Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Maybe it's just me, but...

If 95% of the office is using AutoCAD, and you're a MicroStation user, who has, to the present time, not made any effort to learn AutoCAD, and you are, therefore, absolutely no help to the drafting effort, you have no right to complain about how an AutoCAD job has been drawn.

Shut it.

I think I just set a record for "most commas used (badly) in a single sentence."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Printing days are always fun (/sarcasm), but today’s printing is extra special, as the PA and her second-in-command are both out for the day, and I am “in charge.” According to the scant information I received from PA on Friday afternoon, I was to make sure all the disciplines printed their sheets, so that we could issue sets to the appropriate State reviewers this afternoon. This would mean two sets, maximum. PA would call sometime today, and tell us how many more sets were needed for the contractor, if any. These could go out tomorrow, no problem.

It sounded like a fairly easy print job, and it was, for about the first 20 minutes.

While gathering up everything required for the submittals to the State reviewers, I realized I needed several pieces of documentation. During the course of acquiring said information from Project Manager, he tells me “we don’t have that yet for this part of the project.” Since I can’t issue to the State reviewers without it; I ask, “Sooo, we’re not issuing today?”

Client Liason pipes up over the cubicle wall in a pissy tone of voice, “No, I need prints to go to the Owner today. I need three sets; no, four sets.”

I think: What you need is to sit back down and shut the hell up. And a clue.
What I say: “Okay, we can do that.”
“Thanks, CAD Monkey.”
I think: Cram it.

Okay, fine. Four sets are attainable by the end of the day, if I get everybody’s stuff by noon. The next task is wrangling the other disciplines’ drawings.

[the phone rings]
I pick up the phone, and answer, “This is CAD Monkey.”
It’s the plumbing designer. “Should the border read, ‘QC?’”
“No, it should say, ‘For Construction.’ You’ll need to update your border file.”
“But the one I just pulled up says ‘QC.’”
“Then you’ll need to update your border file, the current one doesn’t say that.”
“Okay, bye.”

[two minutes later, the phone rings]
I pick up the phone, and answer, “This is CAD Monkey.”
It’s the plumbing consultant. Again. “It says, ‘[Project Manager], underscore, .jpg…’”
“That’s for our architectural seal. Just freeze that layer.”
“Then it will be blank?”
“Then it will be blank.”
“Then I’ll need to wet seal it?”
[mentally smacks herself in the head repeatedly with the phone handset] “Yes.”
“Okay, bye.”

Firstly, this is someone who has been working a lot longer than I have. Secondly, it’s not like we haven’t been through all this on different packages of this project several times now. Thirdly, if it’s that damn difficult, hand it off to one of your interns!

It is lunch time, and I have one, count it, ONE discipline’s drawings on my desk.

PM comes to my desk, as I am hurriedly wolfing down some Monkey Chow, and tells me we need another 4 sets.
I reply, “okay, but it’s not going to get to the Owner until Wednesday morning.” He says that it really needs to get there by tomorrow morning.

[visions of reaching out and throttling PM dance through my head]

Client Liason won’t be there to distribute the drawings until Wednesday morning, and I never got any memo or e-mail saying what actually needed to go out, or when, so I don’t know where this “must go out” crap is coming from- but I have an idea.

Neither PM nor Client Liason ever seems to realize that printing sets is not an instant process. Let me say it again: this is not the first time we have gone through this! PM hasn’t even signed and stamped the specs yet; how can he expect us to have 8 sets in four hours?

Once I have the complete original set in my hands, getting copies is the next obstacle. For an office our size, we should, in all practicality, have three plotters. We have one. It is necessary to scan all of the plots before we can even begin making copies, and this has to be done by a print tech who can’t get anything out without several smoke breaks and the usual complaint, “why didn’t you get this to me sooner?”

I start repeating my make-it-through-this-week mantra, “Fuck it, it will get there when it gets there.”

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The mental picture my brain has assigned to my stress levels is that of a winch with a ratchet and pawl gear system. Whenever another problem arises, the pawl moves up another tooth, or several. When I can get some relief, like passing out at 7pm and sleeping until 6 the next morning, the winch unwinds a little, but does not release completely.

