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Thread: Worst construction crew ever vs two old dudes and a ladder

  1. #1
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    Worst construction crew ever vs two old dudes and a ladder

    My neighbor is having his roof redone, which includes skinning over the old 1" solid wood underlayment with ply, then purlins on that, and then galvalum. (New code requirement- have to skin with ply if redoing an old roof.) Eight men have been working on this project for over a week. They start early in the morning and spend two hours smoking and yelling at each other, then about an hour of work, much of which is removing the blue tarp. They break during the heat of the day (no criticism for that part- normal for roof work) and come back. Two more hours of smoking and yelling at each other, then an hour or so of work, most of which is putting the blue tarp back on. They wear no hearing protection as they cut galvalum with circular saws. It is so loud that literally as I write I am wearing hearing protection- inside my house. I feel so bad for these guys' ears. Right now they have the ply and purlins up after well over a week of work for 8 men. Well- technically 7 men and one woman, but all she does is cuss and complain to the men. I'm assuming she is some sort of supervisor. She has quite a mouth on her. She is very talented at combining multiple words, very similar to the German language, except with greater vulgarity.

    Meanwhile, the other neighbor has two old West Indian guys that in the same amount of time have completely replaced the roof on their detached building, built and painted a trellis connecting the two buildings, scraped and painted the smaller of the two buildings, and replaced some shutters. These poor guys worked through the heat of the day. My kitchen porch almost touches their roof, so I kept giving them water. These men have no vehicle. They show up at 7AM tools and ladder in hand, and work until dusk.

    Quite the contrast.
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  2. #2
    It's shocking. But I've seen almost exactly the same kind of nonsense myself. I never understood lazy. Work hard (like the 2 old guys) - get done faster and hopefully make more money. I've always appreciated the very strong work ethic my parents taught me. It has helped me immeasurably over the years.

    As an aside, I recently read an article that claimed well over 50% of new college grads have never held a part time job. Not even cutting yards. It said we will have to teach them how to work and how to behave in a workplace. I think we start by putting them on a roofing crew for 3 mos over the summer, so they realize how lucky they are.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    It's shocking. But I've seen almost exactly the same kind of nonsense myself. I never understood lazy. Work hard (like the 2 old guys) - get done faster and hopefully make more money. I've always appreciated the very strong work ethic my parents taught me. It has helped me immeasurably over the years.

    As an aside, I recently read an article that claimed well over 50% of new college grads have never held a part time job. Not even cutting yards. It said we will have to teach them how to work and how to behave in a workplace. I think we start by putting them on a roofing crew for 3 mos over the summer, so they realize how lucky they are.
    I didn't know that statistic, but it's not surprising. I started working at a kennel at age 14 scooping poop and mopping pee. It was humbling to say the least.

    My father-in-law has a roofing business. It is hard work. I should mention I do have high respect for roofers that do it right.

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    Great story Malcolm.
    I was lucky to learn my work ethic in the 1950's. My parents worked as kids through the depression. When I was 8 I made my own shoe shine kit and started my own business. 2 barber shops had adult men shining shoes in my midwestern city. I studied their business model and with my parents blessing, walked off to find a barber shop. The first 4 shops said"get lost kid". I must have been stubborn cause I kept going. The 5th shops owner said no, but one employee said " give the kid a chance". They allowed me to set up on the sidewalk.

    I was so proud. I made good money for a kid. The biggest payment I got was learning how to work with paying customers and the value of work!
    That barbershop is still there with the same name on the sign. My grandkids went on a trip and stopped there and took a pic. The're in front of the sign 59 years after I last shined shoes there! I guess they do
    pay attention when I preach "work ethic"
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right."
    - Henry Ford

  5. #5
    We had our roof done a few years ago. The house is 1400 sq ft & there's a 24 x 26 garage. The crew showed up after I left for work at 6:00 and when I came home sometime after 4:00 they were just doing the last of the clean up. They stripped the old shingles, put on ice & water shield, all new drip edge & new shingles. They did a great job & the cleanup was near perfect. The only thing I ever found on the ground was small shingle cutoff inside the base of a thick hedge 4 years later. The roofing company I used was not the low bidder.

