I Missed the Bus

November 30th, 2017By: Andrew Lutowicz Posted in: What Makes us Itch

I was really looking forward to that hike up Camelback Mountain to watch the sunrise.

I had the App downloaded on my phone. My personalized itinerary clearly stated:

Sun, Nov 5, 6:40 AM – 10:00 AM

­­­Hike Camelback Mountain

Followed by a ­­­mouthwatering description of epic views from an elevation of 2,704 feet. All this in the Echo Canyon recreation area between Phoenix, Scottsdale & Paradise Valley.

“Grab & go” breakfast even provided on the bus. Of course there was the question of what to wear … and there was something about transportation, but I didn’t need to bother with that link because I already knew the bus would leave from my hotel, and I knew the times.

Besides, I was focused on the prize – the hike and a glorious Arizona sunrise.

Turns out the transportation schedule would have informed me that the bus was leaving at 6:10. It was the hike that started at 6:40.

So, here I sit, in an empty hotel lobby trying to make sense of what just happened, stranded somewhere between disappointment, embarrassment and loneliness instead of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.

The irony is that I’m here in Phoenix for the DIRTT Training Camp, which is all about building better and revolutionizing the construction industry, and it’s not lost on me that this is what befalls folks in construction on almost every project.

Someone is always missing the bus.

The owners are focused on the sunrise, can see it clearly in their mind’s eye – and that’s how it should be. They know, without any doubt, or hesitation how much the project is going to cost and when they need it completed. As for the bus schedule, you don’t need to focus on that. You’ve got specialists and consultants to do that for you.

Plus, the bus schedule is entirely separate from your vision and priorities. The bus doesn’t care, and the consultants and specialists have their own agendas.

So, despite having all the information at your disposal (in my case, on the ‘app’), you grind forward assuming everybody shares your vision, and is in communion with your priorities and schedule.

Aren’t they?

Nope. Deep down you know that, even though you may choose to ignore it.

Why is that, why do you ignore the obvious?

You’ve explained your ideas to the Designers and Architects in detail and at length. They’ve come back to you with concept sketches that capture your vision and they seem to understand your priorities. Engineers are stepping up with blueprints, which might as well be hieroglyphics. Besides which, you never know if you’re looking at the latest set of hiero’s, which only adds to the confusion, trying to decipher them, especially those from Electrical and Mechanical. All those impressive lines, dashes and numbers …

But you trust them, because, well, look how much you’re paying them … and you’re focused on that glorious sunrise, remember. Surely that’s worth all your sweat equity, not to mention the expense.

Now it’s time to hire a contractor, or several, because more is better, right? The thought that this project won’t get completed on schedule or on budget hasn’t seeped into your lizard brain – not just yet, not when you’re picturing yourself standing, triumphant, on Camelback Mountain.

So, let’s say the contractors have submitted their firm prices. It’s more than you thought it was going to be, but what the heck, it is what it is, and you must get there, so you rob Peter to pay Paul-the-contractor, who’s assured you that he will get the job done on time for your non-negotiable move-in-date. After all, his reputation is riding on his ability to deliver your vision on time and on budget.

Finally, you’ve got a dumpster on site and shovels in the ground. It’s later than you thought it was going to be, but not to worry, Paul reminds you that his reputation is at stake and assures you his crew will double down to get you back on schedule, in time for that ever-receding completion date.

So why be put off by niggling (new) costs that you need to sign off on to get you back on track and get you to the top of Camelback Mountain in time to see the sunrise?

Let’s say that week’s drag into months and months possibly into years, as the complications multiply. Your nerves are frayed, but there’s no turning back now, and besides, there’s always someone or something to blame for the mounting headaches. People are losing their patience (that’s why there’s so much swearing in construction) as logic subsides and emotions erupt.

And just when you think the worst is over, a new set of problems crops up. As the project finally takes shape, you realize that some things you’d imagined are not materializing the way you’d envisioned them.


What ever happened to that mountain-top euphoria you were banking on, watching the sun rise?

Is the air just way too thin? Is that why everyone’s behaving as though they’re oxygen-deprived?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We have the tools, the technology and the know-how that can ensure we’re:

~ Capturing your vision in every detail.

~ Providing you with cost certainty.

~ Keeping your project on schedule so you’ll make that glorious sunrise.

The question is, are you willing to follow the link, to find out what benefits these technologies actually offer.

Are you?