Go Smell the Ton of Bricks

Posted on June 24th, 2008 by Funkygirl012003

I just finished up a long and tedious project for one of my clients.  All I can say is wooooooohooooooo!  It’s like a ton of brinks off my shoulders, a feeling I can unfortnently say I’ve had before as a freelancer. 

I’m inserting this tomato because I like how red it is and honestly couldn’t find a good picture mimicking a ton of bricks!

Everyone’s had some kind of project whether it just be the dreaded math homework from their school days to the more involved hassle of life on the job that’s been like a heavy weight on their shoulders.  What’s the last project you had that just took forever to finish?

26 Responses to “Go Smell the Ton of Bricks”

  1. aussiecynic says:

    G’day funky

    well done on getting through it..
    the last Job I had like this was my Fine Arts final Assessment for my final years work…
    needing 46 sketches of assessable quality… in various mediums (graphite, charcoal, water colour, ink etc)
    a mixture of multimedia studies (collage various stuff)
    8 paintings on hand made stretched canvas frames finished to exhibition standard
    2 art history assignments on the history of Art between 1940- 1990 on selected genre including radio and film on 14 different subjects I had to select no shorter than 250words each with a minimum of 4 annotated images
    B and W photography portfolio
    plus Multimedia (computer designed graphics)
    printing including Lithographs, etching, screen prints, and initiative driven experimental design uses, framed to exhibition standard
    all of which would be assessed by artists teachers and gallery persons over the cause of week… and then pick what I thought was my best work to exhibit with the class andthe end of the course.
    I took my work in and set it up in the respective rooms over the week awaited the hours required, picked up my work and went home to await the results which would be mailed to me in a few weeks time… after when I recieved my results the weight was lifted… distinctions, highly commented and A+ for most works so happy aussie…. no fails…hehehehehehe
    yeh I know I am gloting just a bit…..

    aussiecynics last blog post..Buy a LIFE ON EBAY!

  2. [...] Original post by Funkygirl012003 [...]

  3. I envy you guys for having a freelancing career..I wish I can do that too but not sure how to start..

    Latest project..I have never been in a big project before..all I have is just a simple web overseeing project ( I don’t build the web, I am more of an admin of the site only *sniff*) which I am still doing until today..

  4. Fixing up our home. Not enough has changed in our eleven year marriage. This house has not had a working master bathroom since before I was here and for the last six has been totatally gutted with the excepting of the almighty throne!!!

    ClinicallyCluelesss last blog post..Entry: June 30, 2005

  5. BO says:

    The last eighteen months of wedding planning has been pretty tough…only four weeks to go! Following on from that we’ll be putting together a plan to open up a bridal wear shop,so another six months of hard work on that one,hopefully we’ll get all the funding we need.
    Then,normal work wise,i’ve always got loads on to keep me busy.

  6. Lib says:

    Congratulations on the completion Funky.

    My work is just one ongoing project, effectively trying to build a start up in whats an already saturated market.

    Personal life wise, I’m working on something at the moment but it will be a while before I get there

  7. Jim & Em says:

    Greeting Funkygirl, great to read your post after that project – Congrats and LOL with your red tomato :-)

    Finishing GO! Smell the flowers the book took far longer than we thought -writing the travel journals up was one thing, then combining them into a ‘his n hers’ fluid tales another – then the chapter by chapter editing process taking 200,000 words down to 90,000 finally giving the draft out to 10 different people in Dubai, taking all their comments on board and re-editing.

    Job done – now we’re approaching agents to represent us and GO! find us a publisher – we estimate this will take another 12 -18 months before its on the shelf. Either way we’ve done it and we’ve decided not to go down the self publishing route but aim as high as we can….


    How is the free lancing life treating you? We’d love to know more of the ups n downs here.

  8. Bo Snr says:

    Hello Funkygirl
    The ton of bricks were taken from my shoulders when I was diagnosed with MS.
    It meant that I knew why I had been feeling lousy for years and it was time for me to get on with my life whilst I could.
    The first being a wedding in just under 4 weeks.

