I recently found myself pulling out files from a tall cabinet in the office. I stacked up files stuffed with papers on my desk. Later, I rifled through those papers seeking the data that I needed.
And I loved every minute of it.
Don’t get me wrong: technology is great. I have my gadgets, and of course, UCEC is home to some great new technology that serves our clients. But there’s just something to holding a file in your hands and pulling out the info needed to complete the job yourself.
My project started with a fairly complicated analysis I needed to make. I had to pull different sets of numbers and then make some decisions based on those figures. I ran into trouble early on: the four reports I needed were each “speaking” a different language. The only way I was going to synthesize the data was to pull it by hand and drop it into spreadsheets that I designed.
So, that’s when I found myself paging back through closed projects. I saw notes (handwritten!) and updates, amendments and printed copies of emails. I remembered most of the jobs fondly. A few projects I remembered because of their complexity. Another batch contained times we worked around the clock to get a custom electrical control panel project out of the shop and delivered on time.
As I worked, I was reminded that there’s something to be said for doing a job by hand. I like hand-crafted labor. It’s how I started, back in the day at UCEC. There’s a sense of accomplishment when your hands flip through pages of documents that show you how the team is doing page by page.
Like I said, technology is great. But sometimes, it’s fun to get your hands a little ink-stained and to flip past trends, change orders and quote forms. It’s our history, and it’s one we’re all proud of here at UCEC.
Evan is Vice President of Operations at UCEC.