Monday, December 10, 2012

Cover Your Tracks

For those of us that remember Mark, one of our past designers, I think most of us remember him laboring over a rendering with a pile of colored pens by his side.  I remember him telling me a four color combination to get just the right tone for the grass on a rendering we were working on together.  We are talking about four layers of different greens in a specific order over broad areas...

Once, in our third floor’s back room when it was still used as a model making studio, Mark was working on the models of a pedestrian bridge.  If you’ve seen the model, you know it is the brightest shade of yellow-orange imaginable.  As would be expected, Mark had dozens of bottles of ink open while he was staining bass wood members in order to erect the bridge in model form.  He was using the cotton swabs to do the staining and, unfortunately dropped one loaded with ink on the newly installed carpet.  But it gets worse.

He failed to notice that he dropped it and stepped on it, impregnating the carpet even further.  And yet it gets worse.  The swab stuck to his shoe and Mark walked circles around the table in order to access and view the model from every angle.  Needless to say, when Mark finally noticed, he was upset with himself.  The ink would prove to be permanent, but what could be done?  It was a model making studio, and luckily not a very public area.

If you wait long enough, even the most embarrassing and distressful situations will blow over.  Eventually, the model table was removed and replaced with work stations that covered the stains.  I don’t know if I could find the stains if I tried now.  In time, something will always cover your tracks.

And here is a link to some video by our local TV network on the very last gingerbread display in our current office before we move.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Out Damn Spot

As a summer intern, I was helping to color some boards for a big presentation for the biggest project RLPS had ever had to that point.  The team was leaving for the airport in the next several minutes, so you can imagine the flurry of activity.  In my haste to get the boards done, I was refilling a pen with ink too close to one of the boards that was nearly completed.  I squeezed a little too hard on the refill bottle and a drop of ink rolled down the barrel of the pen and splattered on the top right hand corner of the nearly completed board.

My heart felt like it was stuck in my throat.  As my mind fast forwarded to the moments ahead, I saw my self re-coloring the board while the partners stood around me in circle yelling obscenities at me.  To my complete surprise, though, the partner I was working with tore off a piece of White Out tape and covered up the stain in one fluid motion.  After continuing to apologize, Craig assured me no one would ever notice.

Over the next fifteen-plus years, I’ve learned you are not measured by the mistakes that you make, but rather on the way you handle the situations that result from your mistakes.  When the trip to Florida was done, no one came back complaining about the spot of ink on that one presentation board.