“What?! You are not going to have this delivered next week? We discussed this 100 times!” shouted a burley man in a plaid shirt.

“Sorry Mr. Wilson. We busted a water line this week.”

“We should figure it out in the next scheduling meeting … Tuesday of next week,” offered another.

“Good call, said someone else. Let’s invite the design team in and talk it out.”

“OK, it’s Friday,” said Wilson. “Lets wrap it up for today and go get something to drink …”

Maya’s senses were maxed out! There was so much noise … so many people … talking. She was in a core group meeting on an IPD project … in 2010. Disguised as a new intern, she had transported herself to the past. For the next 10 days she simply observed.

It was shocking to see most vehicles running on gasoline and water being used as if it was an infinite resource. At work, the design process was slow and redundant. Early BIM existed, but was not integrated among trades or phases and had no predictive analysis functionalities. “How would they know what to build?” she wondered.

On a personal front, it was a cultural shock: She was not used to people expressing feelings. Team members talked to each other face-to-face, verbally sharing information, having debates and in most cases, reaching conclusions. Of course, there were a lot of written documents, which were official, but there also was a culture of human communication. This was very different.

She realized that the loss of verbal communication was a challenge for her time in 2051. They needed to restore a means for transferring knowledge across generations, possibly by developing a ladder of mentors and mentees based on strong human relationships. There had to be a balance between technical skills and human knowledge, because no matter how advanced technology became, there was no substitute for people skills.

“I knew you would like the past,” Adrian said as she blinked and re-entered her living room.