Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Now we're really going to have to take his shoelaces away at the door

Ah, it's been a while since I talked about EPOD. Honestly, I haven't seen much of my dear old boss in weeks now. And it's been nice in some ways, but I've kind of missed his crabbiness too.

We narrowly skated through getting the occupants into the new building part of the Nightmare Headquarters Project that I've been working on for the past year. We were probably three weeks late in finishing due to the huge amounts of changes that the architect made - not to mention the shitty subcontractors that our lovely preconstruction department picked were less than responsive.

See, this project is based on what we call a GMP contract. That means "guaranteed maximum price" in, there's no set contract amount, we get reimbursed for all of our expenses as long as we can justify them. Like I can't go out and jobcost a Porsche, but if I need to supplement the power for the building by purchasing a $50,000 generator then if I can substantiate that expense, we get our bucks back. The nice thing about these contracts is that they are typically negotiated so you're not in a cutthroat hard bid situation where you're forced to get down and dirty to get the job. You can actually pick good quality subcontractors because the owner is willing to pay a bit more for good people. Yeah, well our preconstruction department obviously missed out on this whole nuance of the GMP contract, because they got down and dirty and now we are stuck with shitty subs who are the bane of our existence.

Off the soapbox. Anyhow, we got all the folks into the new part of the building about two weeks ago and it's been mercifully quiet for a while. We really needed it just to recharge in time to tackle the renovation of the OLD part of the building, which was built in the late 1970's and heaven knows what kind of crap is lurking behind those walls (hello, asbestos!).

And with this advent, EPOD has been pretty good. Other than a flareup of his gout in his left knee, he's been downright pleasant to be around other than his constant moaning that he's sure to be given his pink slip once this project is completed.

So just when I think things are going well, I hear through the grapevine that our other team member, the beloved yet goofy Chachi, has been taking long weekends to go interview at graduate schools around the country. I'm not sure what is motivating this decision, other than the fact that the guy already has a masters in civil engineering and I think he prefers being a professional student rather than holding down a 9-to-5 job. He's been trying to be somewhat sneaky about it, but apparently he's gotten into two of the three schools he interviewed at, one has offered a scholarship to pay about 1/2 of the cost, and he's more than likely going to quit his job and go back to school.

Seriously, this will put us up the creek with no paddle and a huge damn hole in the canoe. He is one of the few people that knows lots of the little details about the Nightmare Headquarters Project, so if he really goes we are in deep doo-doo. Deep. Doo-doo.

So I guess it's a wait and see game for now. And I am going to start removing all sharp objects from EPOD's office.

And the worst part? As hopeless as I thought Chachi was when he joined our team, he's really pulled himself together and become a pretty respectable project manager. He's doing a good job. But you know what this means. Another idiot I'll have to train and whip into shape, dammit. This isn't good.


Tanaya said...

GMP has given me at least five new grey hairs over the last few weeks, both personally and professionally. It's like Russian Roulette with a nail gun. I hope it gets better.

Tree said...

How soon would Chachi start - late August? At least you may have enough time to drain his brain of the minutae.

We rarely do anything like GMP and hard bid. HATE it. Our venture into the hard bid arena during a down economy 5-6 yr ago was nearly the company's undoing.