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.”

1 comment:

einalem said...


I love your posts - I know now that the world of architects and design engineers is as shite in the US as here in the UK. I feel your pain...