The Stupid Season

Kevin Biddle

September 2007

I hope everyone has enjoyed a busy and prosperous summer. I also hope everyone has been able to take time away from the office to enjoy their families. If you have children, school has just started, and now is the time to get your businesses prepared for the coming fall and winter workload.

We just got through the time of year that my coworkers and I call the "stupid season.” For those of you who do much school work, you will know what I am talking about. This is the time when we are forced to do six months’ worth of work in two months, when we need to have a taper on every available wall, and when we have to drop 40,000 square feet of ceiling tile over a weekend because the mechanicals could not man the job in June and July.

Everyone has their own stupid season and how you are able to get through it can go a long way toward determining whether your year will be successful or not. I know that if we can survive the stupid season and keep our heads above water and not throw any GCs, architects or mechanical contractors over Niagara Falls, we are in for a good year.

The key is to communicate early on with the architect and general contractor on what needs to be done and when, in order to keep the continuity of work—critical to every job. By working with the GC’s project manager and not against him, you may just pick up a future ally. The chances are that if you help him get through a tight schedule, he will want you and not your competitor on his jobs in the future.

One of my project managers asked me once why it seems that we never win when dealing with a certain GC. I told him that I don’t mind losing a few minor battles along the way as long as we keep our eye on the big picture. One way to do that is to come to San Diego for AWCI’s Industry Executives’ Conference & Committee Week, Sept. 18–22. Whether it is your first conference or your 20th, I invite you to join your peers and find that something special that you can take back to your office. There is no better place to be rejuvenated and get refocused. You may even find the answer that can help get you through your stupid season.