CAD Managers

CAD Managers

3 Posts
3 Kudos
Registered: ‎03-14-2013
Post 1 of 10

Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

981 Views, 9 Replies
03-14-2013 05:10 AM

I'm a fairly well established poster on here, yet to protect the guilty I've set up a new ID for this post, and some details are more vague than I'd like..


I work for a specialist contractor, and have done for a good number of years. Technically I'm not a CAD manager (I do not manage any staff), but most/all defer to my opinion on CAD matters, I'm the most proficient of CAD users, and the senior of a small team of full time draftspersons. Generally I like my job, I get on well with the project managers, reps and site guys.


Within the CAD team we work on an as-required basis on up to a couple of dozen projects at a time, whilst it's preferable to maintain ownership of project from start to finish, workload, sheduling and other factors mean we are frequently in and out of each others drawings.


The rest of the CAD team are fast sinking in my estimation. One is actively trying to find another job. Both complain frequently about their pay, conditions and the companies attitude towards them, yet both have attitudes that IMO stink. They will do the least amount of work required to get a task off their desk, with no mind for what might be needed further down the line.


They will frequently call on me for help when things don't work, but won't listen to me when I suggest improved ways of working. Over the past year or so a few of the project managers (those who usually run the bigger jobs) have been explicitly asking for me to take their work, rather than just someone in the 'pool', generally my error/correction rate is lower, and problems are anticipated and solved at the design stage rather than being ignored/propagated into the build. If I don't understand something I ask, rather than just following instructions blindly. My colleages are more likely to say "I just draw it, I'm not a desiger, it's not my fault if it doesn't fit/work/etc"


Our shared line manager is one of the passive types, which most the time suits me, as he's not in my face, trying to micro-manage my work, he allows me flexibilty and scope to work as I see fit, which I feel has benefitted both the company and myself. As long as none of our project managers complain and enough hours are being billed, he's happy. The flip side to this is that he doesn't do confrontation, he'd much rather I use my 'powers of persuasion' to chivvy my colleagues along.


Recently I had a run in with a colleage over the fact that he doesn't understand a (not so) new feature of autocad that I've been using on my drawings for a good while. He's been called on to edit one of my drawings, can't get his head around why it's not behaving in way he'd expect, and proceeded to delete a bunch of layouts.


Personally I'm of the opinion that we should be spending 'slack' time furthering our knowledge of the tools we have available, get to know new features etc etc. It seems my colleagues would prefer to spend their slack time, being, er, well, slack. My managers' 'management-by-absence' approach is also contributing to this.


I'm a details person, and a bit of a perfectionist, I frequently get wound up by the fact that my colleagues don't share my attitude to work, and whilst most the time I can just accept them as a bunch of oxygen theiving bodge-artists, I'm starting to realise that their attitude will start to have an effect on the quality of my work as well, yet alone my state of mind.


Am I being unreasonable? Blinkered?Are my standards too high?

Am I alone in this scenario? Any suggestions on damage limitation?

How can I retain my sanity?


Thanks for reading..

*Expert Elite*
24,312 Posts
1,605 Kudos
Registered: ‎11-06-2003
Post 2 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

03-14-2013 05:36 AM in reply to: ZombieHorseFlogger

CAD Manager is failing: that's not you though, but perhaps it should be.

Dean Saadallah Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter | PINS
*Expert Elite*
6,276 Posts
485 Kudos
Registered: ‎05-21-2003
Post 3 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

03-14-2013 05:39 AM in reply to: ZombieHorseFlogger

ZombieHorseFlogger wrote:


Am I being unreasonable? Blinkered?Are my standards too high?

Am I alone in this scenario? Any suggestions on damage limitation?

How can I retain my sanity?


Thanks for reading..

Background: I am officially the CAD Manger and a designer and the record clerk and a professional JOAT. I am also the lowest in rank in the Engineering office. So technically everyone is my boss. So I really don't have any more power than you do.


>Am I being unreasonable? Blinkered?Are my standards too high?

I don't think so. But who decides on reasonable.


>Am I alone in this scenario? Any suggestions on damage limitation?


See above. I have one Engineer who draws great looking and accurate plans. But he uses AutoCAD Civil 3D like it was AutoCAD 1.0 from 30 yeas ago. He wont even use the Hatch command. He draws all his hatches the copies and trims them!!!


