Monday, March 13, 2006

Taking your work home with you

One of the nice things about my job is that I normally don't have to bring work home with me at night. Which is a very good thing because with Joey's job, he spends almost every night and every weekend working on stuff because he doesn't get two minutes of peace during the normal workday. So at least one of us gets to keep our sanity - which one, I don't know, but I'm taking this theory and running with it.

Occasionally there are exceptions, like when I had to work on the punchlist for my last project. It was a corporate headquarters building and we had five floors of punchlist in addition to two other structures we had to worry about as well. One of the superintendents would use a tape recorder and dictate the list, and these tapes would last hours and hours. Then he'd drop them by the office or by my house, and I'd spend hours with the Dictaphone transcribing all of that information into a checklist to be used in the field. Talk about scintillating stuff, at times I would be listening to him drone on and on and almost fall asleep. Toward the end of the whole nightmare, he would start putting jokes into the tapes which were funny but really stupid. Hey, at that point I was so loopy from exhaustion that anything was funny. This went on from late July through November, and by the end of it all I honestly never wanted to hear the words "touch up paint" again or I was going to punch somebody. And no, that's not where the term "punchlist" comes from.

And sometimes, one of the nice things about my job is that you get to work with some really great subcontractors who will do favors for you. We moved into our house last March and it had the typical builder-grade landscaping. As in, we are going to charge you $10,000 for landscaping and pay $500 for a bunch of shit at Lowe's and hope you don't notice it. So Joey has a friend from Rotary Club that is a landscape architect and he has designed a kick-ass landscape plan for us. I went to our landscaper on my last project to ask for a bid on our landscaping and he came in $15,000 less than the next highest bidder. We committed to them and everyone met at our house this afternoon to plan a start date and discuss the plans. Hopefully, they'll be starting in about 3 weeks depending on material availability.

I'm excited and a little bit nervous. Part of me is excited at having this finally come to fruition, but the other part of me (the control freak) wonders how I'll be able to act as a client versus a general contractor. In other words, can I sit back and let the landscaper and the architect do it all and have faith that they'll do a good job, or am I going to be standing out in the yard with a pitchfork and a shotgun bossing everyone around?

Hmmmmm. The shotgun scenario sounds intriguing. At least it will give the neighbors something else to talk about.

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