Last week I had a strange gig constructing a convention display. Convention displays can range from a pop-up (as simple as a pop up tent) to a complex bi-level building. Whatever the scope, it’s always a fun engineering exercise akin to erector sets and such.
Well, everything was fine, all the parts were there and the instructions were detailed. The problems were that my supervisor was sick, the pieces were very small and numerous, and the blueprint numbering system was non-linear.
The client (my supervisor) was adamant about implementing my services for no more and no less than eight hours. Most clients are only concerned with getting it done regardless of manpower hours, but this particular display was for selling the displays we were making and I think construction cost in lieu of man hours was part of the selling point.
Any how, he asked me what time I started, it was a quarter to nine. Nine to five is eight hours, plus one hour to account for lunch, six. I should have just said that but I took it down to the lowest denominator and started counting with fingers. I’d start with the start hour equivelant to zero – no finger, but he’d stop me in the middle of counting accusing me of counting an extra hour. If he would have watched my fingers he would have noticed. He set my ‘done time’ to be at seven. He even asked the foreman, who didn’t have the time to stop and think about it and concurred.
I didn’t argue and I made an hour of overtime and another hour of double time.