The week that was 19-23 December 2016
Singapore- Shenzhen- Guilin- Yangshuo- Bangkok- Singapore – Sydney, Xmas Weekend 24 – 25 December 2016
And so we have arrived at the end of the last working week of the year (at least for our office). We closed at noon today (Friday) and before I fly off to Sydney for my Xmas holidays with family and friends in the early hours tomorrow morning, I tussle between writing my blog and last minute issues to be resolved with those clients (mainly Chinese) who as always do not follow our Xmas tradition and for some reason do not seem to understand that we are shutting down till the new year and keep pushing for resolve on some issues. One of our projects here in Singapore nota bene plans to commission on the 31st of December! Only the installation contractor and the client seem to be present as all other lead consultants including ourselves are gone fishing! Having just returned from China yesterday questions and issues keep crowding the airwaves on another project that has kept us on the edge till the last minute before we locked the office.
Overall it has been a satisfying week and for that matter a very satisfying year! We are ending on a high and look forward to another great year ahead. It will be my last blog for a while as I have not decided what to do in the new year. As I mentioned before I have some new plans but I will decide in January how to kick them off! This last week of the year started on Sunday with an early rise and flight to Shenzhen for kick-off work meeting on Sunday (my fault because I had no other date available, but the client and project team obliged, thanks!), a typical Chinese drink-dinner at night, followed by another early rise on Monday for a 3 hour high speed train trip to Guilin and a 1+ hour road trip to Yanghsuo. Our two day site meeting (also requested by us in view of the Xmas holidays) resolved many issues and saw us flying back via Bangkok on Wednesday. Yesterday and today saw us wrap up the trip and final deliverables for other projects before the holidays.
This trip served two purposes, first we met with a new client for a very exciting new project (design due before Chinese New Year!) and a kick off meeting with the design team at their offices. The client is involved with the China Cup Yachting competition and we are “literally on board” for the lighting design of their hospitality VIP yacht. Due to confidentiality I cannot share any photo’s but is is an exciting project. During the diner later in the evening our client boss made a for me historic statement. He had enough of project that were continuously cost cutting and value engineering, in his opinion we should focus on earning more money! “Stop cutting costs! Let’s try earn more money!” Yeah…way to go! We also used the opportunity to have a catch up design workshop with the same design team with whom we are on another project together, the client graciously making their offices available to us. we did use the opportunity to show of our design skills and called the client in to have a look at our presentations to great admiration…they were duly impressed. Let’s hope we can now fulfil the expectations we have created!
After a short night and a heavy head (from the night before drinking J) we got up in the early hours to catch the high speed train and after 3 hours and another good hour by car we arrived on site in Yangsuo around noon. After the obligatory tour to get a feel of the progress on site we got down to business planning and organising the visual mock ups and reviewing site installation details. While the day time was used to prepare, the night time was reserved for reviewing and signing off on the lighting effects. As the night falls early in the approaching winter, we managed to do the night viewing straight at nightfall with a late dinner afterwards. As in so many projects we are facing a disconnect between the site contractors used to do things the China way and the lead consultants who have “slightly” different standards when it comes to quality and protocols and an “emergency” meeting was called on Tuesday to discuss with the team specifically what is need for reliable dimming for LED’s. The site is still in incandescent phase dimming mode and look at you with a blur look when you start talking about 0-10V protocols (let alone DALI or other!). Our last minute flurry of emails and messages was exactly about trying to resolve all that, but by the looks of it, we will only be a le to do that after the holidays…aaaargh…will they ever learn?
I leave you with some mood pictures of my travel the site and other images giving you a feel of this last week on the road! See you in the New Year some time…
Enjoy your Xmas weekend and a very happy and successful New Year!