Definitely bill this time…

Oh, project billing.  It’s every architect’s most favorite nemesis.  To bill or not to bill is usually the question.  Shall I bill this internet surf time or pony it up and take it out of my lunch hour?  Shall I record all the extra wasted time I spent on this project or make it look marginally profitable?  How can I spread my lack of work across several projects so that I don’t have to record the dreaded “general overhead” on my time sheet, thereby guaranteeing that I will lose my job in the near future.

I think my career goal will soon be to work in the marketing and business development department so that I can enjoy the corporate perk of billing all my time to some breed of project number “marketing 1.001” without the pressure to pony up documents that attest to the work I did…or somehow justify that my project has tanked in the profit margin department.  I realize that the glorious and elusive “marketing” project number comes with its own pressures (read: must bring in significant work or will lose job) but  for the moment I can’t deal with that pressure and I am doing just fine in fantasy land.  If you are reading this blog in your office, and be honest about it, you are totally billing this time to something.

Which brings me to my next point:  what do you write in the required “comments” line of the project number, “general overhead?”  My personal favorite is admin tasks.  I feel that this encompasses a variety of architecturally related wastings of time while being generic enough to not indicate that I was surfing the web.  Of course, we all know I was on the internet, but denial is a devious little devil and I prefer to believe that the accounting department thinks I was scanning old blueprints onto the server.  I am not frequently faced with my nemesis, General Overhead, but occasionally a confrontation takes place and I typically lose the battle.

So, in honor of wasting time, I have included a few awesome architecture cartoons to tickle your funny bone.  Feel free to share around the office and shamelessly link back to this blog.  Also, definitely bill this time…

  1. I love how you put into words my feelings on billable time, and in such a cheeky way. (“Cheeky”, I’ve been reading a lot of Thomas the Tank Engine to my son.) I used to practice commercial interior design and keeping track of billable hours with projects with such low rates to work with were aweful!

    • Natalia- I completely agree, bill or not to bill is always the question! And, Thomas the Train is always welcome here 😉

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