Saturday, January 23, 2010

Back in Brown

Scruffiness is my middle name (actually its not but you know what I mean). I have a slightly shambolic air about me. I don't dress very well (not for long anyway), most of my ties now have soup on them. I like to see the big picture rather than the details. I'm not sure if this is a character flaw or my flawed character. Or, to put it another way - Should I try to fix it?

Many years ago whilst finishing my Ph.D. I was sent on a course in Sheffield where we learned about team building, project management and team theory. One of the areas we learned about was the work of Meredith Belbin. She formed a theory of the key types of people which can be found in teams and how to form an effective one. I don't remember where I came on the scale, however I do remember that I am not a Completer-Finisher. Basically I don't like finishing things. I like getting them to a state where they can be useful, and ready for the finishing off process. Which I don't like.

Why all this introspection? Well there are two reasons. Firstly my cars. As you can probably tell by now, I don't really do finished. I like to get things up and running, ready for the next stage. I get all excited when I can put things together again and go for a drive (after all that's the point of a car isn't it?) I don't think I really want to be able to do a proper top coat of paint. I'll do some preparation so someone else can do that. One example of this is the work I've been doing on Jessica's passenger door. The paint is pretty bad, but the door is back on. I've also prepared a new door card (we're going for a brown theme now...) and to me it looks brilliant (finished even?!) but I know where I don't want you to look!

The other reason is that this excited puppy approach to the things I do also applies (despite my attempts to the contrary) to my job. I write software for a living and get the same little boy excitement when I get something to work, then I like to move on to the next thing. This approach means that the new stuff gets done quickly and effectively. There is however, a tendency to incorporate bugs. Now, that is a very bad thing. I can't ask someone to go over everything I do, so I'm left with a bit of a problem. Get better at completing and finishing, find a wing-man to follow on behind and polish the corners, or go off and start a rather rubbish classic car restoration business.

So, apologies for the speeling mistooks, dodgy paintwork and bugs. I think its time to take a long hard look at the beginning, the middle and the end.


Anonymous said...

This is very familiar to me - I also tend to get projects to the stage where they basically work, then lose interest and move onto something new. Hence why Fenchurch still has green seats and dashboard and no door cards or carpets, over two years after I resprayed her in blue. Still, it's better than losing interest even before the project is in a usable state.

Alexander said...

Hi Great post. I know what you mean with having the excitement at the start. I get it as well, however not with the cars that I work on. I work for a classic car restoration garage so do it all the time. The great thing with this is I get a new car to work on.

Rupert said...

Alex, its nice to know I'm not alone in half finishing of things. After a little more thinking about it, I've realised that without people like us there would be hundreds of rusty classic cars in garages rather than on the road like you say.

Alexander, thanks for dropping by! I'd love to work for a classic car garage, but I dotn't think the customers would be too happy with half finished cars.