I'm counting the days until I take a little break over the holidays. Especially after the day I just had.
Folks who aren't designers may think we shop all the time; that we spend our days luxuriating in silks and satins. When you're on the inside, you know how far that is from the truth.
So much of our time is spent on project management and, as the saying goes, putting out fires. I sat down at my desk today and spent the whole day, without a break, doing just that.
One of my projects is a gut renovation of a three-bedroom condo for a pair of empty-nesters. We're through the demolition and rough-in stages but issues continue to arise about lighting. We need to get all the electrical work done before we can start putting up drywall. One part of my design includes a bookcase wall with hard-wired accent lighting. In the process of selecting the light fixtures, my clients changed their minds (which is nothing out of the ordinary) and decided they didn't want them. When I informed the contractor today, he told me that the wiring was already in place. Now what to do?
On another project -- one that I finished a little while ago -- I'm facing a bit of a collections problem. My clients were not satisfied with the finish work provided by a supplier even though they signed off on it. They've refused to pay the balance due unless the supplier finishes the work to their liking. The supplier has re-finished its work once, thinks its done and is now turning to me to pay the balance due. It's times like these that my law degree and legal training come in handy.
On yet ANOTHER project, I had to sign off on a configuration of a custom upholstery order. But before I did, I had to insure that the pieces, once delivered, would fit through the doorways and turn certain narrow corners in my clients' house. This involved arranging with my receiver to make a site visit to assess whether it can get the pieces safely into and around the house.
And STILL on another project . . . I ordered a foyer mirror for clients at the end of August. In November, we started checking on the status of the mirror. (My clients wanted to have it by Thanksgiving. Reasonable expectation, right?) It took about four calls before I spoke to a live person and about five more before I finally -- today -- got a ship date.
And FINALLY. . . on one more project, I was arranging the installation of a window treatment. It involved four parties to make this arrangement: the workroom, the installer, the client and me. I went back and forth about three times (so multiply that by the four people involved and that's about 12 separate communications) before pinning down the actual time of the installation.
This is so far from luxuriating. Maybe I will. On vacation.