I don't know what it will take to let the winch unwind completely. Sometimes it seems like cutting the rope is the only option.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Mark of the Devil

More proof that Project B is evil. I ran an audit on a file I was working on, and I received this message in the text bar...

And for the day's final kick in the ass...

I was told that I got the boot from my next project, which would have involved me going to user group meetings through design development on a really big, from-scratch hospital.

The reason?

I don't yet know the date of my surgery, and "they can't depend on me" because of that.

I've been busting ass, and risking what's left of my sanity, on Project B for a damn year now, and my carrot-on-a-string just got yanked away from me. Because I want to walk without pain. Silly CAD Monkey! Career must come first!! I understand where they're coming from, but damn! Could the timing be any worse?

I feel like I'm going absofuckinglutely nowhere in my career. ManThing told me yesterday that sometimes he wishes I were more ambitious. With what seems like constant setbacks, it's hard for me to agree with him. Further, I don't think I really want to be more ambitious- or not in this career field, anyway. It seems a wasted effort. I don't even know if changing firms, yet again, would help. I'm firmly ensconced within my pigeonhole.

Meanwhile, a 36-year-old was just named associate managing principal of our office.
I'm turning 32 this year, and what have I to show for my seven years in the industry? Nothing- except for an architectural license, which is worth the same...nothing. The two designers that sit next to me are both 35, and neither of them have their licenses; yet, they are running their own design projects. Hell, even Hack n' Snort is running his own fucking project- sans license, and with less experience than I have! WTF?!? I can only assume it is because he has started playing golf with one of the PMs in the office. (rolls eyes)

Cube Neighbor's pyramid scheme is starting to look somewhat enticing...
Jeez, I could have been the author of this forum post.

Why do Mondays always seem to have this effect on me?
I need to be moved the hell away from the "project designer" section.

Today's Misogynistic Tidbit:
Team meeting for Project B. Project Architect, who is a woman, is trying to gain consensus on an agenda item, and goes back and forth between the two options. Client Liason (who is worse than worthless) leans over to me and says, "they say it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right? Heh heh heh."

I'm hoping the look I gave him properly conveyed my non-verbal response, "eat shit, heh heh heh."
I would sell one of my kidneys right now, if I honestly believed it would get me out of having to work on Project B for another two weeks.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My life is in a sad, sad state of affairs when I’m overjoyed at the prospect of having a crown put on a tooth, simply because I don’t have to get an accompanying root canal.

But on a funnier note...

Last night I had a dream that I was over at the desk of one of our structural engineers. He told me to add something to one of our architectural drawings. Standing next to me, there was a very short man, wearing a black turtleneck sweater, black pants, a black knit cap, and sunglasses. He told me that there was no time for me to go back to my desk and add it to the drawing in CAD- I had to tape the engineer's sketch to the paper.

Or I'd be executed on the spot.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I’m beginning to think that I need to stop telling coworkers about things in my life outside of work. The reason isn’t one borne of guilt, or inappropriateness, or even anti-social behavior (though that one is closing in on 2nd place). The true reason is I’m just tired of having to
A) repeat the same story 30 times; and
B) having to reply, “no, nothing’s happened yet.”

ManThing and I decided to put the house up for sale; and I unwisely asked around the office for a recommendation on a real estate agent. This brought upon an onslaught of people asking if I’d used their agent; was the house on the market yet; why were we selling; where were we moving; and, “don’t you want to keep your tax break?” Almost a month later, we still don’t have it on the market, yet the questions keep coming; and I have to continue to answer, “no, nothing’s happened yet.”

Then there’s Days of Our Leg (cue sweeping violin music) saga. I am becoming accustomed to the annoyance of having to wait a month after anything of relevance occurring with the course of my treatment. Go to doctor, wait a month. Go get imaging test, wait a month. Find out what kind of surgery I’ll have, wait a month for it to be scheduled. Unfortunately, nobody else knows this is the routine- so I get the questions. My reply, “no, nothing’s happened yet.”

Now, in my ongoing streak of luck, I am wearing a wrist splint because I have a ganglion cyst in my right hand. I don’t have to even tell anybody about this problem to get the questions; because, like the cane, it’s an outwardly apparent symbol of another injury/ disability/ pain in my ass. So I tell the story- 30 times.

Have I snapped and killed anyone?

No, nothing’s happened yet.