The only reason this works even a little bit is that we're a government office and don't have to make a profit. Also, no one higher up really knows how long it should take to do a plan in CAD. Like you, I also get any job that does have a deadline [like when a surveyor is waiting for a revised stakeout diagram and the grading has to be redesigned and published in less than a hour].


>How can I retain my sanity?


Can't really. I've been gone for years. Watch a lot of MASH reruns.


Seriously. If you can't go to upper management and say "This isn't working anymore!". Then it's just wait until things pick up enough that you can move on. I got in to this job 2 recessions ago and once your in the system. I just doesn't make sense to go out in to the real world any more. But I'm one of the only ones here that could. I don't think that the Engineers here realize that you're going to have a hard time finding a job with little or no CAD skills.


It's unfortunate that this is probably costing your employers a lot of money and right now there are talented, hard working, individual with good skills that would love a job.


Best of luck.


Distinguished Mentor
650 Posts
89 Kudos
Registered: ‎05-11-2009
Post 4 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

03-14-2013 07:08 AM in reply to: ZombieHorseFlogger

From my experience it sounds like thats as good as it is going to get. I have had collegues who when is circle is drawn to the wrong diameter will delete it and draw it again. or when a drawing had dynamic blocks in it would explode them. No one in management tends to notice or care. Just do the best you can do, and then try harder. Set yourself goals and look back at your older work occasionally. You can't change your co-workers but you can improve yourself. Keep the new login name and blow off steam here when needed. Maybe keep this thread alive to try and find the worst CAD practitioner on the planet.

Regards Steven Gray
Setting Out (Joinery Manufacturing)
Autocad 2013LT
Windows 7 professional
*Expert Elite*
8,204 Posts
370 Kudos
Registered: ‎04-10-2005
Post 5 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

03-14-2013 12:03 PM in reply to: ZombieHorseFlogger

I've never understood how anyone could find mediocrity invigorating. It is the loss to those around you that cannot see the value in doing the best they can. We can only pity their menial existance and allow them to waist away as they see fit.

Might be time to make some noise about the situation or think of moving on yourself.


There is no substitution for resting easy at night.


BTW - As much as I would like to get my head around Sheet Sets I think the only way it will happen is to have someone sit down and pound it into my head. Otherwise I'm being whiny too about having to learn this piece of CAD. :smileywink:

Regards, Charles Shade            Win8 FAQ

Please mark Accept as Solution if your question is answered. Kudos gladly accepted.
*Expert Elite*
5,763 Posts
504 Kudos
Registered: ‎10-12-2006
Post 6 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

03-15-2013 08:28 AM in reply to: Charles_Shade

For some, its just a job.  They punch in, punch out, and collect the paycheque.  They will *never* care about what they are doing outside of whether it will get them fired or not, and even then they may still have the option of hopping to another employer.


Others want to do better but are obviously in the wrong field or job position.  They don't have the skills to do a good job and likely will never develop them.  They try though, bless their eager little hearts, but if left poorly managed they will create more work than they accomplish.


Others are the quintessential pointy-haired bosses, to use a Dilbert-ism.  They are clueless with technology but they are good at getting others to get the work done.  When they recognize they can't use the tools properly and leave it to the technicians most things go well.  When they don't standards management and control becomes a nightmare.


And then we have the one-percenters - those who know what they are doing, know what they *aren't* doing, and have the drive to recognize both and remedy the latter.

If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
Adopt. Adapt. Overcome. Or be overcome.
A good question will be halfway to a good answer.

1,086 Posts
139 Kudos
Registered: ‎07-10-2007
Post 7 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

03-15-2013 08:54 AM in reply to: ZombieHorseFlogger



I feel your pain!  One bit of advice; do the best you can, keep your mouth closed.  I know that gets near impossible but my story was equal to yours.  In 2010, I had 12 years with same company but there wasn't any growth for me.  The department was maxxed and I was last in.  I took a temporary assignment for training a newly bought out company.  I thought I was still to remain in my department since it was "Temporary" for training.  I used to go to the new manager and tell him how poorly the others skills were and how they all needed to upgrade their skill sets and knowledge base of AutoCAD since we updated from 2002LT to 2009Mech.  He saw it as me degrading "his" staff.  He never touched an AutoCAD drawing but took my assessment, (And that is how I always tried to approach the subject and not as criticism), and disclaimed it as me being too picky or too much a perfectionist.  I just wanted everyone to have the same CAD standards.  I never taught "HOW" because as we all know there are at least three ways of doing anything in AutoCAD.  I just expected similar results from everyone.  

