Yoda, the Uncle and the Contractor

Maybe because we’re going on vacation tomorrow, I feel more reflective ….or is it the specter of dropping of our college sophomore daughter at school afterwards?

No,  it was watching an exceptional contractor get abused by a middling landscape designer this morning at a project meeting without reason.

yoda Some people are just assholes and you have to work with them, many not by choice.  So we play nicely in the sandbox, not to ruffle feathers for the betterment of the project and promise “never again am I working with this person” . We suck it up…go Zen… Or we can take them on, get confrontational and watch as the project grinds to a standstill, progress falls apart, information gets lost, payments start getting with-held – you get the idea.

Yoda said it best, “Control, control, you must learn control! “.  This has been our goal and approach since opening our office 14 years ago last month.  We are not control freaks, but we keep our egos and attitude in check.  There is very little gained by an outburst and imperil the project.

As the landscape designer lost her composure, credibility and audience, the contractor responded calmly “no one cares about this job more than I do” and gained control by demeanor and tone.

While I wish to be enlightened like Yoda, my character is more like the disappointed uncle.  I find the slow walk away from the group and a few questions to be the most effective.  No losing face, no hysterics…. Usually if I have something to say, I take the person aside and ask questions like, ” Is this the best your crew can do?”…maybe it is…or maybe the hesitation in the answer says it all.  “Do you want to be remembered for this type of work?”.

We don’t do our best work under threats and abuse and should not expect those we work with to be at their best either under those conditions.

We are human first, architects second. If you are tired of working with uptight arrogant prima-donnas, call me 914 980 5532, Steve.