Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Architects vs Triathletes

I was made very aware yesterday, while meeting with a client, that us Architects are arrogant.  Our meeting lasted approximately 90 minutes and she probably said the words: "I am an Architect so I know..." over 20 times.  As many of you know, I am an Architect as well but not once did I say that I was one to prove myself superior to others.  For one reason or the other, she seemed to think that having an energy efficiency "expert" at her rental property was necessary, but when I show up, it's like she knew it all.  Why did she call me in the first place?!?

This experience made me think about most Architects I know, and indeed, many are arrogant and do believe they know it all.  Let me start with my college professors.  Many of them were teachers, mostly because they did not have a firm of their own or most importantly, none of their designs were out there being built.  Who am I to talk though? None of my designs are out there being built... but one thing is very different between them and myself.  I don't go telling students (while wearing black dressy pants, black long sleeve turtle neck and black shoes, oh, with a dark gray scarf... in the summer) that their designs are ALL WRONG... in front of a class of 20.  You have no idea how many times I saw someone crying in front of these classes.

While I know many of these professors do have a job outside of teaching, the ones I remember are the ones that made my life miserable, mostly because they had nothing better to do and were bitter about their failed careers.  Every word that came out of their mouth was passive-aggressive and to me it just sounded like they said: "I am an Architect, therefore I am".  Silly, I know.  It's been a few years since I've been surrounded by this strange breed, but yesterday I was reminded why it was a HUGE turn off half-way through college and I realized I did not want to be stuck in one of these firms.  It's just not me.

While the professional front seemed to have settled for me since I work with an amazing group of people and do Sustainable Design Consulting, and no, I do not dress all black and cocky, I spend most my spare time training for triathlons.  Triathletes.  Another strange group of people.

I have met some wonderful people while doing this crazy thing that I say I love.  But others... geee.  Just like Architects, arrogant.  This specific group of people even TRY to use words that would make NO sense to non-triathletes.  For example: "Sorry, I can't go out for a drink tonight I have a brick workout". Seriously? You lifting bricks?  Yeah, just stick to the "I gotta train tonight".  Or the other one is: "I can't go hiking this weekend, I have a 70.3 on Sunday".  70.3 what?  Just say Half Ironman, it's not less impressive and it doesn't make you sound like a complete idiot.  Then there goes the nutrition talk.  "What's your calorie intake during a Century?".  Uhh... Huh??  Or, like my friend Lindsay would jokingly say (based on a real conversation she heard): "What kind or iron supplement do you take?".  Seriously... just keep it simple.  People really don't care.

Of course, all this "idiot" talk doesn't exclude triathletes from also thinking they are AMAZING by using the words: "I am a triathlete so I know...".  Yep, triathletes know a lot of random crap that is not relevant to the everyday life (or everyone else, for that matter).  I am entertained on a daily basis being surrounded by both Architects and Triathletes.

So for now, I will get back to my Architect job so later in the day I can go be a Triathlete.  But I leave you with the famous quote from the great German-American Architect Mies Van der Rohe:

  "Less is more"

No comments:

Post a Comment