I like to think that I'm hardworking because that's the way I think I was raised. You know the type, always willing to lend a hand, to answer the call for help, run out to the job-site to deliver odds and ends, to have a quick email reply or a quick solution... but I can't help but wonder lately, is my perseverance my own downfall? Or is my understanding of perseverance all mixed up?
The other day was your normal, typical rainy Vancouver day, except that I had 5 meetings all over the place. It wasn't even 7:30am and my mobile was ringing with clients panicking, emails coming in, and text messages from installers. I seriously just wanted peace and quite and I had only been up for 45 minutes. I was already feeling strained. I wanted a sick day, real bad. And, need I remind you, I had only been up for 45 minutes.
After I settled the clients, called the electrician - while fighting with putting on my socks and underwear - things began to happen pretty quick. Out I ran, blazer on, shoes extra pointy, socks to match, and feeling pretty slick. My first meeting had me at Starbucks down the street from my place for a contract signing with a client for 9:30am. It went pretty smoothly, and it's a small sized job by my standards, but hey, it get's me into downtown, I thought.
Of course my mobile did not stop ringing the whole time, despite being on vibe, and I was completely late for my next meeting across False Creek, but it was only a 5 minute cabinet door installation. What really had me going was a meeting I had later that day. After arriving at that job-site, I ran into the husband, who always freaked me out a bit because he's one of those that are difficult to read, and he said to me "Are you the one who did all the measurements and screwed things up?" Okay, maybe not the "screwed things up" part, but it sure felt that way by his tone. Little did he know that 50 million things changed since I measured 6 months prior, and all I had was studs and joists to work with. I seriously wanted to deck him, but then he cracked a smile at me, likely because I had a look of total apprehension, and said it's all fine. Dude, I thought, if you only knew that your brand new ceiling was out by 1 1/2" over a 10 foot run, we wouldn't be standing here and we would have been out of here LAST week. Some peoples kids.
Off I ran to the next appointment with an electrician, whom I never met, at another clients home, who just returned from 2 weeks in Hawaii. New beautiful kitchen with custom upholstery and custom cabinets designed by me AND a Hawaiian vacation... don't get me started. I'd rather be in Hawaii too. It was good to see the clients though. They are, by far, the biggest ticket I've ever had and they're pretty cool to boot. Who knew that I nabbed them from another well established designer, not because I'm better, but because I listened. So hard to find designers who listen these days, I guess. (Reminder: Design Basics, Chapter 1, Page 1, LISTEN TO THE CLIENT!)
I had about 2 1/2 hours before the next meeting and I quickly drank my nutrition shake (one must eat somehow), thru together some pricing for a job I was bidding on, and replied to the urgent emails and telephone messages. Then it was off to the next 2 meetings - committee leader meeting and an industry meeting, same location, finally.
During the industry meeting, us committee leaders all make announcements, but I was preceded by something so profound that the whole room lost it's energy. The predecessor of my leadership position, and one of my installers, passed away over the Christmas break. I'm not going to get into that too much but one of our ex-leaders read a wonderful speech with one guiding point that I forgot about all day. I'm sure we all forget it.
I'd like to think that I remained fairly positive all day, and I worked hard at it. What I really wanted was to crawl into a warm bed for a couple hours, but there I was, persevering with happiness. I love what I do. And I'm so happy about that.