  9. Gareth in Thailand says:

    For big projects its all in the planning and research. Plan things correctly and analyse in depth right up front and things run more smoothly. If you are starting something completely new then spend as much time as you can researching and reading case studies, this will be time well spent.
    Consider the FMEA methodology (failure mode effect analysis) and during this process you can set up a good fish bone diagram to show the potential failure areas, root cause of the failure, effect of failure and plan to mitigate or offset this failure or setback. Consider internal influences but most definately external ‘noise’. This can be done most easily using a task box with task input, task output, error state and noise source diagram in your project process flow. Minimise the influence of your noise factors and you are most certainly on a better and easier path.
    A strictly regimented timeline with very clear tasks and intended outcomes will also be key to keeping you unstressed and on time. The main key is to be realistic with timing and try and get a small amount of safety in there – too much and you think you’ve loads of time, too little and you pressurise yourself. The more you can break up tasks into smaller tasks then generally the more likely you are to succeed.
    At each stage a set of key deliverables and key measurables will allow you to check you are performing as you should be and keep you on track and again, unstressed and productive.
    This should then help stop big projects/tasks from becoming burdensome and seemingly open ended.

    Of course planning is one thing, what should you do during the project execution? If you do start to slip then there are also things that you can do there. The first could be to look at making a meaningful work breakdown structure and then check your day to day work is actually doing the tasks on the WBS. Keep a log of everything you are doing and quickly, by comparing to your target WBS, you will see what is draining you as a resource and what is actually making the project work feel neverending – it might be e-mails, telephone, spending too long on lunch, not having a clear specification/deliverable so negotiating too much with the customer – whatever. Once you know what is hurting your timing you can then mitigate or eliminate it and get back on track.

    Most of my (work) projects take between 1 & 3 years and are strongly time bound. As such none of them take forever or feel that way as the end date is not negotiable. However there are a lot of tools out there to help make project based work easier, clearer, more efficient and ultimately remove the ‘chore’ factor.

    • Jim & Em says:

      Project Management R us!


      With the fish bone diagram is that instead of or after the brainstorming session using mind maps, or example Or is your fishbone a mind map, if you will…just wondering as got mongst it mind map wise at a Covey Project Management workshop.

    • Fertile Fish says:

      GORDON BENNETT!!!!!!

      I rest my case!

      snigger snigger snigger snigger!!

  10. Lib says:

    This is for you two.

    Management speak – don’t you just hate it? Emphatically yes, judging by readers’ responses to writer Lucy Kellaway’s campaign against office jargon. Here, we list 50 of the best worst examples.

    1. “When I worked for Verizon, I found the phrase going forward to be more sinister than annoying. When used by my boss – sorry, “team leader” – it was understood to mean that the topic of conversation was at an end and not be discussed again.”
    Nima Nassefat, Vancouver, Canada

    2. “My employers (top half of FTSE 100) recently informed staff that we are no longer allowed to use the phrase brain storm because it might have negative connotations associated with fits. We must now take idea showers. I think that says it all really.”
    Anonymous, England

    3. At my old company (a US multinational), anyone involved with a particular product was encouraged to be a product evangelist. And software users these days, so we hear, want to be platform atheists so that their computers will run programs from any manufacturer.”
    Philip Lattimore, Thailand

    4. “Incentivise is the one that does it for me.”
    Karl Thomas, Perth, Scotland

    5. “My favourite which I hear from the managers at the bank I work for is let’s touch base about that offline. I think it means have a private chat but I am still not sure.”
    Gemma, Wolverhampton, England

    6. “Have you ever heard the term loop back which means go back to an associate and deal with them?”
    Scott Reed, Lakeland, Florida, US

    7-8. “We used to collect the jargon used in a list and award the person with the most at the end of the year. The winner was a client manager with the classic you can’t turn a tanker around with a speed boat change. What? Second was we need a holistic, cradle-to-grave approach, whatever that is.”
    Turner, Manchester

    9. “Until recently I had to suffer working for a manager who used phrases such as the idiotic I’ve got you in my radar in her speech, letters and e-mails. Once, when I mentioned problems with the phone system, she screamed ‘NO! You don’t have problems, you have challenges’. At which point I almost lost the will to live.”
    Stephen Gradwick, Liverpool

    10. “You can add challenge to the list. Problems are no longer considered problems, they have morphed into challenges.”
    Irene MacIntyre, Courtenay, B

    11. “Business speak even supersedes itself and does so with silliness, the shorthand for quick win is now low hanging fruit.”
    Paul, Formby, UK

    12. “And looking under the bonnet.”
    Eve Russell, Edinburgh

    13-14. “The business-speak that I abhor is pre-prepare and forward planning. Is there any other kind of preparedness or planning?”
    Edward Creswick, Exeter

