It’s currently 10:05pm and I am currently sitting in seat 21F, flying home from the 2013 AIA National Convention. This means I have the pleasure of paying $7.99 for in-flight WIFI so that I could write this post but that’s okay, what else would I be doing? Oh yeah, thinking about what is about to kick off in less than 10 hours – the beginning of the end.
I almost didn’t think I was going to make it home from Denver. The weather wasn’t cooperating and as I was approaching the airport it was starting to get pretty dark, lightning strikes, rain … all the things that mean “hope your phone is charged, you’re going to be sitting around for a while.” A little extra time for me to sit around thinking about my first day on the job tomorrow. New people, new projects, new work space … sigh … and hopefully the first day on the last job I will ever have.
It doesn’t help that I am already mentally exhausted from the last 5 days. I don’t know if everyone feels like I do but the National AIA convention, something that is really great for recharging your batteries, seeing old friends, meeting up with news ones, staying up to late and getting up too early. I am tired and I know that I will have a hard time turning my brain off long enough so that I’ll be fresh for what lies ahead.
Typically, the first day on the job is exciting – at least it has always been for me (and I have had many “first days on the job” so I know what I’m talking about) and this is your first chance to make your impression. What are you going to wear? Do you pack a lunch or just assume that someone will go out to eat with you? Will there be client meetings? Where is the information stored on the server? What’s Revit? Who is going to pick up my dry-cleaning?
It’s also different when your my age and you’re supposed to have a pretty big bag of tricks coming in the door. As much as I like to think I’m just like everyone else, I will be these people’s new boss (if you work at Michael Malone Architect’s, get back to work!) Truth is, I do have all those questions but I’m not nervous … nor do I feel any trepidation at doing whatever it is I’ll be doing on my first day on the job. Nobody should feel nervous about their first day on the job – first days are one of the greatest days a person can have:
- you aren’t behind schedule
- you haven’t disappointed anyone
- you aren’t mixed up in any inter-office politics
It’s all potential and possibility on the first day. For now, rather than think about what’s going to happen on Day #1, I am going to enjoy thinking through that last few days and the time I spent at the convention.
The picture above is from the Denver Art Museum by Daniel Libeskind … which I don’t love. I like this picture well enough but the building itself gets on my nerves. I’m sorry if you love it, I just don’t get it, I don’t know how to evaluate it, I don’t know how to judge it. It doesn’t transcend place-making and it certainly doesn’t get much further than saying “look at me – I’m pointy”. It probably doesn’t help that it sits in the shadow of my newest favorite building in Denver …
The Clyfford Still Museum. It is really beautiful and I’m not just saying that because the color and material palette of the project is almost identical to my home (even though I did repeatedly point that out to my wife who had already made that observation without my help). It is resolved, serene, ethereal, responsive, considered, cooperative … it is all everything I look for in a building. It was quite moving and I would highly recommend a visit if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood.
My wife Michelle took this picture of me this last Saturday as we toured the museum. It’s a fantastic building and I throughly enjoyed myself despite the fact that I didn’t know anything about the artist Clyfford Still before I went. That’s okay, I did what architects do … I took pictures of the walls, ceilings, doors, etc. There is a pattern emerging from the architectural tours/trips I take – I take pictures of the building and my wife takes pictures of me taking pictures of the building …
This was the photo I was taking when my wife captured her picture of me taking a picture – we are quite the “picture-taking” team.
Soon I will be emerging myself into the culture of a new office – no doubt shaping, influencing, and probably infecting it with all things “Bob”.
See? It really is the beginning of the end.