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The Job that Took My Mind Part 2 November 6, 2009

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Anxiety, Delusions, Disability Claim, Hearing Voices, mental illness, Psychotic.
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As I began to take over the nightmare job, I quickly learned that:

  • All subcontractors had been working by the hour and the superintendent had been afraid to turn in their invoices because he thought he would be fired. So he had been hoarding their invoices. By the time I found out about them, the stack was about 6 inches high;
  • Not paid for their work, subcontractors were threatening to leave the job (understandably);
  • The owner hadn’t paid M Construction since the first month they’d started the job (3 months prior);
  • Matt had started work on the only floor without any plans;
  • Normal procedure is for the contractor to finish a room and tell the architect he’s done with the work. At that point the architect looks the room over and creates a list of unfinished work (called a “punch list”) before the owner can move into the room. But at the hotel, the hotel manager was in charge. When he thought the work was close to being done, he called the architect for the inspection, even as the subcontractors and carpenters were still installing the work. Then, even as the workers were still in the room, the owner would bring in the bed, dressers, drapes, towels, sheets, etc. and quickly get the room back into the rental pool. M Construction was in effect thrown out of the room before they were done, and then denied access to the room to finish the work on the punch list. It was absolutely the most insane and out-of-control job I had ever seen in my 25 years of managing projects.

As project manager of record, I was responsible for rectifying each and every one of the problems listed above, despite the fact that I was the 3rd project manager in 4 months brought in to complete the project.

After I grasped the magnitude of the challenges, I asked my boss, Mark, to be relieved of the job, believing that the skills required to complete the project were far beyond my capabilities. He denied my request, citing a shortage of qualified project managers company-wide, and expressing confidence in my ability to successfully accomplish the job. When I asked Mark for a project engineer to help me, he denied my requesting, citing the company-wide shortage of project engineers at that point in time.

As the project dragged on though the end of 2007, Mark disassembled the Special Projects Division that I worked for and moved on as Construction Manager of another job. Despite my restricted access to him, I continued to keep Mark abreast of my progress, believing that he was still my boss because nobody else had been assigned to supervise me. At my request, Mark met periodically with me, assisting me in my efforts to obtain a signed contract with the Owner and subcontractors.

After the project was physically completed, I was assigned to build a construction claim against Kimpton for the additional scope and lack of access to the jobsite (guest rooms) in order to complete the punch list. I again asked Mark for the assistance of a project engineer. This time a young pregnant woman project engineer was assigned to assist me during the few months prior to the birth of her baby.





1. Serial Insomniac - November 6, 2009

I never worked in as senior – and therefore quite as stressful – a role as you, but my experience in engineering/construction (two years-ish) was intense. Reading this (so far), I think you were brilliant not to ‘lose it’ before you did! I got out as soon as I could and, as I say, was considerably down the pecking order.

I think this is one of the most diehard industries there is out there. You clearly did exceptionally well, and even if you can’t work now, I think you have every reason to be proud of all you did in the past.

Crazy Mermaid - November 6, 2009

Thanks! It’s nice to know you have the kind of experience to really understand what I’m saying. I try not to get to technical, but on the other hand need to give the reader enough info to actually understand the situation. Walking a tight line.

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