I wish I had more time. That is the crux in everyone’s life. You can’t buy time. You can’t manipulate time. When it comes to designing homes for our Clients, there is the un-stated ‘I’d like it done yesterday’ from them as we frantically struggle to finish two minutes to the deadline. Isn’t there that Confucius saying that those that want everything now must learn patience or disappointment? Whether an item has be backordered or damaged, a trade has a family emergency, or holidays get in the way – there will always be a hiccup.
We, as designers, prepare for everything. Just look in our purses. Really. We have unlimited pens, laser measures, notepads, iPads, mosaic tiles, paint cards and sample flooring to name a few. You never know when you’ll need them. And (being a Girl Guide in a former life) you try to ‘be prepared’. So when it comes time to get the project under way, we anticipate and plan for a few downfalls. Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. The opposite is true as well: the easier the deadline, the faster the progress. Life happens; but I will strive to ensure that the construction goes as smoothly as possible. It’s also important that when I have to deliver some unexpected news to my Client, that I have an action plan in place. Maybe it’s reselecting a fixture or holding off on one room for the next phase. Some items are not as difficult to mask for a family event, and can be resolved in a matter of a week. Others, we take in stride with a good bottle of wine.
The important piece in all of this is that the Client’s expectations are not lost. And that’s what I try to focus on, as I’m pulling my hair out and calling around for the solution. Virtually anything can be bought if you’re willing to front the money, but most people are within a budget. A strict one. And someone has to pay the piper. I’ve been hired as the negotiator; to attempt the impossible feat of awesomeness. I do try. The majority are victories.
I guess Confucius and Murphy never had to care about Client satisfaction. As for me, I will continue to do what it takes to get the job done right. …And beautifully. Now for some wine!
Written by: Ashley Baetz