I've been on the job now for four months as the new general manager.  The place is in need of a paint job and so I got the ball rolling in breakroom and the boardroom.  Very neutral colors of green, brown and tan.

Here's the problem I'm facing come this Tuesday morning.  I told the lady in one of the office spaces to pick out a color that she liked and have the maintence man get it done by this Wednesday board meeting.  I returned from a conference late last Friday night and stopped by the office to pick up my car.  Well, she did exactly what I asked her to do and now the room is "perrywrinkle" if that is the correct spelling. As much as I've tried to accept it, I just can't.

So, any suggestions on how to break the news to her that this isn't going to work and will have to be changed?

I've learned from this point going forward there is going to have to be standard of paint colors to chose from.  But what a lesson I'm learning. LOL...



ashdenver's picture

I happen to like perriwinkle! 

Is there a concern that perhaps this shade of blue/lavender doesn't scream "masculine power"?  And that's not a slight against any of the men here nor an implication that women don't have power of their own.  It's more directed at the other colors you've already chosen which seem to be more somber and traditionally neutral. 

I think you already recognize that you essentially gave this woman carte blanche since you didn't limit her selection of color choices, you didn't have her submit her top three to you for review, you didn't put any final checks in place before the room got painted, I would say that feedback - in this particular case - would be best served as an internal dialogue, if you know what I mean.  "When I assume that other people know what's expected of them instead of clearly defining what the end result should look like, I end up with perriwinkle walls for the board meeting." 

If it were me, I'd leave the perriwinkle walls and if anyone commented, I might say any of the following, depending on my mood & the audience:

  • Yes, I know - our interior decorator has been fired.
  • I'd be interested in your feedback.  What exactly don't you like about the color?  
  • I delegated the color choice but overlooked the crucial element of Final Approval.

If you ultimately decide that perriwinkle won't work with the overall color scheme of the office (brown, tan and green - very Eddie Bauer, if you ask me, which you didn't but there it is anyway!), that's a simple conversation to have.  "Thank you for doing exactly as I asked.  You selected a color you liked and got maintenance to get the room painted.  I neglected to ask you to stay aligned with the overall color scheme already in process however and as lovely as this color is, the room will need to be repainted.  If you'd like to continue assisting me in this, why don't you come up with another color - or your top three choices - that ARE inline with the brown/tan/green color scheme by the end of the day and we can revisit this project at 4pm."

bug_girl's picture

A place I worked before PAID big bucks for an interior designer, and got a peptobismol color scheme.  Eventually I got used to it, and just enjoyed the reactions of visitors. 

Can you send us some swatches so we can see how much it really clashes?  :D

Blue does have a lot of connotations; philosophy graduates have blue tassels/chevrons because it's believed to be the color of introspection and deliberation. It's also supposed to be soothing.  Granted, the science for all that is pretty darn fluffy, but it's a common belief. 

ecineko's picture


Could you guys please do a podcast going over all the business finance terms like what is EBITDA, cashflows etc, their importance..often times executives use these terms in the meetings now a days and it would be good to have a clear understanding of these and what these different finance terms mean for the business



fchalif's picture
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I'd advise you to live with it and thank her for getting the job done well and on time

. She did as you requested and in the whole scheme of things you and your team need to do, is it that important?

the paint job will likely need to be re-done in a couple of years anyway, so you can approach it then!


tradesylver's picture

Let me take a moment to thank all of you for your input.  I shall take your advice and will thank her for getting the job done on time.  After all I am trying to build a good working relationship with her and in the big picture, this really is no-biggy.  If the directors insist on having it changed well then that's a different story.  Till then it's perrywrinkle.


thaGUma's picture

Bob, good call. And if the Directors ask, you like the colour scheme.

AManagerTool's picture

stephenbooth_uk's picture


have you tried hitting your local large bookshop or an online book retailer and looking for books about finance for non-financial managers?  The Chartered Management Institute do a quite good one as part of their 'In a week' series

You could also try Google.  In addition to the regular search you can also search for definitions by putting define: (note the colon after the word define) such as define:EBITDA  (note, no space between the colon and the search term).  This may give you the answers you need more precisely than a regular search

 I hope that this helps.



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