A Woman in the World of Construction

Being a single woman in the world of construction, I have had some experiences that many others have not had. There was a session where we did a good amount of work for one specific general contractor, with one particular project manager. We were a main sub-contractor and performed a wide variety of work. About once a month I would meet with the lead project manager to go over paperwork and get invoices approved before they were submitted to accounts payable for payment. The meetings were always at their corporate office and in the common conference room. I kept the meeting to an hour and only discussed projects. Before an upcoming meeting, the project manager called me and asked if we could move our meeting to a restaurant and have lunch while we discussed the projects. I agreed, but insisted that I pay for lunch. He agreed and just before hanging up, his last comment was, “come dressed to kill”.

Great, this was heading in a direction that was not professional at all. It’s never been easy being a woman in construction, but I really enjoy what I do and the work our company performs for all of our clients is outstanding. So what to do? I wanted to keep it professional, but also communicate that our relationship was just about the business of construction. It took me a good portion of the week leading up to the lunch appointment to figure out what I was going to do and what I would say. The day finally came for the lunch appointment. I was purposely a few minutes late as I did not want to be the first one to the restaurant. I wanted the project manager to be there first, seated at the table so he could get a good look at me when I came in. You should have seen the look on his face when I came to the table in “hunting-camo” from head to toe -including camouflage face paint. I boldly walked up to the table and sat down. “Dressed to kill, what’s the hunting adventure?” I asked. He was so embarrassed and understood that I was not going to play his little game. Needless to say, we went on to have a great lunch, invoices were approved and the working relationship is still going strong to this day.

He never apologized and we never discussed his intent behind his comment “come dressed to kill”, but I thought my solution to the problem was just about the funniest thing ever. If you are wondering what the actual project was that this “hunting lunch” pertained to, it was a commercial building that needed some upgrades to roof top structure for the elevator “dog house”. Our team of professional carpenters fabricated and installed a new roof ladder with anchor points, all up to code. The old metal exterior cladding that was used as a siding material around the elevator “dog house” was removed and upgraded with a texture Hardie Panel siding board. The exterior cladding was sequenced correctly with a new water shield to address the water intrusion issue that was occurring. After the carpenters finished their work, then our teams of professional painters came in to prime and paint the new upgrades completely.

Our team enjoys a variety of projects and a good challenge every now and then. I guess I enjoy a good challenge as well. I’ve never been hunting, but if I ever need to go, I have the outfit. Let us know if you have a project that you need help with. We would love the opportunity to do an amazing job for you, one time and under budget.

Until the next funny story of the Adventures at Wheeler Painting and Restoration Services, be well and do good.