Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sober with power

I mentioned that I'm now on two, about to be three projects. Presently, I'm working on the surgery and ICU renovation at FCH and on the surgery renovation at TCMC. For the first time in my 9+ year career, I also have staff. Staff is, in great part, good.

I have Intern Kimmy on FCH. This has become more and more a blessing, as she's been able to get stuff done with the drawings while I've been distracted on TCMC. The last two weeks of my life have been devoted mostly to TCMC, getting graphs and charts ready, taking and writing and distributing meeting notes, working out the schematic plan options for the department. I'd nearly forgotten about FCH until I received an email from the architect of record (we're the design architect--we're handing off the drawings to them midway through design development) looking for some drawings. I realized I hadn't checked in with Kimmy in a few days to see if she had enough to do--whoops. Turns out she was fine and had gotten a few marching order from Bosley while Howie and I had been doing as-builts at TCMC. Now, I make it a point to check with her almost every day, even if it's just a "how're things? you got what you need to keep moving forward?"

Meanwhile, Bosley gave me Intern Timmy--yes, the legendary Intern Timmy--for TCMC. This is a coup, I think, because the kid is sharp (and I'm not just saying that because he reads WAD). He listens and learns well, and he's about to sit for the ARE (no thanks to some nimrod at NCARB who could never seem to find the forms he sent in for seven months) at a younger age than almost everyone he works with. Timmy draws/builds the model of TCMC in Revit while I'm writing up notes, doing code research, assembling the aforementioned charts and graphs, and so on. I also make sure to check with him once a day to make sure he has what he needs to move forward. I've told both Kimmy and Timmy that if they ever have any question, no matter how dumb they may think it is, ASK. You'd be surprised how few dumb questions there are in healthcare architecture.

I was describing my workload to someone recently, and I realized while I was occasionally crazy busy because of a deadline, I was never truly truly truly outrageously busy. Perhaps it was because of the projects' sizes, but something else hit me. The difference between these projects and Wheatlands is...I have help. I had to do about 90+% of the work on Wheatlands myself, which meant I worked no less than 7 eight-hour days a week for eight months straight. I really needed someone to get drawings done while I typed this and researched that and looked for the other, but I didn't.

"I remember that," Intern Timmy chuckled on Friday. "Howie lent me to you one morning, and after I spent, like, two hours checking an equipment list for you, he pulled me off to help someone else do something. But you know in his mind he gave me to you for a day!" I too had a good chuckle--that was back in the day when we were hiring people after 9/11 and life was wine and roses. Nowadays it's Spam and mac & cheese, and we're all thankful for it.

But it's an interesting thing, this being in charge of people's workload. I have to make sure that a) folks have something to do, and b) that they understand what they're doing. Kimmy knows a fair amount about buildings and putting out a set of drawings, but she doesn't know much about hospitals. I sometimes have to stop myself and think about if I'm talking down to her or giving her info that she really needs. Timmy asked if he could bug me more often about how healthcare planning works, and I'm glad to answer anything he's wondering. Hell, I'm glad people are asking any questions. GUy has said that if an intern isn't asking questions, that usually means trouble: they're banging their heads against a wall trying to solve a problem that you could solve in ten seconds, or worse, they're just warming a seat and doing rote redlines. Fortunately, my interns are better than that. I totally got lucky.

1 comment:

Wilderness Gina said...

Ok. When Kimmy and Timmy start coming to work in matching outfits, I'm outa here, Yall.
And Spam. SPAM? When I were a whipper snapper in the building trades we thought Spam was POSH. Red beans and rice. It's not a convienence food like Spam. Younguns. They all think they got it bad. Don't know nuthin (voice fading off into a mumble)