    15-16. “The one that really gets me is pre-plan – there is no such thing. Either you plan or you don’t. The new one which has got my goat is conversate, widely used to describe a conversation. I just wish people could learn to ‘think outside the box’ although when they put us in cubes what do they expect?”
    Malcolm, Houston

    17. “I work in one of those humble call centres for a bank. Apparently, what we’re doing at the moment is sprinkling our magic along the way. It’s a call centre, not Hogwarts.”
    Caroline Garlick, Ayrshire

    18. “A pet hate is the utterly pointless expression in this space. So instead of the perfectly adequate ‘how can I help?’ it’s ‘how can I help in this space?’ Or the classic I heard on Friday, ‘How can we help our customers in this space going forward?’ I think I may have caught this expression at source, as I’ve yet to hear it said outside my own working environment. So I’m on a personal crusade to stamp it out before it starts infecting other City institutions. Wish me luck in this space.”
    Colin, London

    19. “The one phrase that inspires a rage in me is from the get-go.”
    Andy, Herts

    20. “‘Going forward’ is only half the phrase that gets up my nose – all politicians seem to use the phrase go forward together. ‘We must… we shall… let us now… go forward together’. It gives me a terrible mental image of the whole country linking arms and goose-stepping in unison, with the politicians out in front doing a straight-armed salute. Is it just me?”
    Frances Smith, Toronto, Canada

    21. “I am a financial journalist and am on a mission to remove words and phrases such as 360-degree thinking from existence.”
    Richard, London

    22. “The latest that’s stuck in my head is we are still optimistic things will feed through the sales and delivery pipeline (ie: we actually haven’t sold anything to anyone yet but maybe we will one day).”
    Alexander, Southampton

    23. “I worked in PR for many years and often heard the most ludicrous phrases uttered by CEOs and marketing managers. One of the best was, we’d better not let the grass grow too long on this one. To this day it still echoes in my ears and I giggle to myself whenever I think about it. I can’t help but think insecure business people use such phrases to cover up their inability for proper articulation.”
    Leon Reilly, Ealing, London

    24. “Need to get all my ducks in a row now – before the five-year-olds wake up.”
    Mark Dixon, Bridgend

    25. “Australians have started to use auspice as a verb. Instead of saying, ‘under the auspices of…’, some people now say things like, it was auspiced by…”
    Martin Pooley, Marrickville, Australia

    26. “My favourite: we’ve got our fingers down the throat of the organisation of that nodule. Translation = Er, no, WE sorted out the problems to cover your backside.”
    Theo de Bray, Kettering, UK

    27. “The health service in Wales is filled with managers who use this type of language as a substitute for original thought. At meetings we play health-speak bingo; counting the key words lightens the tedium of meetings – including, most recently, my door is open on this issue. What does that mean?”
    Edwin Pottle, Llandudno

    28-29. “The business phrase I find most irritating is close of play, which is only slightly worse than actioning something.”
    Ellie, London

    30. “Here in the US we have the cringe-worthy and also in addition. Then there’s the ever-eloquent ‘where are we at?’ So far, I haven’t noticed the UK’s at the end of the day prefacing much over here; thank heavens for small mercies.”
    Eithne B, Chicago, US

    31. “The expression that drives me nuts is 110%, usually said to express passion/commitment/support by people who are not very good at maths. This has created something of a cliche-inflation, where people are now saying 120%, 200%, or if you are really REALLY committed, 500%. I remember once the then-chancellor Gordon Brown saying he was 101% behind Tony Blair, to which people reacted ‘What? Only 101?’”
    Ricardo Molina, London, UK

    32. “My least favourite business-speak term is not enough bandwidth. When an employee used this term to refuse an additional assignment, I realised I was completely ‘out of the loop’.”
    April, Berkeley, US

    33. “I once had a boss who said, ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it, so you have to step up to the plate and face the music.’ It was in that moment I knew I had to resign before somebody got badly hurt by a pencil.”
    Tim, Durban

    34. “Capture your colleagues – make sure everyone attends that risk management workshop (compulsory common sense training for idiots).”
    Anglowelsh, UK

    35-37. “We too used to have daily paradigm shifts, now we have stakeholders who must come to the party or be left out, or whatever.”
    Barry Hicks, Cape Town, RSA

