Construction Curiosities #8 – 2022 Burn Out, 10 Futuristic Cities, 7 Meeting Tips

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Hey! Happy Friday! Matt here. Welcome to the Construction Curiosities newsletter. Especially to the New Subscribers. We hit a milestone this last week and surpassed 100 subscribers!! Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the last couple of months as I have started down this journey.

Now if each current subscriber could recruit 3 additional people to subscribe. And those 3 people could recruit 3 additional people, we will hit 1,000 by next week!

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This weekly Newsletter explores my Curiosities around the Construction Industry. It’s meant to make you think, smile, and become a better, more well-informed Construction Professional.

The real value in this newsletter isn’t necessarily what I think and say, it’s the conversation by the group. I hope you will join the conversation on !


This week we will look at:

  • One Musing: 2022 Burn Out
  • One Article: 10 Futuristic Cities
  • One Tweet: 7 Meeting Tips
  • One Quote: Poise Under Stress
  • One Meme: Great Googling

One Musing

The year is 2022. The world is burned out. It has been 2 long years of everyone dealing with the uncertainties of a Global Pandemic along with the Economic and Political fallout.

Its been 2 long years of:

  • Public Discourse and Political Fighting.
  • Constant COVID stress and anxiety.
  • The Ever-Pending Recession.
  • The Great Resignation.
  • Supply Chain Woes.
  • War in Ukraine.


On top of all that, companies in the AEC world are struggling to complete the backlog they took on in the 2020 panic. In 2020 Companies were afraid of where the economy was going so they were building as big of a backlog as possible. Signing up for work that was messy and not in their wheelhouse. Simply booking future work for backlog’s sake.

It’s now creating issues for many companies as these projects need to be finished. They don’t have the qualified people to execute. The people they do have are burned out and the companies are struggling to hire support staff.

On Reddit, about a month ago, a new Project Engineer looking to vent due to frustrations in the industry and about his project team in particular.

My advice to them that I hope helps a few of you going through the same:

I’ll start by saying keep your head up everything sucks right now. Lead times are unpredictable. EVERYONE is burned out.

It sounds like no one is really taking charge of it in your project. The best PEs I’ve seen take the bull by the horns and do these things:

  • Create a good agenda and distribute at least 24-48 hours prior to the meeting.
  • Take great meeting notes and Document any decisions made
    • I can’t count how many times, I’ve been in meetings where we rehash things were a decision was made weeks ago.
  • Assign someone to be responsibly for action items (with due dates)
  • Follow up on those action items before they become past due
  • Ensure priority level of Submittals and RFIs. If everything is urgent, nothing is.
    • For instance if you submit an RFI on Pipe label color scheme and Pipe material at the same time. Obviously you know the actual Pipe Material is way more urgent and affects critical path right now. I’ve seen many designers who don’t think to prioritize things for construction sequence.
  • Follow up again. Be a squeaky wheel without being pushy or being a jerk.
  • Lead times change daily right now. Keep an open line of communication with your suppliers to keep delivery dates updated. If something pushes out too far, be prepared to look at alternative options. We are in unprecedented times. Take unprecedented measures to keep up.
  • Follow up with everyone again. With empathy. People everywhere are overworked and burned out. Keep them motivated and engaged in your project. They likely are past due on other projects too. Make them want to work on your stuff and blow the other projects off. Instead of vice versa.

I’m sharing this here in hopes it helps you a little if you are in a similar spot. At a minimum, it should help you realize you are not alone. If you have less than 2 years of professional construction experience, you have never seen “normal.”

Keep your head up. It’ll get better.

One Article

Ten futuristic cities set to be built around the world

One Tweet

7 tips to make your team meetings better:

  • Experiment
  • Rotate ownership
  • Batch agenda items
  • Educate beforehand
  • Spend time on development
  • Invite people from other orgs
  • Focus on outcomes, not time

Teddy Mitrosilis @TMitrosilisMost team meetings are a waste of time. 7 dead-simple tips to make yours good:August 3rd 2022767 Retweets4,033 Likes

One Quote

From legendary football coach, Paul Brown:

One Meme

In the spirit of my LinkedIn post this week:

Hack #6 – 𝗘𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗼𝗻’𝘁 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘁 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀. 𝗪𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻. 𝗚𝗼 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗴𝗹𝗲 𝗶𝘁.

Thank you for reading! Head to the Substack post page to join the conversation.

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Let me know in the comments or send me an email ([email protected]) what you liked, didn’t like, want to see more of in the future, or have suggestions! Look forward to hearing from you.

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