“Wow! You are an interior designer!”I have lost count of the number of times I have had this reaction when I reveal what I do for a living. People generally assume that mine is a glamorous vocation and I am really living it up, making endless moolah.
Time for a reality check peeps, so lets start with a peek into a typical day in my life!
The Glamour Quotient
It’s hard to maintain a designer wardrobe when my day consists of traipsing through muck and rubble at construction sites. Inhaling paint fumes, breathing in POP dust and (don’t get me started on the
ripe overripe body odour emanating from the workers) treading around man and material – all make for the quintessential work conditions in my line of work.
My day can quickly transform from a site day to a client meeting day; how much do I yearn for a magic wand or to be a metamorphmagus like Tonks to be able to do a quick wardrobe change & clean up. Perhaps travel in a makeup van like the film stars!!
A typical client will start the conversation by saying “we don’t have too much to spend / our budget is not much / hope your fee is not very high”. Can you imagine the hard bargain I need to do to ensure a decent fee? On top of which, (almost always) I get scrooged over my final / last payment as the client decides to get into a last-minute bargain over it.
If working in some designer/architects office, the pay checks don’t get that great till maybe about 20-25 odd years of experience (that also if you have worked with a huge brand or have overseas experience)
My typical working day begins at 11 a.m. but can stretch into the late hours as all my designing work gets done in the wee hours when there are no phone calls /door bells to disturb the creative genius. On top of the long hours, the residential project clients insist on meeting over the weekends as they have an off; so my treasured sunday snooze is inevitably always compromised.
I work with site labourers / carpenters / masons/painters who are almost always men. They hate taking orders from a woman, are not shy of using profanities or touching themselves in their nether-ends and generally giving me grief over everything. Patronising male clients are the icing on the cake; especially during fee negotiations.
And if all of this is not enough to convince you, then do consider the low levels of professionalism in my field where the hoard to take credit outdoes anything else. Not to forget, everyone runs on the notorious Indian Stretchable Time – from client to contractor!
This is not a rant/complaint about my profession. My work as an Interior Designer has been very rewarding for me in the guise of some amazing projects and clients over the last 20 years.
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