Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 8: Overtime
In fact, Gu Yu came back after about forty minutes. It was already more than half an hour passed the official work day.
A small group of colleagues who didn’t need to work overtime already left. There were still quite a large group of people in the office working overtime. However, many spontaneously had begun to pack up, including Zhu Hongzhen and Bi Lele. In the end, there were only a few people who had projects on hand that needed extra attention. For example, the participating members of the D-City office project team.
Of course, Zhang Siyi did not need to work overtime, provided that he had finished his drafting assignment. The mobile phone in his pocket kept vibrating. His friends were going together to the appointed place and shared the real-time location information in the WeChat discussion group. As the protagonist of the party, Zhang Siyi wanted to go, but he didn’t dare leave.
Since he agreed to overtime work in the morning interview, he wasn’t going to leave on the first day of work. He didn’t want to die!
Before, when Gu Yu didn’t return, Zhang Siyi thought that maybe he had been played, and maybe, the other party had already left.
While walking to the restroom, he checked his messages and sent a message to his group of friends to say that he was going to work for a while and will be late. Zhang Siyi sent the message comforting his friends, but in reality, he sent it to comfort himself because he had no idea how long it would take. He just wanted to rush out to dinner.
Until Gu Yu appeared again, Zhang Siyi’s uneasiness dissipated. He accelerated the speed of drawing. When Gu Yu passed him, he stopped to look at his screen with special care.
Zhang Siyi was very nervous. He didn’t know if he was drawing it correctly or not, but at least he stayed. Isn’t that worthy of recognition?
Gu Yu saw him draw for half a minute without comment, and finally he only said: “If you are hungry, you can go downstairs and buy something to eat. Draw a 1:50 ratio and print it out then, come to the office to find me.”
Zhang Siyi: “…” Hey, he doesn’t want to eat, he wants to finish the draft and leave!
It took another half an hour, and Zhang Siyi finally got the picture done before 7:00.
He printed the picture according to his words, and went to Gu Yu with joy, thinking that it’s not too late to grab a taxi to meet up with his friends. However, he soon discovered that he was too naive.
At that time, Gu Yu was sitting in front of the computer and browsing ArchDaily. He had just set down a cup of steaming tea in his hand and saw Zhang Siyi coming in. He quietly said, “sit” and took out the scale and pencil from the pen holder. Like a teacher who was checking over an assignment, Gu Yu meticulously looked at the drawings
“Did Lu Qiao not send you the information? Did you see how many people use this building?” Gu Yu asked.
Zhang Siyi stupidly opened his mouth: “Ah”, he only wanted to hurry and draw, so he didn’t think about how many people are in this building to better understand how to plan the toilets.
Gu Yu used a pencil to lightly draw the drawings and explained: “According to the guidelines of the Architectural Design Code, the number of men’s toilets is less than 100, and one is set for 25 people. If there are more than 100 people, one additional for each additional 50 people. The number of urinals is the same as that of the toilet; the female toilet…”
Listening to Gu Yu slowly explain these terms like it was normal, he was blindsided. He didn’t know! ah!
“The details of the project clearly stated that the total flow of the building was 2000, and the average on each floor was about 120 people. Therefore, the total number of positions on each floor will not exceed six. Let’s see what you drew. There are 8 male restrooms and 10 female restrooms, which add up to 18,” Gu Yu looked up at him and said with a serious expression. “You laid out the floor plan with so many. I think the designer must be suffering from frequent urination and other digestion problems.”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
“And,” Gu Yu paused, placed the scale in hand on the illustration, and raised his eyebrows. “The interior compartment door of the bathroom is 500 in width? Are all the seats for kindergarten children?”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
Gu Yu glanced at the stairs he drew and asked: “When you went to school, did you learn how much higher the normal stairs were?”
Zhang Siyi asked with apprehension: “150?”
“The height of the step-in staircase in homes is between 180-200, and in public places, it is between 130-160,” Gu Yu precisely said the specific range. While using a pencil to circle the stairs on the map, he said: “3.2 meters… You have drawn 28 steps. How high is each step?”
He also did not wait for Zhang Siyi to answer. Instead, he directly took 3 books from the bookshelf and stacked them up to show him. Pointing to the height of the stack he said: “So shallow, you want people to constantly fall while trying to climb stairs?”
Zhang Siyi wanted to refute because he used the automatic stair plugin in the software.
“So, you didn’t even read the outline document that Lu Qiao sent to you?” Gu Yu sharply said.
Zhang Siyi was speechless for a moment—yes, Gu Yu was right. He was confused and eager to finish the draft, so he rushed through it and made many mistakes.
In a monotonous, as a matter of fact way, Gu Yu continued to point out several problems as though he was comparing prices of meat and vegetables on his grocery list, but for Zhang Siyi, the lethality of these words as he got straight to the point was comparable to a ninja’s flying knife that hit its target and was met with blood!
Moreover, Gu Yu wasn’t expressive like Zhang Siyi’s ex-girlfriend. When she was down, she expressed her feelings strongly, which made him feel uncomfortable sometimes. Gu Yu’s criticism was so logical and justified that it was simply irrefutable.
At the bottom of his heart, Zhang Siyi was slightly annoyed. Why did Gu Yu clearly see so many problems? When he looked at his work half an hour ago, he must have noticed some issues, but he never mentioned it. Was he purposely making Zhang Siyi suffer?
On the table, Gu Yu’s cell phone suddenly rang. He glanced at the screen. This time, he didn’t leave the room and picked up the call in front of Zhang Siyi.
