Memories of the Los Angeles branch office are bittersweet. It started with a job that had been given to us. It was a very big hospital, and through connections, our branch in Roseville was going to do the job. This happened while I was still an estimator in Roseville. Someone was going to have to be the project manager for the job and I decided to volunteer. I still knew a lot of the union officials there and some others that could help in securing a good crew. It was decided that I was going to be 'our man' in L.A.
I started reviewing the drawings while making plans to move an office trailer on-site. I also connected with my ex-partner and asked him if he would be interested in being the jobsite superintendent. He accepted the offer and that was a big hurdle out of the way. I flew down to Los Angeles then to meet with him and to talk to an old friend and see if she was interested in being our on-site secretary. She agreed and it looked like things were going well. I had met with the union and everything was agreeable with them. They were pleased to see me and that was half the battle. I met with the general contractor and watched as the new office trailer was put into place and the phone lines connected.
I was quite pleased with our progress and that was when my boss dropped the bombshell on me. Stop everything. Fire the help I had just hired and come back to Roseville. He had found a couple of Los Angeles locals that had convinced him that they could handle the job better since 'they knew everyone' in the area. Of course I was disgusted by this move on his part and now I knew better than to ever believe anything he said. I gave the new guys the keys and the plans and got on an airplane going north.
Some years pass and the los Angeles branch office outgrows its construction trailer and they have a real building and are becoming very successful. The only reason I'm happy with that outcome is the fact our stock grows more valuable when we have profitable branches. Of course I feel that I could have done as well but I never had the chance.
Once I became an instructor I tried to put all of that in the past and now I would fly to Los Angeles, actually Ontario, to train the estimators to use our software. We had nice office in Anaheim Hills and most of the estimators there were eager to learn. I tried to avoid meeting with the two men that had taken over the hospital job. They were now the Branch manager and the chief estimator and were not interested in learning about the software. Better for me.
This branch became larger and larger and very successful. This meant that I was flying to Ontario every few weeks. My old friend, the CFO that had steered me into the world of computers and spreadsheets, had his office in the same building and seeing him made the trips more enjoyable.
He wasn't going to be able to stay in Anaheim much longer as the pressure was on him to relocate to Lenexa, Kansas, the new site of our corporate offices. They had been in Charlotte. NC. but it made more business sense to locate in the center of the country. At that time I didn't realize that I was going to be spending a lot of time in Lenexa as well. You have read about that in previous posts.
Las Vegas is the next story....
But, if you wish to start at the beginning of this whole saga, follow this link Now scroll down to the bottom of this page and you will find the very first post...11 years ago