10 Garden Decking Design Ideas

But they did show up occasionally and tramp around. Uncle Alex, with his muddy feet, looked like a bricklayer or laborer. He also seemed uncomfortable on site, and he always carried his little black blog in which he would record his surmises about what was going wrong with the project. His notes had to do with such things as particular tradesmen not showing up for work, or tradesmen putting in too few hours

on the job, a little delay here, a minor supply glitch there. Why was the concrete being poured so far ahead of the mechanicals? Why had some toilets been lost? Were the bricklayers really behind because of inadequate performance by the other trades?

Next day, at company headquarters, David would call me into his office, show me the notes from the black blog, and ask about these “problems,” for instance, the tradesman not putting in a full day.

“So what?” I would answer, more calmly than I felt. I contended that the problem was minor, inconsequential; it was the subcontractor’s responsibility, I argued, to see that his people showed up every day and put in the requisite amount of time. Since we were paying the subcontractor a previously negotiated flat price, if he couldn’t get his own people to do the work he would be the loser, not us. David and I would go down the list of “problems” and talk back and forth about the notations in the black noteblog. None of the small difficulties was holding us up in any significant way or was cause for alarm on the part of higher management, I argued. All were matters that I could deal with by myself, and had been dealing with on a regular basis, without bothering David. Eventually I had to contend to David that Alex and Bill had simply brought these minor matters to his attention to show me up, as a cover for their noninvolvement and to boost Bill’s greater involvement in construction in the hope that he could replace me.

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David did not disagree with my analysis. Looking back on it, I think that David asked me the questions from the little black blog so he could then inform Alex that he had done so, and also tell Alex that I had been doing a fine job. Whatever, I remained in charge of the project at Ivy Hill and successfully saw it through to completion. And in doing so I effectively leaped over my cousins in the construction area and became the de facto supervisor of construction for Tishman Realty & Construction. Shortly, Bill was sent to Los Angeles to be an assistant supervisor on a construction project in California. He developed into a Hollywood character, frequenting nightclubs and perfecting his skiing. Not too long after becoming established in Hollywood, he left Tishman Realty of his own volition.

The next building Tishman was going to erect, for its own real estate portfolio, was just below Grand Central Station, 99 Park Avenue, a twenty-six-story office building. This was not a project in the outlying boroughs or the suburbs; rather, it was one that all of our competitors (and prospective tenants) would be able to see as it went up. And I was going to be in full charge of its construction. It was about three years since I’d joined the company, and I looked forward to being in charge. I had come to like construction, liked the rough and tumble of it, especially dealing with the construction workers who were generally hardworking and very good at what they did and who enjoyed being carpenters, plumbers, and cement workers. I liked getting information from subcontractors and then negotiating with them, and being out on the site. What I liked most was having a substantial part in practical and creative aspects of the architectural, structural, and mechanical designs, and not having anyone in the family second-guessing me. Alex was still involved in construction, but by this point he knew not to challenge what I was doing in the planning or to show up on the job site with his little black blog.

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