Being Project Manager


I’m renovating my kitchen for the second time. The first time was not too stressful maybe because I used recycled cabinets and the two guys who did the work were not charging me union rates. After over ten years, the cabinets have deteriorated, the oven no longer work, the cover of the microwave fell off. The only appliance working is the dishwasher but it did not match the stainless steel of the ref and oven.

Since the summer of 2010, I have dreamed of a new kitchen but I did not have money. I still don’t have money but I thought to myself, if I waited to have money, I will never get a new kitchen. In one of my discourse inquiry call, I put at stake that I will finish any project I start and not begin a new one until the current project is fully complete. I also realized that the conversation, I don’t have money, is what is preventing me from taking on the kitchen renovation. So, not knowing where I will get the money, I went back to Home Depot again. I have worked with the Home Depot kitchen designer last November and the cost of doing my design is $25,000 – way more than I wanted to spend. I put the dream in the freezer, went on vacation to the Philippines and when I came back the dream kitchen was still showing up. I redesigned the kitchen with the least structural changes, checked the prices, the construction cost, the schedules  – my new cost is $13,000.

I took a picture of my old kitchen, ordered the cabinets, the back splash, the granite counter top, the dishwasher and called the contractor. I still do not know how I would pay for this kitchen. Also, around the same time, I finished my cake decorating class and I showed my sister Nita my cake design, she liked it and asked if I wanted to work for her. Way cool. Income!

My plan was to go by April 17 but no dice. Scheduling installation, delivery and measurements is much more complicated that I expected. My frustration was mounting but having learned to put my frustrations into deep freeze made it easier on my nerves. My expected date for Virginia Beach is now May 15, 2011.

Meanwhile, Temi developed subdural hematoma which was giving him severe headache and his eyes do not move normally. Finally, the doctors of Solano told him to have the hematoma (blood clot) drained. He checked in at UERM in Manila where his classmate Andy Borromeo is now director. Toti Danguilan was also communicating with us which I found so comforting. At UERM the medical team found out Temi had deep vein thrombosis and it was filtered at St. Lukes’s (UERM equipment was not working) before he can undergo surgery. The cost of the entire operation is P400,000. Surgery should be finished by the time I finish writing.

I also took advantage of the time I had to check my eyes. Dr. Singh said the blurry vision I had was due to the old cataract surgery. The sac has developed the cloudiness and laser surgery will clear it up. I had my right eye done and I will have the left eye done tomorrow.

Being project manager is quite challenging and Glenn said my project was moving smoother compared to his past renovations. What I found out is I really must stay on top of the details. A half-inch off and the set up looks off. I asked Glenn and Josh to remove the cabinets and do it all over again. Without any fuss, they fixed the problem. I am not yet out of the woods. The base cabinet this time is not set up correctly. We need to remove the cabinets again and re-do. I am just happy that the cabinets are able to take this re-doing.

Right now, I am waiting for the Miele dishwasher which Chelsea recommended. That in itself is stressful because the dishwasher must be installed before the granite people could make a template. Miele also want a certified installer or else the warranty is void. The Miele people also will not install under a granite counter top. Good thing because the space is empty now.

Working as project manager full-time is not for me.


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