he asks if I'm able to do something he wants done, I think it through out loud by explaining how I would have to do it: okay, i make a PDF from Revit, bring it into Illustrator, copy and paste the linework into the original PDF, etc.  On Friday, he actually said, "God, I'm so tired of hearing that.  Intern Kimmy was saying it earlier, and now you're saying it.  I don't care how you do it, just do it."  Then he started getting annoyed when he asked how long something would take to do, and I answered with a number larger than 60 seconds.  While I appreciated his offers to get me a faster computer or better software, it's beside the point.

The point is this: it takes as long as it takes to do good work.  I always work as fast as I possibly can, especially when I know there's more to be done.  But I refuse to sacrifice quality for speed--that's a losing proposition, because I'm just gonna have to do it over.  Also, if the mistake doesn't get caught by us and makes it to the client, then how stupid do we look then?  I'd rather have less information that's completely correct and defensible than have lots of info with holes and mistakes in them.  Software and hardware are only part of getting any job done, especially when we're trying to get work.  We still have to think things through and make sure everything works, looks good, and makes sense.  And furthermore, we're all growing a bit weary of the constant pushpushpush pace that Howie seems to thrive in.  At some point, humans lose efficiency when they're in hyperdrive for long periods of time.  Bottom line here, I guess, is this: while I'm glad to have work to do, and I may actually be going to this interview next week, which will be cool, I really can't wait to get back onto FCH and work for someone who acts only slightly less obnoxious than Howie.  

I have got to take up meditation or pot, one of the two.  Even after a long weekend with my sister, I'm really running out of patience with the continual epic douchebaggery I'm encountering with my supervisors.  I'm getting to where I no longer can suffer the rudeness and flexing I've been seeing lately.


Two Dogs said...

Pixie, Palladio was the same way as Howie.

Just tell him Powerpoint is just sooooo 1998. Then, hide and watch.

Anonymous said...

I feel like there is more of that around my office as well. The partners are stressed out when work is going on hold and they take it out on the staff.

In a good economy I would never take it, I have left jobs for similar reasons before, but with the current job market there will be little consequences for their treatment of employees.

MizScarlett said...

Sometimes, you just have to loose your temper. Not full on PIXIE IS PISSED temper, but a polite snit fit about the Unreasonable People Who Do Not Seem To Understand The Way The World Works, and Also Get Off My Case, I'm Busting My Ass For You and You Should Be Saying Thankyou.

I find that women, especially, need to occasionally assert themselves in such a way that reminds people that just because we don't have an X chromosome does not mean that you can just assume we're all fuzzy and catering like.

Sometimes, tihs means Yelling.

Yelling CAN be fun.

Amy BB said...


Pick two, Howie, my man.


faded said...

Sounds like Howie is on edge. He wants the presentation to be perfect and he thinks that badgering you will make it perfect. MizScarlett is right. He needs a dope slap.

Miss Kitty said...

Meditation is great for any problem. But pot can help as well. :-P

Wilderness Gina said...

Have you tried offering to go to Starbucks to get him a Latte and stopping in to see Vinnie on the way? Dude, you got a lil sumthin-sumthin to help out this bitch Howie?