Hungry bears don’t dance

A fun expression from Greece, the country I live in. Means what it says – you need to feed people if they’re going to work for you. So obvious and yet how often do you find yourself working on a site where no thought has been given to peoples needs?

After a painful job back in 1999 I began to make a personal checklist:

  • parking and access
  • permits if needed
  • food
  • water !!!
  • toilets
  • building work finished
  • stable power
  • air conditioning

Then we’ll talk about deadlines…

That particular job was a turn-key TV station mid-summer in an industrial district of mid-Athens. Temperatures around 40 celsius, hardly a tree in sight to shade the concrete. It was mid-August and most of the shops were closed – everyone who could had left for the beaches. Except for us poor mutts who were tasked with get the channel on-air by the beginning of September.

The wiring team were working around the builders. Power came and went, air-con was a still just a dream. It was the last of the heroic installations – we gave it all and yes we made it. But from then on I made a personal vow:

Plan the job as though you are going work on the Moon

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