Thursday, May 13, 2010
Y'all, we finally got signoff from the 9th floor OB/GYN clinic staff for their remodel. The nurse manager, the doc, and the med assistant came in and stared, s t a r e d at the plan in silence for about three l o n g minutes. Then they recounted each move in the plan: okay, patients come in here, they get weighed, they go there...gyno oncology patients go that way, their exam rooms are the closest to the waiting room... "How are we on waiting room seats?" asked the doc. "We're great!" I said, hopefully not too eagerly. They looked and looked, touched the rooms with their fingertips, tracing patient and staff paths...
"Um," said the nurse manager in a way that made me nearly break my pen in half, "can we move the shared counselors' office to here, and move my office off the windows, and then move the nurse visit room in here...?"
I glanced at the plan, though I didn't even need to. I knew this 12,000-square-foot space like the back of my ready-to-stab-someone hand. "In order to switch those three spaces around, the OB/GYN specialty clinic loses their storage room. Is that acceptable?"
"Oh...no, they need that room..." came the reply. It was in that moment that we all knew we had beaten the plan up so much that there was nothing else for it to give us. We had moved spaces around all that we could, and anything else is now just fussing, pointless activity that wasn't going to give us anything more. We spent the next 40 or so minutes talking about what the next steps are after this--casework, equipment, finishes, a few more meetings. We also explained to them that after this point--the sign-off point--there was no flipping round big chunks of program. We would now be moving doors or moving casework and sinks around in the room, but no more Hokey-Pokey with the program. We finally got them to sign the drawing 55 minutes after they walked into the room. I thanked them heartily and told them they'd done a great job with their space (which is 100% true no matter how you look at it and no matter how annoyed I got).
When they left the conference room in Glasnost's trailer and the door closed behind them, I whipped off my brown silk Ann Taylor suit jacket and whirled it around my head. Gretchen, the project manager for Gestalt, fell over laughing, and Viktor, the project manager for Glasnost construction, chuckled while looking a bit startled. "I'm gladth yew arre happeh, Peexeh," he said in his heavy Russian accent, "Buth I deed not bringk any dollar beelz to worrk today."
I cannot tell you what an immense relief that is for me. Hell, it's a relief for all of us on the design team. Here's the deal: until we get SD sign-off, Glasnost can't set a schedule for drawing prep and construction, and I can't draw the drawings they'll need to price the project and make sure we're still on budget. Without a schedule and budget, Gretchen can't give the departments being affected by the remodeling a date (or even a date range) in which they're going to have to move out or send some doctors to other clinics or what. Everything depends on the day at which walls stop moving. So sign-off allows us to move forward and make these changes happen so that the OB/GYN clinic can finally have a nice-looking and more efficient space. Did I mention their department hasn't been remodeled in twenty years?