Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Will no one take this cup from my lips?

In between answering RFIs and checking shops for Gestalt, doing the kick-off meeting and facility tour for the new project with Will, and performing a code study for a church renovation and addition project for Sven (don't ask), I'm still getting calls and emails from vendors and product reps, all trying to get in to do AIA seminars. And I do. not. have. time. for. this. Saralee ultimately turned it down, having done it once and also having just started back at Design Associates last week. I asked our new admin assistant, who used to coordinate the seminars at her previous firm, and she said she was so loaded down with stuff to do that there was no way she could do it. I asked another admin assistant, and she said she could maaaaaayyyyyyyybeeeeee do it, depending on what her workload is like from week to week.

Last week, Will observed that we were probably going to have to make somebody take this on; it was highly unlikely that we were going to get someone to volunteer. It's about 2 hours a week worth of work, but it's mostly that the responsibility is scattered and intrusive on regular billable work. For example, I have to email the Thursday presenter on Wednesday morning to let them know how many people will be attending on Thursday...but my Wednesday mornings are absorbed by 9am OAC meetings with Gestalt, so I'm out of the office for at least two hours every Wednesday morning, and I'm getting ready for that meeting in the hour before the meeting. And believe it or not, but that two minutes needed to email the presenter is just one more damn thing I gotta do in an already-booked morning.

Part of the problem is that Design Associates' powers-that-be think that an architect (or architect-like person) should be in charge of the seminar coordination. The problem with that is that a billable person is suddenly spending time doing non-billable tasks, the majority of which really could be done by someone without a B.S. or higher in Architecture. My mom could do this job, not because it's easy, but because it requires a decently intelligent person with good organizational skills, architecture degree optional. Our admin assistant who used to coordinate them at her old firm said that she used to check a potential presentation and presenter with an architect in the office, but eventually she got to where she could decide on her own if it was a good presentation for the office. The same could be said for anyone who spent a couple of months doing the coordination.

Mostly, we need someone less busy than me, who bills less per hour than me, who isn't going to as many meetings as I am. And I think that trying to get rid of this annoying, Chihuahua-like responsibility is due in part to my sudden weariness of doing pretty much anything. I need some more Fridays off, and I don't need more jobs to do and roles to play at work or in life in general. I think I've pretty much done my part for a while; let someone else prove how useful they are.


ms. kitty said...

You do sound really tired, Pixie. I'm sorry---hope it lets up soon.

Christie said...

We make it an official duty of the resource librarian. She already knows everyone who'd be coming in to present and learned quickly what is or isn't an appropriate presentation. I completely agree, it isn't necessary or fiscally responsible for an architect-type to have to do this when there is billable work.

Robin said...

Although I work in a fairly different field than you, I've been feeling the exact same way for a little bit now. All I can say is I feel your pain.

Miss Kitty said...

Too bad they don't feel as if they can trust the admin assistant with the job, since 1) she did the same thing at her old firm, and 2) she must have done an all-right job at something, since your firm hired her. [sigh] To each micromanager his own.

My word verification is "rentooth." Sounds like a seldom-used, very costly millwork detail.

Anonymous said...

Was Saralee previously laid off and just returning last week? Is she turning down an assignment suggested by the boss? Does Saralee really want to work?

Wilderenss Gina said...

Ok. Where does I sign? "Hey yall ignant folks! Git yur bee-hines to the conference room a-sap. Is a Pree-sentation happenin' fo sho!" kthnxbi

("ourmole"? seriously?)

Mile High Pixie said...

Rev. Kit: Thanks. I think there may be some relief soon here.

Christie: We used to have a librarian, and we need one again. Even if she only worked one day a week, it would allow the rest of us to get our work done.

Robin: Thanks, man! There are probably a lot of us right now, more than a little tired of being put-upon.

Kitteh: I know, I know...but I think I can convince them to go with the admin assistant with a little proper framing of the problem.

Anon: LOL! I actually thought that myself. But I have to say that I don't blame her for not wanting it--hell, even *I* don't want the chore.

Mile High Pixie said...

Mom: LOL! I wish you could run these at our firm. That would be effing awesome.

Miss Kitty said...

Mom *would* be pretty awesome as Seminar Coordinator. :-P

(word verification: criabbyi)