Specifications A book listing materials and procedures for the project. The materials are either: 1) So new no one except the architect has ever heard of them; or, 2) So obsolete they haven't been manufactured for 10 years. Bid A wild guess carried out to two decimal places. Bid Opening A poker game in which the losing hand wins. Low Bidder A contractor who is wondering what he left out. Contractor A gambler who never gets to shuffle, cut, or deal. Subcontractor Someone who is expected to correct all mistakes made by others and to provide financing for contractors and owners. Project Manager The conductor of an orchestra in which every musician is in a different union. Pre-Construction Conference A meeting held by the architect, contractor, and subcontractors while they are still on speaking terms. Architect Designs a monument to himself and a tombstone for the contractor. Engineer’s Estimate The cost of construction in Heaven. Critical Path Method A management technique for losing your shirt under perfect control. Completion Date 1) A predetermined period during which, under ideal conditions, about 70% of the project can be completed. b) The point at which liquidated damages begin. Liquidated Damages The penalty for failing to achieve the impossible. Retainage An involuntary savings account for subcontractors, earns no interest and is paid out only under protest. OSHA A protective coating made by half-baking a mixture of fine print, red tape, split hairs, and baloney - usually applied at random with a shotgun. Strike An effort to increase egg production by strangling the chicken. Final Inspection Scheduled at least six months after the building is occupied, gives the owner plenty of time to tear the work apart. Auditors People who go in after the war is lost and bayonet the wounded. Lawyer Person who goes in after the auditors to strip the bodies.