Famous Last Words – a designer’s short horror story…


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Famous Last Words:

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“Yes Rebecca, we’ll definitely have the site ready for you to place 900+ plants.  We’re totally on schedule!”…



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“Oh – sorry about that. Can’t you just go around to the back and work while we finish the front?”

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Thinking I might have better luck on the side yard, I wandered over.

Yeah, the chain link fence poses a small problem..



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…as does the fact that THESE DYING TREES STILL AREN’T REMOVED!!!…

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As if it couldn’t get any worse, the Porta Potty truck showed up.  As he backed down the driveway, he asked if we could quickly move the 500 plants that were blocking his way.

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It was at this point I said “Adios – call me when you guys are ready” and decided to take myself out to lunch.

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Good thing I have a sense of humor or I would’ve taken a nosedive down the fifty-year old 100 foot well (which STILL isn’t filled in).



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19 Comments

  • Uh oh, I am SO sorry, but I think I have been cracking up at YOUR expense. I’ve been there honey. Isn’t it amazing how you’re supposed to just work around the road blocks?

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

    • That’s okay, Sharon. Laugh away at my expense! It IS funny, isn’t it!

  • Oh, boy! I’m glad I don’t do what you do! Seems like everyone had a difficult day this week!

    Ick. But, I love to look through your portfolio to see your projects. I wish I could have you come out and “do” my yard/garden!

  • It’s bound to happen to all of us at one point or another in our careers as designers and project managers
    Even the best laid project management plan can hit a septic tank truck sometimes.
    When days like this occur it is better to roll with it rather than get buried under a mound of steaming compost.
    It will all come together eventually , it always does.
    Now go enjoy a double shot of your preferred poison.
    bottoms up.

    • Thanks Michelle. Your words are more encouraging to me than you probably realize! And yes, I think I will most definitely find myself some poison now….Cheers!

  • OMG….I just read your post after wondering how your day went. I guess there was nothing else you could do but walk away and laugh. Love the one about “can you work in the back while we finish!” It looks like that might take awhile!

  • My condolences. My least favorite part of this business is that other people’s work has so much affect on my own.

    • Ha! Thanks everyone – just letting me vent for a bit makes me feel so much better! Misery loves company, right? Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in this messed up situation!!! Here’s raising a glass with you all to ‘a new day’!!

  • Mmmm. That sounds just a little too familiar. Why do construction crews always get to take twice as long and charge twice as much?

    Hope you had a nice lunch ;->

  • This is why I work with the exact same contractor every time… It’s always ready for me!!

    Big sympathy to you – I’m sure you had a hundred other things you could have been doing. Very inconsiderate of them to lie about being ready.

  • Unless it’s your crew, my experience is that they just don’t care and will always run way over schedule. I try never to start unless I’ve seen that the site is ready with my own eyes. But of course, these things happen regardless. I could tell HORROR stories about my project in Mexico, but I’m fairly sure the clients would have me assassinated. ha. just kidding. um… kind of…

    I hope you had a wonderful, luxurious lunch instead!
    XOXOXOXO!!!

  • Been there…sucks. Your response is really all you can do. Do they think we’re just sitting at home waiting for them to call so we have something to do? And generally, drive time is inversely proportionate to how NOT ready they’ll be, despite being told, “Yup, ready for you!” And I was a construction coordinator for a year.

  • Isn’t life grand? I’m getting pulled the other way. Multiple projects with specialty materials coming in with zero lead time. Stressful, but a good problem to have. Hope you enjoyed the day off.

  • ha! i’ve been a project manager for 5 years – almost all my projects have gone like that! “oh we’re done. the electricity is ready for that machine!” …they hadn’t even run the conduit yet!
    i feel your pain. good thing you have a sense of humor! 🙂

  • Love the behind the scenes look. Can hardy wait until your new show “The Real Designers of Northern California” debuts! If they’re still casting, can I play Snookie?

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