A day in the life of a Monitor
Malcolm Viccars has been a Considerate Constructors Scheme Monitor for four years, having joined the Scheme in January 2006. He monitors sites in London and the South East of England and carries out between 30 and 40 visits each month. In his spare time Malcolm likes to dance and also teaches different genres of dance.
We asked Malcolm to recall a day in his life to give an insight into what is involved in being a Scheme Monitor.
The alarm clock announces it is five thirty – a.m. that is!
Coffee first, (cars run on petrol; I run on coffee), then into the shower.
It is still dark as I reverse the car out of the garage, and that sneaking little thought flashes across my brain; ‘Wouldn’t you rather still be in bed?’
Not much traffic on the road at this time, so the run into London is uneventful. Parking is so easy at this time. Just as well, as breakfast calls!
The new St Pancras station is brilliant and there is this little place – well, the scrambled eggs are to die for. Where is it? I’m not telling – don’t want a Monitors’ conference at seven in the morning!
First visit is to a large redevelopment in London with several contractors employed on various aspects of the project. I am to meet with the Project Manager for the first visit here, although I have already paid monitoring visits to some of the other contractors working on this major project.
Coffee is offered and gladly accepted (I mentioned earlier about the coffee didn’t I?!) and then it’s down to business. I receive a brief, but very succinct, description of the works being carried out before venturing forth into the Scheme’s Checklist.
There is no doubt that the site complies extremely well with all aspects of the Scheme’s Site Code of Considerate Practice and will probably score highly, but that will depend upon further deliberation on the drive home and whilst compiling the report.
A little bit of exercise now - a short walk back to the car to travel to my second visit.
I’m visiting a site in a residential area just outside central London, where a new detached house is being constructed. This is my second visit, so I am fairly confident I know what to expect.
But this is a somewhat difficult visit for a rather unusual reason; the Site Manager is a dead ringer for Bradley Walsh! You try sitting across the table from Bradley Walsh and asking a series of serious questions. And, yes, for the record, he does have a sense of humour!
Greetings exchanged – well, it’s the second visit, we’re almost old friends – refreshments are offered (I’ve mentioned the coffee situation before haven’t I?!) and I then move on to the formal part of the visit. This site is very different to the first one of the day, but portrays a good image of the construction industry in its own way.
As I assessed the site, words of advice and encouragement were exchanged, and I believe, taken on board.
Now it’s off home to reacquaint myself with my laptop. The homeward journey is not quite so easy; more traffic on the road now……
Car safely in the garage and I’m back home. First things first; kettle on, coffee ….. OK, so I drink a lot of coffee!
Now it’s time to get serious, to consider what I have seen and what I have heard, and also to peruse my notes taken during the conversations with the two Managers. In most cases, I have already made up my mind as to how I will score each section, but there is always something that just makes you stop and think whether the score should be higher or lower.
Concluding the reports, it’s time for a meal before strictly changing careers…….!
The evening will be devoted to my second vocation, dancing. Ballroom and Latin American to be precise and this evening I’m teaching in my own school giving individual lessons to a number of people.
I have for many years combined the building/architectural professions with the dancing profession and find that they compliment each other perfectly. After a heavy day it’s good to relax and help someone achieve their potential in a hobby they enjoy – it’s not always that straightforward, but it's sure fun trying.
As the last pupil exits the studio, it’s off for supper; I get quite hungry at this time of the day.
So, another day draws to a close but not without a final cup of coffee and a reflection on what has been, and just a little peak at what tomorrow may bring.
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