Finally, Zhang Siyi had a moment to relax and thought for a bit on how to make amends to his friends. Silently, he listened to Gu Yu talk on the phone.
“…… Sorry, I’m still at work.” Gu Yu whispered, his tone was no different from the one he had just criticized Zhang Siyi with, but unlike previously, he could hear a hint of tenderness.”
Zhang Siyi secretly speculated, who was the call from? The Director’s girlfriend?
“You can eat dinner yourself. I’ve already eaten.” said Gu Yu.
Zhang Siyi pondered what he heard …. When did you go to eat? The short break before??
“…. at the fast food place downstairs in the company….” Gu Yu lowered his head, and his long eyelashes covered his dark eyes and continued with the phone conversation. “Yes… next time I’ll eat better… I know……”
As Gu Yu listened to the person on the phone, he continued to look at Zhang Siyi’s drawing and wrote the list of the questions he had just mentioned to Zhang Siyi in the blank spaces of the illustration.
“No, there is nothing urgent,” Gu Yu glanced at Zhang Siyi and said,” There is a new employee today and I’m helping him with some beginning work.”
Zhang Siyi suddenly felt good. Gu Yu had to put his girlfriend (if it was) on hold in order to stay with him at the office for overtime work. On the other hand, Zhang Siyi still wanted to meet up with friends and have fun.
“Okay, I’ll contact you later.”
Gu Yu hung up the phone and looked at Zhang Siyi. He quickly put his phone away and pointed at the draft to continue with his criticism: “The smallest size of a toilet door, and the ergonomic scale of things are issues you should already know as a designer. Basic common sense that must be met. I understand you don’t know the rules of the country yet, but you must at least have the awareness of the specification before design.”
At this point, Zhang Siyi had been ashamed and wanted to dig a hole to bury himself in. At this rate, he wondered how he was ever able to graduate from University.
Looking at Zhang Siyi despondent figure, Gu Yu was cautious of saying too much. Sighing, he pushed the already annotated drawings back to him, and said: “Go and change these problems.”
……. Aah ….. I still have to finish drawing before I get to leave ?
Zhang Siyi took the drawings and returned to his seat. He saw Lu Qiao message: “Are you still alive? I am ready to get off work.”
Zhang Siyi: “I am drawing the first draft.”
Lu Qiao: “The floor plan was simple. Are you still drawing that?”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Zhang Siyi: “It’s very difficult for me!”
Lu Qiao: “Well initially, drafting and rendering the plans for the first few times was complicated, but it will get easier. Afterwards, you will know how to do it much faster, but also, the Boss will get stricter.
Lu Qiao: “Oh by the way, there are free biscuits in the dining area. If you’re hungry, you can get some to eat. Not much more and you can go home soon. You can do it!”
Zhang Siyi was moved: “Thank you!”
At first, he wasn’t hungry at all at. Since he really wanted to celebrate with friends, he didn’t plan to stay for long but now, he felt famished.
After Lu Qiao left, there were only a few people left in the office. Zhang Siyi took out his mobile phone and did not dare read the new messages in WeChat. He was afraid that his friends would be disappointed, and even more afraid of being discovered by Gu Yu, he only quickly sent a letter to Fu Xinhui. SMS: “I am still working overtime, you should eat first, don’t wait for me!”
After sending the text message, he simply shut down his phone and concentrated on his work.
The stillness of the office didn’t help the matter. Now that he was the only one remaining, he felt lonely. On the first day of work, between his boss’s criticism, the introduction of his colleagues, and his friends waiting to go out for dinner, Zhang Siyi’s felt strung out.
As he worked at his computer fixing the drawing, he began to reflect on his past years in College. He clearly remembered being busy all the time, but why doesn’t it seem like he learned anything? Would his situation be different today if all the hours that he had been spent playing around with friends were instead used for studying?
The more he thought about it, the more he felt uncomfortable. It was a different kind of discomfort then the emptiness that an ex-girlfriend leaves behind. Rather, it was a heart-wrenching story of his own making.
He continued to rework the plans and continued to draw until nine o’clock in the evening. After showing Gu Yu the drawings, he nodded and Zhang Siyi was able to go home.
When he walked out of the office building, it was already dark out and there weren’t many people around which was a sharp contrast to the vigorous flow of people in the morning hours.
Zhang Siyi took a deep breath and his dying brain cells were renewed when they felt the fresh air of freedom. He reopened his phone and saw a red dot on the screen – missed calls, unread text messages, and hundreds of WeChat messages…
Zhang Siyi braced himself and gave Fu Xinhui a call. When he first connected, he heard a roar: “Zhang Siyi! Where the fuck are you?”
He pulled the phone away from his ear briefly as Fu Xinhui spoke, then replied: “Oh, well, I just got off work.” Zhang Siyi shrank his shoulders and cautiously said: “I’ll meet you now?”
Fu Xinhui: “There is no point now. We’re almost done! Do you know how many phone calls I just made? How dare you turn off your phone!”
Zhang Siyi wanted to cry without tears: “No, really it was just work, I’m sorry.” He faintly heard the voice of Su Yuan and Ren Mengyu from the phone, and both seemed to be a bit upset.
“Don’t go. Let me at least see you quickly. After all, I was the one doing the inviting. “Zhang Siyi looked for a taxi, eager to get to the restaurant quickly and appease his friends.
Fu Xinhui mercilessly said: “Don’t bother. Su Yuan already left because she wanted to take the last train to her new apartment on the East side.”