Wednesday, April 08, 2009

in which I muse about my new job

So I have a new job. Same agency, but as work for my current position was winding down, I was asked if I would like to help prepare the contract for The Most Expensive Single Project That The Agency Has Ever Produced. 

And it's still in downtown Seattle, and that's a definite bonus. 

Technically, I'm only in this position half-time but I've been in it for not quite two weeks and so far it has taken up 75% of my time. 


Meetings! So many frakkin' meetings!  The project is actually being designed by consultants, and although there are agency folks there overseeing the project, the project has suffered because there really isn't a lot of coordination between Agency group and Consultant group. My job is to be a mediator, apparently. Which apparently means going to lots and LOTS of meetings. 

Here's my meeting schedule for this week. Keep in mind that I am only supposed to be there from 1-5pm every day.
Monday: 10:30 to 12:30 (intra-agency); 1-2:30 conference call (in which my hand fell asleep holding the receiver because my phone doesn't have a speakerphone).
Tuesday: 10:30-12:30 (meeting with one agency person to find out how I can assist her for the next contract update), 1-3pm (consultant teams to discuss their progress on preparing the contract), 3-5pm (utilities coordination meeting)
Wednesday: 8-9:30 (agency team meeting), 10:30-11am impromptu meeting in my office, 3-4:30 conference call
Thursday: 1-3:30 Design Update meeting (agency and consultants)
Friday: 3-3:30 Design meeting

The good things about my job:
1. I have an office! With walls! and a door that I can close! And chairs for guests to sit in! But best of all, my office has a coat hook. No longer do I have to hang my coat over the back of my chair. No window, though. But that's ok. The office space takes up the entire floor and is set up so that most of the offices are in the center and the cubes are out toward the edges, so the folks in the cubicle farms get the window seats. (However, the executive offices are very large and do have windows.)
2. It's in downtown Seattle. 

the weird things about my job:
1. I keep getting lost on the floor. Like I said, it's roughly circular (actually more of a trapezoidal shape) but everything looks the same. The receptionist thinks I'm an idiot* because I keep getting lost. (I actually turned around and went the other way when I realized I was about to pass her desk yet again en route trying to find out where Person Z sat.) There is a map near her desk (actually, on all the walls) and she tried to help me by telling me that the person sat across from the North Conference Room, so I searched the map looking for the North Conference Room, and she rolled her eyes at me when I told her I couldn't find the North Conference Room on the map. 

Hear me out. I mentioned that this office floor plan is circular/trapezoidal but the drawing had to be oriented so that it fit on an 11"x17" (i.e. rectangular) piece of paper. While most maps produced in the USA have north oriented towards the top (and most maps produced by the agency have north pointing towards the right), I couldn't figure out where North was on this map. There was no arrow. There two conference rooms on the floor among about 100 office/cubicle spaces drawn on this map and everything was labeled with a teeny-tiny typeface so it was a wee bit difficult to find at a quick glance. Or even with careful study. (After studying the floor map some more, I finally figured out where north pointed. If the floor map were a clock, the north arrow would point toward 5:30. Totally obvious. Duh.)

2. So many frakkin' consultants! It's not that there are lots of consultants but so many different companies of consultants. I've identified five different consultant companies working on this project and it's devilishly difficult trying to figure out who answers to who. And the consultants outnumber the agency folks by 9 to 1. 

3. People snidely talk about "union" folks who sit around not doing what needs to be done because "it's not [my] job" but I swear that consultants are no different. "That's outside my scope of work. You'll have to talk to [another one of the sub-consultants]." 

4. Have I mentioned the meetings?

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