Tuesday, August 10, 2010
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.