    38. “I have taken to playing buzzword bingo when in meetings. It certainly makes it more entertaining when I am feeding it back (or should that be cascading) at work.”
    Ian Everett, Bolton

    39. “In my work environment it’s all cascading at the moment. What they really mean is to communicate or disseminate information, usually downwards. What they don’t seem to appreciate is that it sounds like we’re being wee’d on. Which we usually are.”
    LMD, London

    40. “At a large media company where I once worked, the head of human resources – itself a weaselly neologism for personnel – told us that she would be cascading down new information to staff. What she meant was she was going to send them a memo. It was one of the reasons I resigned – that, and the fact that the chief exec persisted on referring to the company as a really cool train set.”
    Andrew, London

    41. “Working for an American corporation, this year’s favourite word seems to be granularity, meaning detail. As in ‘down to that level of granularity’.”
    Chris Daniel, Anaco, Venezuela

    42. “On the wall of our office we have a large signed certificate, signed by all the senior management team, in which they solemnly promise to leverage their talents, display and inspire ‘unyielding integrity’, and lots of other pretentious buzz-phrases like that. Clueless, the lot of them.”
    Chris K, Cheltenham UK

    43. “After a reduction in workforce, my university department sent this notice out to confused campus customers: ‘Thank you for your note. We are assessing and mitigating immediate impacts, and developing a high-level overview to help frame the conversation with our customers and key stakeholders. We intend to start that process within the week. In the meantime, please continue to raise specific concerns or questions about projects with my office via the Transition Support Center…”
    Charles R, Seattle, Washington, US

    44. “I was told I’d be living the values from now on by my employers at a conference the other week. Here’s some modern language for them – meh. A shame as I strongly believe in much of what my employers aim to do. I refuse to adopt the voluntary sectors’ client title of ‘service user’. How is someone who won’t so much as open the door to me using my service? Another case of using four syllables where one would do.”
    Upscaled Blue-Sky thinker, Cardiff

    45. “Business talk 2.0 is maddening, meaningless, patronising and I despise it.”
    Doug, London

    46. “Lately I’ve come across the strategic staircase. What on earth is this? I’ll tell you; it’s office speak for a bit of a plan for the future. It’s not moving on but moving up. How strategic can a staircase really be? A lot I suppose, if you want to get to the top without climbing over all your colleagues.”
    Peter Walters, Cheadle Hulme, UK

    47. “When a stock market is down why must we be told it is in negative territory?”
    Phil Linehan, Mexico City, Mexico

    48. “The particular phrase I love to hate is drill down, which handily can be used either as an adverb/verb combo or as a compound noun, ie: ‘the next level drill-down’, sometimes even in the same sentence – a nice bit of multi-tasking.”
    B, London

    49. “Thanks for the impactful article; I especially appreciated the level of granularity. A high altitude view often misses the siloed thinking typical of most businesses. Absent any scheme for incentivitising clear speech, however, I’m afraid we’re stuck with biz-speak.”
    Timothy Denton, New York

    50. “It wouldn’t do the pinstripers any harm to crack a smile and say what they really felt once in a while instead of trotting out such clinical platitudes. Of course a group of them may need to workshop it first: Wouldn’t want to wrongside the demographic.”
    Trick Cyclist, Tripoli, Libya

    • Tight Speedos says:

      Aaah ‘Corporate Bollox’ at its best…….

      What I never understood is why so many corporate employees so rapidly embrace these dreadful phrases and then worse still, embellish and build on them?

      Now there’s a question to put you behind the 8 ball – groan………….

    • Fertile Fish says:

      I’ll bet GIT has used (and probably had a hand in developing) all those phrases above!

  11. Jim & Em says:

    LOL Lib……..quality.

    We used to play buzzword bingo in meetings – whoever used 5 phrases and crossed them off had to stand up in the meeting a proclaim ‘BINGO’.

    Cringey faves used to be touch base, on the same page, goalposts are on castors, level playing field and mission statement.

    More please…..

    Another business games is to give a colleague 3 words to get into a meeting or pitch and see who can get them in first WITHOUT the client or co-worker realising the game.

    The hours flew by.

  12. Purple13 says:

    perhaps we need a ‘Lib award’ – longest comment ever?

    Nice one Lib.

    My own often used personal fav is “think outside the box” – annoys the hell out of mandy!

    Purple13s last blog post..Did you notice our Side Bar has had a spring clean?

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