Patience is a virtue

Singapore 28th February 2012

Patience is defined (and experienced) in many different ways. Depending on where you live and work, patience has also a totally different meaning. Patience in Australia is different from patience in China; one may be driven by lifestyle, the other by culture. If like me you are not that patient when it does not go your way (I hate queuing up whether at a cashier or immigration counter) it is not always easy to stay at it. Some people however prefer queuing up for 1 hour at the taxi stand rather than paying a $3 extra booking fee for a taxi which generally arrives within 5-10 minutes! And you would think they want to save money, right? But then you look at their bags and you see they just spent $200 shopping! I always dread those trips to cities where I know I will be spending hours in the back of a car just to get from A to B; like in Jakarta, Mumbai or Bangkok….I tell you this, the older you get, the more you value your time, and in our business time is money, it’s our commodity!

All this as a prelude to a lighting project that has taken about 18 months to finally take off! Discussed with a client in the second half of 2010, I finally received today the go-ahead to proceed and the first meeting is planned for next week. The project is in WA (Western Australia) and I guess not for nothing people refer to WA with Wait Awhile…This is not by all accounts a record by the way, some project developments start and stop and may see time spans of more than 10 years between initial discussions and actual start of the project! By memory my longest wait was probably about 5 years before we finally got started.

What it has learned me over the years is that you never know. Always keep your contacts going as today the project may be shelved and a long shot possibility, but someday tomorrow it may suddenly become a reality again. Patience in our profession also pops up in other shapes and forms…patience for our appointment, patience for getting paid…why do they always wait till the very last moment tosign off or pay you?…Patience is a virtue, sure, but you really need to harness it as in our business it is easy to get nuts if you don’t!

Light Watch 3-27: Today I honour you with one of my personal sketches, some of them can be found in my book as well…Patiently waiting while you could be enjoying the beach… 🙂

28. February 2012 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

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