July 29, 2005


One of my current favorite verbs is "visit" (particularly "visit with"), in the sense that is used to refer to misfortunes. May you be visited with boils, the Lord visit locusts upon your land, Europe was visited in the 14th century with a plague of epic proportions, and so on. This week, I have been visited with a project which I will pseudonymically call the Smallville Hotel (and which is also a plague of epic proportions).

Cautious bloggers use pseudonyms as a matter of course, but in this case that isn't my only reason to do so. Using the proper name of the project is, like using the name of the Devil, a surefire way to visit misfortune upon oneself. An architect who says he's relieved not to be working on Smallville will come in the next day to find his desk piled high with Smallville drawings and notes instructing him to review the catering kitchen layout. An unwise administrative assistant might sympathetically ask said architect if Smallville is stressing him out, only to find herself assigned to edit Smallville specifications the very next day. I am that administrative assistant, and the former half of my week was spent buried under a stack of documents about door hardware and paint finishes.

The locusts of this particular visitation took all sort of forms. On Tuesday the flapping of their wings kept me in my chair matching section headings until two hours past my usual quitting time. On Wednesday they chased me up and down the stairs to arrange and re-arrange deliveries, and fluttered in the face of the owner and project manager, who were so distracted that they forgot to invite me to the celebratory end-of-project lunch. It appears that they also got into the phone lines at some point, causing them to ring incessantly and disrupt my concentration. Thursday, the day that the swarm finally left our slightly tattered office in peace, couldn't come soon enough.

I've decided that, after this hardly amiable visit, I'm ready to absent myself from the world of architecture academically as well as professionally. I've unearthed the stack of paperwork that I need to submit to go back to school in the spring, made myself a list of deadlines that I won't miss again, and squared my shoulders impressively. Now if I can keep in mind the fluttering of the locusts, I think I'll manage it this time.

Posted by dianna at July 29, 2005 12:15 PM