mardi 1 juillet 2008

What's missing from this picture, or...

How to define a loss
or a win

July 1

Or, what's a loss and what's a win, and what's just a salvage?

It's all a matter of how you look at it. It's a negotiation. A surprise negotiation. The very best kind, the one for which you aren't in the least prepared. The make-the-best-of-the-situation sort or negotiation, when a July 1 start date for the work is... -- after remaking the world politically, socially, environmentally with the construction manager -- is... c'mon, you can do it, you can give us a date... finally July 15.

July 15. Significant date in France. Things only ever start on significant dates; have you ever noticed? In this case, it's the day after the 14th of July, Bastille Day. It would make no sense whatsoever to start on the 10th or the 11th, for example, because that would be right before the weekend with the 14th, which falls on a Monday, and is a national holiday. The 15th, that's the day.

When, naturellement, it will be the 16th because, well, vous comprenez bien, it just isn't possible to get to work the day after a national holiday, so why don't we just make it the 21st? After all, what's the good of working a partial week when we can start and make it a full week's start.

But, that's not even the official start date for the work. That will be on September 1st, at la rentrée. The very best time to start because that's when everything starts. Really the best time, taking all things into consideration.

That was July 1.

Joachim called a few days later to say that they had cancelled a small project they had lined up (voilà pourquoi la rentrée serait très certainement mieux et plus avantageux) and would be here on July 15 with the full crew, all three of them.

Well, now, that was looking more like a real win.

To be scrupulously fair, he was even anxious to start on the 14th -- the holiday -- but I wasn't sure that we wouldn't finally be going to Brest to meet up with the Vayssets and Justin at Christine's.

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