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    There are plenty of "when I was a kid' stories and the parents of our childhood looked at our lack-luster performance of youth with a similar view. That being said I still don't understand how rock music can be so good and what "kids" listen to today can be so bad .

    Seriously though, here's my example . . . my "yard-guy"; I have always said that if you want to make some money just run a yard service where you actually show up when you are supposed to, do what you are supposed to and do is consistently. Alex does this. He does it for so many people that he owns a nicer house than me, drives a nicer car. A couple of his kids are still in college, the older is a successful businesswomen. He has pride in his work, values it for what it is and has no problem digging a hole for a plant and running a drip line to it despite his success. He is an example of having pride in what you do, working hard at it and teaching your children to do the same. We need more like him and the two old west-Indian guys.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


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    That no ear protection while cutting the galvalum explains the two hors of yelling.
    Marshall
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    A Stickley fan boy.

  8. #8
    I see many construction and landscaping workers doing their jobs without proper personal safety equipment such as safety glasses, dust masks and hearing protection. I see roofers on multi story buildings handling sheet good and roofing materials including metal with no safety harnesses, hats or long sleeve shirts.

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    When I started as a carpenter apprentice in the late 60's, my 3rd or 4th day on the job the guy I was working with told me he had all the company big wigs showing up because the slab was a foot out of square and there was going to be this big discussion about it. He told me if he saw me standing around while he was talking to them he would fire me. So he gave me a list of things to do, and the guys showed up and I worked like crazy to make sure I got everything done. Well, who knew big wigs liked to talk so much, and I finished everything he had told me to do. Now what? So I grabbed a saw and a generator, broke the bands on a bunk of studs and proceeded to cut 3 inches off each one and stack them behind me. I could see he was watching me and getting aggravated so I worked faster. I must have cut 300 studs. The wigs left and he commenced to cuss me out royally - turns out that I had cut open a bunk of pre-cut studs. Man was he pissed. But later in the day he said "well, at least you did something". My motto to this day is Do Something.
    Bill
    I'm not old. I've just been young for a very, very long time.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Harrison View Post
    That no ear protection while cutting the galvalum explains the two hors of yelling.
    I literally told my wife the same thing. It’s unbelievabe they can hear at all.

    By the way, most of the construction crew are gray haired or starting to gray, so we can’t blame this one on the young guys. Some of these contractors bid themselves over their heads on roofing jobs down here and now they are hiring anyone they can find to get the job done. My roof actually needs to be redone (lived its lifespan) and I am waiting for the post-hurricane work to dry up so I can get a reliable crew.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Schweizer View Post
    My roof actually needs to be redone (lived its lifespan) and I am waiting for the post-hurricane work to dry up so I can get a reliable crew.
    You should hire the two old dudes with the ladder.
    Lee Schierer
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    You should hire the two old dudes with the ladder.
    I agree and let them store the ladder overnight at your place until the job is done.
    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    You should hire the two old dudes with the ladder.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I agree and let them store the ladder overnight at your place until the job is done.
    Bill
    True! I can also let them use my ladders.

  14. #14
    I was going to suggest hiring the 2 old guys with the ladder. Don't loan them junky ladders. When I was younger, I built houses, mostly from the concrete up. Although I would level the sand in the basement and garage, but tried not to screw up any concrete. Anyway I was framing a house by myself, and a young guy stopped by and wanted to know if I would hire him, so told him to bring his tape and a hammer and show up the next day. He showed up, but didn't offer to help, just wanted to watch. So I got him up on a ladder, handed him the end of a board and told him to nail it in place. He did try, but at noon we agreed to meet back at the job after lunch but never saw him again.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    I was going to suggest hiring the 2 old guys with the ladder. Don't loan them junky ladders. When I was younger, I built houses, mostly from the concrete up. Although I would level the sand in the basement and garage, but tried not to screw up any concrete. Anyway I was framing a house by myself, and a young guy stopped by and wanted to know if I would hire him, so told him to bring his tape and a hammer and show up the next day. He showed up, but didn't offer to help, just wanted to watch. So I got him up on a ladder, handed him the end of a board and told him to nail it in place. He did try, but at noon we agreed to meet back at the job after lunch but never saw him again.
    He wanted you to HIRE him, and stood around watching? Wonder what he thought you were paying him to do? Geez.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

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