Contractors and Politics: A view from the Checkwriter - Mercedes-Benz Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
mcbear's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Contractors and Politics: A view from the Checkwriter

I have had an opportunity, over the past six months to observe the working habits of nineteen different contractors working on either my house, the one I am leaving or my mom’s house that we are selling soon [??]. With this being an election season I have noticed that with one exception EVERY one has had bumper stickers on their vehicles proclaiming their political leanings and more. I have had a sixty/forty mix of Republican/Democrat contractor base. All contractors have been from recommendations of supply houses, other contractors or yellow pages with the exception of my prime contractor on the garage who I have known for 35 years.

Here is what I have observed from the work done and the conversation with the different contractors. An experience today prompted this missive.

Overall the Republican contractors were more likely than not to have illegal workers working for them, never asking if it was ok. Whenever I asked for documentation of worker’s comp on these laborers, suddenly Anglos would appear or the contractor would disappear. Two contractors did provide full WC documentation on their very legal Mexican and Cuban workforce.

As for quality of work, a summary of one job summarizes the Republican contractors completely. The Painters. When painting the outside of the house, it did not seem to matter that some windows were painted shut, or that “some” of the windows still had paint on the panes as “most” was gone. And with the now mostly completed job they seemed surprised that “mostly” did not produce a final check. They will be back on Monday to scrape and clean the windows, unseal the rest and tidy up. Basically, we have seen minimum possible work for their contracted pay with detail and cleanup as options and “borrowing” of my tools as “perks”.

Regarding the eight Democrat leaning contractors, the differences have been pretty striking with one exception. Work is started on time, completed on time and detail work is always complete. On several days I would come in at the end of the day and not be able to tell they had been there until I looked at the work, the cleanup was so complete. There was never smoking in the garage or garbage left in the yard, and usually policing of other contractor’s messes was done. On only one occasion did I see undocumented workers on the job. That was on a one day block laying job.

Oddest thing, a week, or so after the job was complete, I would get a call asking if all was OK, if I was happy. With two exceptions I got a thank you card for the opportunity to work.

The one guy that did not perform up to task is so wound up about the election that I am surprised he can actually drive or dress himself. A Viet Nam vet, he has been through the turmoil of the 60s and 70s and really hates seeing it happening again. It has affected his work. It took awhile but it is complete.

What I found, over this period is that folks are very willing to work now. There are seldom waiting lists of any period and labor costs appear down. I found that the Republican work force was not nearly as detailed or willing to do a complete job, more willing to let part of the work slide but still wanted paid in full. I found that the Democrat stickered folks went out of their way to insure that work was done as if they were doing it for their parents or grandmother. I found that the women contractors worked their asses off harder and faster than the guys at each and every task and the quality of their work was, without question the best of the lot.

It is an interesting filter with which to choose contractors but frankly, this last few months, without going into the projects with any bias toward any workgroup has proven to show a singular outcome.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
mcbear is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 05:15 PM
slightly creased
 
420 SE's Avatar
 
Date registered: Sep 2005
Vehicle: 1988 420 SE; 2015 ML 400
Location: Gold Coast, QLD, AUS & Doha, Qatar
Posts: 16,177
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 136 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
how do I put this, was your experience that the Republican leaning contractors undertook the less skilled tasks and those not requiring licences etc, with the Democrat leaning contractors doing the more skilled and educated jobs or the other way around?

I guess I am trying to get a take on whether it comes down to lateral and critical thinking skills and, making VERY broad generalisations, that those undertaking the less technical of jobs really don't have the depth of capacity...

Ross

OzBenz

beware of fundamentalists

420 SE is offline  
post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 06:39 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Jayhawk's Avatar
 
Date registered: Aug 2005
Vehicle: S500/W220/2000
Location: Lawrence, KS (USA)
Posts: 21,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
My experience over the past 66 years has been quite the opposite. But then you seem to see everything through those left-leaning (left-wing) eye balls! No surprise in your analysis at all!

Don't believe everything you think
Jayhawk is offline  
post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 06:41 PM
Moderately subtle
 
edfreeman's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2003
Vehicle: 94 E500, 97 500SL
Location: Soddy Daisy, TN
Posts: 8,525
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Send a message via AIM to edfreeman
Yeah, I'm betting they know you, Bear, and gave you the kind of job they felt you deserved.

edfreeman is offline  
post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
mcbear's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 420 SE View Post
how do I put this, was your experience that the Republican leaning contractors undertook the less skilled tasks and those not requiring licences etc, with the Democrat leaning contractors doing the more skilled and educated jobs or the other way around?

