Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Seagull Architecture

Our primary contact with the developer is a very pleasant man to work for. He is apologetic for the many ridiculous changes his company has asked us to make over the course of this project. He is personable, and very laid back. We have taken him out to lunch a few times, and he is fun to talk to.

He is also, unfortunately, under the thumb of his CEO.

His CEO practices Seagull Architecture. This is where a person swoops in, shits all over what you have been working on, and then flies away.

Why do some clients feel the need to attempt designing the building themselves? We are trained monkeys professionals; we know the history of why things were put where they were, the code implications, and how it will affect the building from the ground floor through the top. This CEO apparently looks at our drawings, decides he doesn’t like something, and we then receive a faxed sketch of his latest “masterpiece.”

The latest edict to come from this design genius is thus: we are to move the first floor coffee shop into the parking garage across the street. That’s right. The parking garage. In compliance with one of his prior sketches, we placed the coffee shop behind the elevators. He doesn’t like it there. Where he told us to place it. Yes, the parking garage would be muuuuuch better. Uh huh. Why don’t we just put a Starbucks cart in the dumpster yard? That would be cheaper.

And the saddest thing is, since he's the guy ultimately signing our check, we have to do it. We have to study it, and try to find some non-smartass way of showing him what an idiot he is for making this suggestion. Not that this strategy worked for the last big proclamation; after we spent four weeks working on the building, getting all the issues worked out, CEO swooped by and we ended up having to “just” rotate the building 180 degrees on the site. That was five weeks ago.

When I grow up, I want to be a CEO just like him. I want to have more power than sense, and an over-inflated ego to match. I want to stroll past peoples’ offices, make ridiculous demands, and watch as the poor souls cower and whimper. And I want to carry a whip.

Somehow, today I managed to attain a state of architectural zen. I believe it resulted from letting the wave of countless plan changes wash over me, instead of trying to swim against the sea of faxed sketches. My usual reaction to the next swell of changes is to become angry; enraged, even. Not so, this afternoon. I just let it flow right over.

Cough. I think I got saltwater up my nose.


mr. x said...

been there, already been crapped on. i like to keep a paper trail so there's some accountability when "your intentions" are questioned.

Buildit said...

so that's how they found the formula for white-out seagull crap!

Just remember one of your favorite proffessor's classic quote
" I guess I wasn't in the same mode when I was grading yours"
Thanks Dumb as Dirt

Kent said...

Also been there done that. We recently went over all such owner changes on a job thats now in construction. The sea gull involved is refusing to pay his bill. We compiled all design changes as ammunition to back our argument that he should pay us... good thing we did because my tard fuck of a boss ended up giving him a $5,000 discount and agreed to review the contractor's request's for payment free of charge... Ugh

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