Thursday, June 9, 2011

I don't like to repeat gossip, so I'm only going to say this once

So while I've been whining and caterwauling about how tired and busy I am, stuff has been happening at and around Design Associates. First of all, we got a bunch of new work. Most of it was healthcare, but there's been some additional projects that came in regarding multi-use/multifamily as well as some commercial work. This means that we are one of a handful of offices hiring again in and around the Front Range, so we're not having to advertise too much to find people--we just let the interns in our office know, and they get the word out for us. One of the biggest pushes we've made is hiring people that we laid off in 2009 and 2010. Anyone that got laid off during that time, so it seems, is someone we only let go of because we couldn't afford to keep them. Hence, once we had the work to keep them busy and to pay them again, we hired them back. This includes a few interns and an architect or two...including Elliot. You remember when Elliot was laid off, right? Well, Elliot had been working at Acme with Guy for about 6 or 7 months, when Howie went looking for him. Seems Howie has a lot on his plate and has a project that he needs Elliot to just flat out take over and run with, and Elliot accepted the offer and came back. Here's funny(ish) part: he's making less than he was at Acme, but more than he was when he was laid off from DA in 2009. Well played, sir, well played. (This also gives me ammunition for a discussion regarding my own income discrepancy, but I digress.) Howie is also much happier back at DA--his boss at Acme was a total tool, such that even when Howie is at his micro-managing worst, he's still better than where Elliot was. Again, well played, sir.

Meanwhile, Wayne, who was let go at the same time as Elliot, has been only mildly employed during this time. He hooked up on a contract basis with an old boss of mine from DA, but the rest of the contract employees for that boss got the boss to fire him, as he wanted to be Mr. Managey McManager all the time and not actually draw or do anything. Recently, Guy found out that he interviewed at Acme for a contract position and was offered a job but had not yet accepted. Evidently, he was trying to get another job at the same time and wanted the other job more, so he was stringing Acme along just in case he couldn't get the other position. Acme got tired of it and gave him 72 or 96 hours or something to shit or get off the occupational pot, so he has to make a decision either today or tomorrow. I asked Guy what he thought of the whole situation, andhe just sighed and rolled his eyes. "Well, it's for a contract position, so if they hire him and see what a waste he is, they'll know that contract was the right way to go. Or maybe he's mended his ways...well, probably not."

Also, the new crop of interns we've been hiring have given me new perspective on folks I used to know. Mikhail, an intern that was let go in early 2008, was perhaps not as sharp as I'd thought before. He certainly acted like he cared and wanted to learn, but according to the interns I've been working with recently on Uber MOB who went to school with him, he wasn't that good. He just didn't have it to be an architect. I suppose it wasn't a total loss that he's evidently now into construction management or accounting or something similar. Architecture is like sushi--it's not for everyone and sometimes it'll make you sick.

What else? Oh, at one point in the downturn, Gregg, Guy's old boss and Wayne's protector at DA, decided he didn't want to buy in as a partner, which Howie is in the process of doing. However, Gregg got to keep his assigned parking space, which infuriated a lot of people, and rightly so. Partners and associate partners get assigned parking spaces in our lot so that they don't have to search endlessly for a parking space when they return from meetings. But keeping his space would have made Gregg the only associate with an assigned parking amenity which several higher ranking non-partners wouldn't have had. When someone mentioned that Gregg was going to get to keep his space, Orville (who is a delight to be around but hard to work with when you have a fast-paced deadline) then commented brilliantly, "No one here has the balls to tell him no, and he doesn't have the ethics to turn it down." When I hear this, I spit coffee. Oh, but now that work is picking up and things are getting better, guess who's ready to buy back into the company, hmm?

Further scuttlebutt as conditions and energy warrant. I have yet another deadline at the end of June, which will leave me good and wrung out just in time for the July 4th weekend. I'll do my best to muster up some energy for a decent post or two--patience please, and any suggestions/ideas for posts are always appreciated.


paul mitchell said...

Ah yes, office politics and the traveling vagabonds of architecture. I remember it well and do not miss it atall.

St. Blogwen said...

Congratulations on the upturn at DA-- and grace and Magic Effectiveness Fairy Dust and all things auspicious for the discussion on your, um, income discrepancy.

I almost wish my former arch firm would do what DA is doing and call me back in . . . but only if I'd be working under a different partner. My old boss there treated me rather shabbily. No, make that "he treated me very shabbily." But I could smile and make nice around the office if I didn't have to report to him, yes, I could.

Miss Kitty said...

If this Wayne dude is who I think he is...OMGWTFTOOL. Here's hoping (no, praying) that Guy's office doesn't hire him. A real Craftsman there.

Anonymous said...

I propose another idiom for Wayne... mostly because... well... a tool is, *somehow*, useful. So, if Wayne is not, somehow, useful, perhaps he's simply a waste of oxygen.