Jakarta 5th April 2013
As I write my blog I have just spent another two hours in the car on my way to the airport for my flight back to Singapore. Another mega “majet” (traffic jam)…I barely managed to check in before closure of the counter, phew…and considering it is the last flight out for the day with this airline, I was rather fretting and stressing the last few kilometres! I really don’t understand how people can live or work in Jakarta..i had good meetings today in Jakarta but considering the effort (2 hours drive to and from the airport plus the frustratingly slow traffic movement in Jakarta, you cannot really call it super productive.
Technically we don’t really bill our clients for the lost hours spent in the plane, train, car or taxi. It sort of comes with the territory, but if you start analysing the hours spent in motion from your office or home to your client and back and then charge an hourly rate it would be quite shocking I think. We do charge our clients a lump sum fee in general for attending meetings specifically the ones overseas, but at times these amounts look so out of proportion in relation to our fees (they can sometimes be up to half our fees!), that we willingly reduce these to not scare of our clients.
There is a trade off of course as while you travel for your client to a country you generally are able to piggy back some other meetings with potential clients or other relevant meetings in your free time. Today was no different. Note that in overseas projects our time involvement in attending meetings is generally limited to once a month or so. But when you do a project in your “home” country you are more or less expected to attend weekly meetings, which often render these kind of project less effective, less respectful and more time consuming. In contrast overseas meetings are generally efficient to the point and productive. Everyone is aware of each-others precious time as we all know we have only a short time span within to discuss or resolve all projects issues. Meetings are therefore conducted with much more respect and attention. So I take today’s majet in my stride… have great “stress”-less weekend!
Light Watch 4-59: As lighting designers we deal with many developing countries and for many 5-star hotels and resort luxury is a far away dream. It is therefore great t see a development like the Gravity Light, an invention that powers light by gravity (weight). A bit like the pendulum clock. The weight allows for about 30 minutes of lighting after which you need to “rewind”