Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
A tragic lesson that extends perfectly to consulting.

So apparently the casino garage collapse that killed four construction workers and injured twenty others was the result of last-minute design changes to speed the job and save money. I've dealt with this same problem over and over again with clients. I love making magic happen with limited funds. I'm the king of making miracles happen on shoestring budgets. But when you try and cheat the old adage of "Good, fast, cheap, pick two," you wind up taking it in the ear. Or worse, as this story proves.

Those of you who might ever be in the position to hire one, listen to your designer. They're not housepainters, they're consultants, goddamn it, and if they're worth anything they won't just throw up their hands and say "the client's always right" until they've been pushed too damn far. You wouldn't dream of whining and complaining about what your doctor or your lawyer tells you to do – that's what you went to them for in the first place. (Of course, my pharmacist mom will certainly post something snide to point out how patients will hardly ever simply listen to their doctors, but whatever. I did it for you, mom, so you don't have to bother.)

If you don't listen to your doctor and you get worse, it's your fault. If you don't listen to your lawyer and you get sued, it's your fault. If you don't listen to your designer and your building falls down and kills people, guess whose fault that is?

I'm just waiting for the lawsuits to start on this one.

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