#ArchiTalks 43 "Learning from mistakes..."

"Learning from Mistakes..."

"My Way: Frank Sinatra Cover by The Sex Pistols album cover

Sex Pistols Cover of "My Way"

Ok, let me say that I have made mistakes in my personal and professional life but that I do not regret any of them.

And that is not to say that I think I am perfect or that I think I was "right" (though there might have been some times when I was... LOL)

I just think that the mistakes that one makes in life make the person that you are and that is what I believe.

So, some young mistakes were the ones that I can easily call our, less embarassing,

Like the time that I let a friend who was in cosmetology school at the High School trade school cut my hair and perm it and then when i saw what it looked like, I said it looked stupid and so she cut off more and it was a freaking nightmare and of course that was right before we were leaving to move my family across the country to California and it was so short that we were somewhere in the Midwest and I was paying for something and the old man cashier said Sir and then I looked up at him and he apologized, I mean of course it was a day that I chose to wear a blue oxford button down, but still and I didn't say anything.

Or the more serious mistake of going with a friend to that High School trade school in her car instead of taking the bus and not wearing a seatbelt and breaking my nose when she stopped to pick up dogs on the freeway for the bigger mistake of the people who decided to let their dogs out to relieve themselves on the freeway and we were rear ended by a guy on hi sway to work and had to ride in the ambulance with him.  Thankfully, I learned a big lesson and always wear my seatbelt and don't stop for dogs no matter how distressed they appear to be.

Learning from other's mistakes:

So one summer during school, I was working with this architect who was in the La Mesa area and he rented office space off of this other guy who I had worked for previously but he didn't have any work over the summer so I was working for this other architect and I was drawing an electrical plan and he wanted me to dimension all of the light fixtures because earlier in his career, he had gone to a job site and he looked up and all of the light fixtures which of course were can fixtures because this guy loved his can lighting!!! And the lights didn't line up because the electrician had scaled off of the plans so they were all inches off from lining up all over the ceiling.   Now this guy wasn't the easiest person to get along with so I almost think that they might have done it on purpose.

Learning from my own work mistakes:

So, I have shown this house numerous times:

There was one project where I got along with the client (I thought) and it was a good project, he wanted to have a 180 degree view of the ocean and have a really big deck going off the back of the house towards the view. And after one lawsuit withthe neighbors and another potential one, we finally built it. But I was doing the construction observation and I wasn't billing it in a very timely manner and when I gave them the bill for it and the final reprographic expenses, he decided that he didn't want to pay and he basically wrote me a three page letter stating why he didn't want to.  And he said that if I was going to sue him for the fees that he was going to countersue me for all of these reasons which were ridiculous because none of them would hold up in court.  BUT, because I was using an AIA Contract, and he had a deferred plan check submittal, because he wasn't paying me, I didn't have to do any work for him so I still don't think that he has a final on his house.  And he stiffed the contractor for way more than he stiffed me for. So, one of the things that I think was the strangest part of the whole thing was that he was the "creator" of a "pump", in fact he was king of the "pumps" (which I had no knowledge of even 6 months into the project.  But in the letter he said, no lie,

"i pleaded and pleaded with you for a bigger deck"

If you think that it doesn't matter what business your clients are in, think again, even if it is a legitimate business, if they are selling a product that is questionable (or when you actually figure out what they do for a living), then you might want to think twice about doing work for them.  Plus, he wasn't even the original inventor, he bought the patent off of a group of men who were people with AIDS who he was doing a study on for his PhD at USF.  And there was even a movie that he was in.

Unhung Hero link

Everybody makes mistakes but we all learn from them!

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