I guess I am trying to get a take on whether it comes down to lateral and critical thinking skills and, making VERY broad generalisations, that those undertaking the less technical of jobs really don't have the depth of capacity...
In several cases [painters as examples] I had five sets of painters, both inside and out. Two different drywall contractors and two different concrete contractors. So no, there there was not a skill differential. I would have noted that.

My electrician was dem, plumbers were 1 dem, 1 rep. Painters were 3 rep, 2 dem. Roofers, both rep. Pool dem. Gen Cont. dem, Backhoe/cat rep. I only really count the owner/operator and not the laborers.

This was an exercise in looking at philosophy vs work ethic in a VERY micro environment. I also looked at vehicle use and that was pretty interesting also.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
mcbear is offline  
post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
mcbear's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by edfreeman View Post
Yeah, I'm betting they know you, Bear, and gave you the kind of job they felt you deserved.
Only three knew my politics prior or during the job. Several of us talked afterward.

Remember, the ponytail and Benz tend to send very mixed signals and there were no signs at my house until this week.

I also don't bring the case of beer til AFTER the job is done.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
mcbear is offline  
post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 01:32 AM
~BANNED~
 
Jakarta Expat's Avatar
 
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 17,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
My experience over the past 66 years has been quite the opposite. But then you seem to see everything through those left-leaning (left-wing) eye balls! No surprise in your analysis at all!

66 years.......about right.

Forgive me Drew from ever doubting you on this picture being the Hussein Hawk.........

Jakarta Expat is offline  
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
mcbear's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
My experience over the past 66 years has been quite the opposite. But then you seem to see everything through those left-leaning (left-wing) eye balls! No surprise in your analysis at all!
Well, I just finished my third "you don't get your check until 1-X are done and all have been to folks with McCain stickers on their duelies. My left wing eyeballs saw both the incomplete jobs and flaws in the work and the stickers so hard to really debate that.

But the interior work and garage proper are complete and perfect. And I start on both kitchen cabinets and library stacks myself this next week. So I know that oak will go down correctly.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
mcbear is offline  
post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 07:14 AM
BenzWorld Veteran
 
joelschneider's Avatar
 
Date registered: Mar 2008
Vehicle: 1999 E320 4 matic wagon
Location: Sussex Wi
Posts: 766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Painters are not tradesmen. Unless it is a commercial job. Painters are drywallers looking for a cheap high. And a little work.
Drywallers are not tradesmen. The finisher is. The hangers just have strong backs.
Masons are drunk.
Roofers are high, and are laid off drywallers.(not finishers)

We have the same issues up here Bear. I have met 3 painters in my life in the trades that actually went through some formal training. ( In the back off my head I was asking, Why?) They are not the pick of the litter from the gene pool in my experience.
Most of our drywallers up here are Hispanic and speak little or no English. It is not uncommon on bigger jobs to see the same individuals doing the landscaping after the drywall is hung. The finisher is the guy who knows what he is doing.

Masons do have a tendency to drink a little. And clean up is a issue because most of them just have a truck they work out off and no office or shop and therefore have no where to go with the cut block and garbage they leave. It is a problem up here to. I have seen them dig holes or shove everything into the basement floor that they can.

Roofers are worse then the masons when it comes to drinking and drugs. When my wife does the lock up list on Monday at the courthouse the 2 most common occupations are mover and roofer when being arrested for DUI or drug possession.

"Fat, Drunk and Stupid is no way to go through life."
joelschneider is offline  
post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 07:58 AM
Will Moderate For Cigars
 
cmitch's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2005
Vehicle: 2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
Location: City on the TN River
Posts: 10,691
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Well, that clears that up. The guy that did my siding that fell off my previous house, 8 years ago, was a Republican, even though he had Gore/Lieberman stickers all over his truck. The brick layer who bricked my vents shut was a Republican, even though, he, too, was a union worker with Gore/Lieberman stickers on his truck. Let's not fail to mention my roofer, that hired Mexicans to do his work and half his shingles slid off my house, had to have been a Republican, as well. Yep, that's it.

Bear, I like you, but you've really lost it.

2005 S430 4Matic 'Morton' W220.183 722.671 Rest in Peace

Bells and whistles are thorns and thistles.
cmitch is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    finding contractors ketlis Off-Topic 13 09-14-2008 09:16 PM
    Military contractors are hard to fire Teutone Off-Topic 4 02-02-2008 07:56 PM
    Igloo Contractors Nutz 4 Benz Off-Topic 1 12-31-2006 06:03 PM
    Interviewing A/V contractors for a substantial remodel and home theater install...(question inside) silversurfer1 Off-Topic 1 12-11-2004 01:11 AM
    Survey: How do you view this forum -- Table view? Thread view? Sort by? RLO R170 SLK-Class 4 06-04-2002 08:28 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome