If I submit my my project/poster/part on Friday, can I get it by Monday morning?
This sort of question is asked of all shops, makers and doers in many different forms. I receive questions all the time asking how fast we get a job done. This query can imply many things that the person asking the question may not have considered.
-It asks how good we are.
-It implies that your project is most important.
-It asks us to take the blame for not getting your project done.
-It says that you do not plan and have not planned.
-It says that we have nothing better to do with our weekend.
Look, engineers often get caught by deadlines. It happens. We get caught up in the minutia that is our life’s work and forget that completing a project in an organized manner is important. The makers of this world understand this dilemma. It has existed for millennia. However, the knowledge of this dilemma does not create a convenient excuse for you.
“An emergency on your part does not constitute an emergency for me…”
So, what are you going to do?
This problem can be split into two parts. Immediate damage control and long term solution.
Immediate damage control is where you admit that you didn’t plan and were honestly caught by a deadline. This admission needs to be made to your boss not to the shop/maker/machinist/or administrative assistant. You will be chastised and some sort of corrective action will occur. But, it is better to accept the consequences of your decisions than to hide them until they are dragged into the light of day.
The long term solution is more painful at first. You have to plan.
My 2 cents – an Engineer