Monday, August 20, 2012

A note to my loyal and inspiring readers

Folks, I've received a lot of email recently from you, and the messages simultaneously dishearten and inspire me.  So many of the emails include tales of workplaces and bosses that range from schmucky to horrible to downright abusive and hostile (so much that a few of you might have some legal recourse, if you were so inclined).  I read at least once a week about someone working tons of thankless overtime or being shouted at in meetings due to minor infractions, and it makes me weep that my profession dares to behave this way, as if somehow passing the ARE entitles one to acting like a jackass and treating others like dirt.

But I'm also inspired that in each of these emails is the same grain of hope: "It can't be like this always, right?"  "I know it gets better, so what should I do?"  "How can I solve this problem with my boss/client/coworker?"  Each email contains a sense of positive reality--knowing that the situation in which the writer finds him/herself isn't "just the way things are" and knowing that it's supposed to be better.  The fact that time and again this hope and knowledge reveals itself tells me that the architectural workplace is undergoing a slow sea change.

Now and again I read some headline that's meant to alarm me: "Millennials will take over the workplace by [insert year here]!!!1!!"  My first thought is no, they're not going to "take over", it's just that they will be the majority of the workforce but not necessarily in charge.  And then my second thought is good--I'd like to see the workplace get taken over by a group of people who work hard but also have a realistic sense of work/life boundaries and insist on being treated like human beings.  My hope is that enough of you do recognize that humane treatment of employees and coworkers and good pay is a right, not a perk...and you'll flock to the firms that support these initiatives and desert those that don't. 

But in the meantime, the questions and situations still come.  The resumes ripe for redlining are sitting on my desk, waiting to be looked over and eager for some face time with a red pen.  And in my day-to-day life, my dream project--a rural greenfield hospital with a medical office building--has just kicked off with a vengeance and a fast schedule.  Furthermore, some recent changes in my health have me realizing that I need to incorporate a little more down time into a schedule that is fast getting more and more packed.

So I beg your patience in addressing the questions and resumes that are coming in.  Every email I get is read and considered, and I don't want to fire off a half-wit, half-ass response on this blog when I'm being asked some pretty important and serious questions. If you have emailed me a question or situation, feel free to email and remind me, or even add more details, or update me on how things are going. 

Many, many thanks again to everyone who has read, commented, or submitted a question or resume to Intern 101.  I appreciate your patience and involvement.  I'm not going anywhere; it's just taking me longer to get back to everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed! A shift in work/life balance may be just what the field needs. Our generation, Gen X, saw our parents work themselves to death (sometimes literally)...for what? So they could wake up one day and realize their kids are grown? Or that they gave 35 years to a career they despised? Money means little when you're miserable.

    I think the so-called Millennials will do just fine. It'll take some adjustment on everyone's part, but they'll be fine. New perspectives will be great for architecture, both in design and in office culture change.