Thursday, June 11, 2009

Minor Construction

The past couple of weeks have been hectic.  Yeah, I know, I say stuff like that a lot as an excuse for those times when I don't post an entry for a while.  But this time it's true.  We've been working on getting some modifications done to a building.  We're going to move into it before long, and I've been the one in charge of doing the planning for the construction.  And how much experience do I have with that sort of thing?  Well, umm, none.  So I've been, as they say, on the steep side of the learning curve.  The kinda situation where you first hear about something at 8 in the morning and you're the resident expert on it by 3 in the afternoon.  

All of which is bad enough, but with this project, there are a lotta people trying to have their say.  They want their rooms arranged like this, or they want that feature added in, or they want me to give them somebody else's spaces.  Meanwhile, the guys On High have been issuing guidance that can be, at best, confusing.  It's kinda like being a passenger in a crowded car that's being driven by a band of maniacs.  Who are blindfolded.  (All except for one, who's not paying any attention to where we're going).  And we're driving at 90 miles an hour.  On the wrong side of the freeway.  At rush hour.

All that being said, hammers will start swinging on the construction project on Saturday.  And at that point, it ceases to be my problem - it immediately gets transferred to a different branch, and they get to supervise the plan I put in place.  (Poor guys).  

Meanwhile, I finished up a briefing today on a major new initiative that might be coming our way.  "Might be" is the operative word.  Since I work in the "Development & Plans" branch, I get to do planning for a lot of different projects that may or may not happen.  This one involves a lot of construction projects all around the country, and I've been addressing how we're going to issue contracts and then manage them.  (Again, how much experience do I have in issuing contracts?  Do you have to ask?)  

And just as I hand off our building modification project, I'll be taking on a different project to either modify or build another office building.  In a perfect world, the answer to this one would be very easy.  However, there are these things called "laws" that keep getting in the way.  So the right answer is pretty much illegal, and we're left with a limited selection of several too-expensive and nearly-impossible alternatives to choose from.  And to meet the required completion date, we should have made the decision and moved out on it about two months ago.

If it's Iraq, it's whacked.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 06/12/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Franan said...

Don't wary Skip; you are pretty good in determining who’s should to do what when. For accommodations you know you only have to go by the USACE template and/or go austere according to rank/position to the extent of the available resources. Just ensure the CG’s comfort. God bless you and keep you safe.

Giannagirl said...

Dear Mister Rohde ~

It sounds like SOP for the military. We are often asked to act out of our comfort zone and area of expertise. Thrilling actually, sounds like a venture you can learn a lot from and one that will bring many much needed space to all serving in ITAO.

The laws that you speak of, do they really pertain to the modification you are doing, or is it a drill that you must follow to stay within perimeters? Maybe a combination of both (humor...). Rules and creativity are what is needed under those conditions, all are flexible and hopefully, loopy so that your project is on time.

Thank you again for the postings and keeping us in touch with your daily life in Iraq. Your words are lovely and it helps to fill the void I am personally feeling. You are a wonderful group of people doing honorable work and we are all grateful.

My mind and heart are with you and your friends, I pray for your comfort. You have one another and that singular fact is precious...savor it.

Yours' in arms,