Well, after a short rant about increasing my responsibilities and having to stay longer for the "Temporary", later found out, now permanent assignment. And because my territory was now enlarged to lessen the workload on the others, even though I was consistently the highest producer.  (I made the system and library to use with Mech, so I'm not bragging, I just knew best how things were organized and how to use them to my benefit). I was told I couldn't work well with others and the arrangement wasn't working.  I was given a severence and asked to leave.  I demanded I be sent back to my previous position but that fell on deaf ears even to HR.  They said since I stayed longer than the original agreement I was now an "At Will" work status employee.  The manager I was under didn't want me rocking the boat because after all "his people were the best" and their drawings "were good for years" why change.  But he failed to remember they couldn't survive the recession, status quo, unless my original company bought theirs.

I found a job. And a better one as far as pay but it took me almost a whole year.  11 months to be exact.  I hate this job now too!!  I'm not doing what I was trained for and most of my work is menial. 

Just grin and bear it knowing those who want to leave may soon be gone and then maybe you can influence the next person. 

Distinguished Contributor
111 Posts
7 Kudos
Registered: ‎05-01-2003
Post 8 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

03-26-2013 11:14 AM in reply to: ZombieHorseFlogger

You are not being reasonble. However, these draftsman do not directly report to you. You do not plan their workload. You do not handle their reviews. Hence in their eyes, you just another AutoCAD user within the company.


Your immediate supervisor has not seen fit to move you to a somewhat supervisory position (CAD Manager for lack of any other title) to allow you to pass along your work ethic, your knowledge of AutoCAD etc, which indicates to me that he is either unaware or does not care why you are constantly asked to part of the project team over anyone else in your group. Also the slackers in your group are not penalized for their shoddy work, hence in their eyes, they are doing okay. Add to that lousy if any raises.


In an ideal world, everyone would be rowing in the same direction, but alas we do not live in an ideal world. There will always be slackers (doing the minimum) and then there are people like you who care about the quality of the work they do, always look for better ways to improve quality and efficiencies.


It is frustrating especialy if several people go in and out the same drawing files. There is nothing you can do about it except to deal with it. Switching jobs does not guarantee that things wil get better.

219 Posts
5 Kudos
Registered: ‎05-24-2011
Post 9 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

03-26-2013 04:52 PM in reply to: lgabriel

Hi All


A very interesting list of comments.  I and a friend have similiar experiences.  I mainly do Electrical drawings and in an other package it did not matter if there were three wires on top of one another or three parts to one wire.   The software worked.


In AutoCAD Electrical every thisn has a place and one cant take short cuts.   A wire between two parts must be a continuous line or features will not work.


I worked with a bloke who would put mistakes in a mechanical drawing "just to see if any one found them"  Many were not critical but not discovered until changes needed to be made, then changes took some time to correct.   Management liked him so what could I do?


Cheers  John Quigley





23 Posts
0 Kudos
Registered: ‎04-11-2006
Post 10 of 10

Re: Rant about colleagues - am I being unreasonable?

04-17-2013 07:33 AM in reply to: ZombieHorseFlogger

as someone who began at the lowest level, worked my way up to becoming Cad Manager, I have learned the only true way to communicate your pain is relate it to lost costs.  Upper management has to be supportive of you, however, the only true way to explain your emotional pain to them is equate it to lost revenue. Unfortunately, the bottom line is what grabs their attention, and until you can prove your co-workers habits and processes are costing the company money, you will continue to fight bad habits and processes.  Good luck.

"There's always room."

Windows 7 Professional
64-Bit Intel Xeon 3.30GHz 8.00GB RAM
AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014
Post to the Community

Have questions about Autodesk products? Ask the community.

New Post
Manufacturing CAD & IT Manager Resource
Additional information for installing, licensing & deploying Inventor, the Product Design Suites and Factory Design Suites.