Friday, September 2, 2011

Insane workload

Wow, I can't believe it's September already. I only blogged 4 times in August. The other day, one of my coworkers asked me which month I thought was busier, July or August. We came to the consensus that August was definitely busier. This past week, in particular, was crazy. Let's start with last week though, when all the craziness started.

Last Monday (as in 2 weeks ago), I ran into a girl who also went to Stanford in the elevator going up to the office. She just graduated as well and we had met back in SF. I had another Stanford friend coming to visit on the same day so the three of us all ended up having lunch together. That was the fun part of last Monday, now onto the tragic part.

I've been working on a project where we are supporting the structural group with renovating works for some historical buildings. The guy on our team who had been working on the project left the company a month ago. He handed the project over to another guy on the team. And it just so happened that around that same time, the guy who had been supervising site activities also had to go to another site. It was difficult to find a replacement for him and we finally found one guy who had 1 yr and 11 months of experience to fulfill the requirement of having 2 years of experience. I mean, technically he didn't qualify but seriously, it's close enough.  The only small problem was that he's from England and doesn't speak Cantonese. But we threw him on site anyway and he had been there for a week when we found out that the position actually requires someone who has 2 years of experience AND at least 1 year of local experience. We found out about this Monday morning and the only way out was that we switched that guy with the design engineer (who I had been helping out). So this has really bad implications for me because I'm basically the only person left in the office doing design. The guy out on site brought a laptop with him and even came back to the office after being on site. But it's just not the same.

So basically, for the majority of the past two weeks, I've been doing a lot of design work/trying to appease other people. I still don't feel like I've had a proper briefing on this project though. I keep finding out "facts" that I don't know about. It's a lot easier when there's someone there telling me what I should be doing. It's not that I can't figure out how to make the necessary calculations, it's more like I don't know what I have to get done. The only other chartered engineer on our team helped me out a lot. I'm pretty sure he asked the question, "Lucy, did you THINK about this??!" at least ten times a day.

I went into the office both last Saturday and Sunday. I have to admit that I wasn't particularly efficient last Saturday since I hung out with a friend who came to visit for like 4 hours in between. I had thought she was leaving on Sunday and therefore we would have time for dinner. Anyway, we had a deadline for Tuesday so the three of us were in the office pretty late on Sunday. We the same dai pai dong we went to last time we worked late on a weekend for dinner. One of the guys suggested salt and pepper duck chin. The other guy was like, "by duck chin, you mean... a duck's chin??" and motioned to his own chin. The guy who suggested the dish gave him a look that was said, "what else could it be?!" Anyway, it turned out that that dish was no good but at least now we know!

This past Monday and Tuesday was definitely record breaking. We thought we had basically every for the project that we needed to submit on Tuesday ready. Again, the engineer responsible for this project was the one who got sent onto site. So he didn't make it back to the office until around 6pm. Once he got back, we went over the report and calculation with our supervisor who asked a bunch of questions. His main concern was that our methods of calculating things wasn't consistent with what we did previously. And we would definitely get questioned by the client. So he suggested a bunch of stuff and we worked until 1:30am that night.

The next day, we were all really tired and after sitting through a 3 hour workshop on excavation lateral support systems (held by our bosses), we talked about the calculations again. We finally agreed on an approach and started working on the calculations again. After finishing the calculations, it took us another 2 hours to get everything into the right format and uploading it for the client. The record breaking part was that we left at 2am. Definitely did not make it to the gym Wednesday morning.

The rest of the week was better though but we seem to be bidding for more projects. No clue how we can handle any more workload. Most likely will be in the office this weekend as well. I think my electricity bill this month will seriously be very small.

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