Sunday, April 24, 2011

Feb 21st was my official first day at the big A. I had been on loan from my architectural firm since late October. Sadly the office is almost 60 miles from my home - altho about half the trip is down 280 - a lovely stretch of freeway (unlike the very unlovely 101). I was lobbying for a "work at home a couple days a week" but didn't manage to get it. Did get nice bump up in salary, some stock, some very good perks, better than usual vacation, and a job I'd already test driven and quite liked. Currently I am the one and only employee primarily responsible for the offices for the people who design and run the stores - otherwise known as the Retail group. There is enough work that it looks like we hope to hire another me and a "coordinator" (assistant). I certainly have enough work to share but am not exactly sure how I would divvy up the work. By geo region? US vs the World? Or which ever project is up next? I like my job a lot. I am essentially a middle-man (woman). I represent my "clients" (the Retail folk who in general are pretty great people) and I am also the "client". We have a whole Facilities team that is responsible for project managing any new buildings - both US based and abroad. They hire the architects, put together the budget and schedule, and get the contractors. My title is "project manager" as well but I really interface primarily between my Retail clients and the Facilities Manager and the architects (mostly my old firm) along with a little interaction with the contractor as well. I get to be design arbiter to some extent although I defer to my boss when I'm not clear on what his "vision" might be. My boss also has responsibilities for design of most of the stores. He used to also do the office design - back when it was one office at a time. I haven't really counted up how many offices I have in play at the moment - but far more than 1. On our road have 1 under construction, 3 about to start, 2 in leasing negotiations, and 2 more that have remodel work that should start in the next couple of months. Need to do work in NY, Shanghai and Beijing as well as minor work in Paris and Frankfurt. Something is going on in Boston and Sydney and have question marks in about 5 other cities. Currently have a UK project under construction and need to do some remediation work on another. You have to have a really solid reliable team behind you with that extent of work. I do but they are now stretched too thin as well and none of us are doing the absolute best work we could do. We march on.

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