30 Years - Chapter 23: A Single Brick

So, I’d like to tell you folks a story. During the Ming dynasty in Ancient China, a man named Yi Kaizhan, a great architect, was tasked to build an important outpost that would be the finishing touches to a monumental construction effort. After completing his plans for this grand fort, Yi announced that he would need 99 999 bricks to complete the structure. His supervisors scolded him for his arrogance and threatened that if Yi’s calculations were off, Yi and all of the workers would be punished. Yi said that if the supervisor did not believe him, he could add a single brick to the amount. The supervisor agreed to the terms and Yi diligently went about the construction work. When the fort was completed and the supervisor returned gleefully, ready to punish Yi and his men, he found a single brick placed loosely on top of the wall, the entire fort standing tall and complete in front of him. And that very brick remains on that wall to this very day.

We could only have hoped that our construction would go that smoothly. In late 2016 the day finally arrived to break ground on our very own office space. We received a fresh batch of red hardhats and a brand new shovel to do the actual first ‘breaking of ground’ for the new Preferred Solutions building in Paardevlei. And as such the roller-coaster ride began. We had ups like a professional and reliable building company (yes, those do in fact exist, who knew?), building a fine structure, staying reasonably within budget and time-lines. And we had downs like R100 000 in bank fees, unplanned additional electrical connections and a mix-up with the density of the foundation soil, which would have been fairly catastrophic.

It took a fair amount of time, but through the difficulties and setbacks we finally had our pride and joy, a fine building to call our own. We moved from our temporary accommodations and could finally breathe in our new space. And with new space came a new drive to do even better, taking the battle to the front lines once again. That shovel is still around here somewhere; I’m pretty sure.