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View Full Version : Off topic I need to VENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



tazz3069
11-13-2009, 11:47 PM
I am an electrical contractor in Vegas. Yes things are a little tough right now. I can honestly say that I am one of the very few that do honest good work. I have a customer that took advantage of me when I was out of town. He had one of my employees work against my wishes. I was out of cell phone range. Now it is time for the billing. Since it was a holiday weekend, I charged the customer overtime for my employee working. He told me that he did not authorized the overtime nor all the extra electrical that he wanted. WTF!!!! Do people actual think that we do this for charity. He said that he tried to contact me. I pulled all my cell phone records. What a surprise to call at the time nor from my employee. I think that my my employee was told that I ok'ed the work. Well now for the fun part. Since he said that he never ok'ed the extra work nor the extra material and overtime, I took my framing hammer and started to ripp all the extra stuff out of the walls and ceiling. He was pissed. He wanted to report me to the contractors board. I reminded him since there was no signed contract nor did he authorize the extra work, it should not be there. You should have seen the look on eveybodies face. I said if it was not authorized and nobody wants to pay for it, then it should not be there. We are not a charity and this is not extreme makeover. Well I did not get the privilege to rip everything out of the wall. I did make two holes in the walls and removed a plug. Now I have a signed contract and a check in my hand. Sorry I needed to release this and I feel alot better now. Thanx for letting me vent. Needless to say, that employee does not work for me anymore. I understand that he was doing what the customer wanted just to please him. By law I need to pay him overtime, if not I can get into tons of trouble. The customer is no longer a friend and never want to do business again with him. This has probably been the worst customer I have ever delt with in 22 years of doing this.

It kind of funny how things work. I deal with a wide range of people. I mean people that have and do not have a lot of money. For example, I did work for a lady at her house for the power company. She wrote me a check with no problem. This customer does not line in a $500,00.00 house. Now for the customer in the above mentioned. He is worth 6 figures and lives in one of the million dollar condos in Vegas. He is the one having a problem writing checks to the subcontractors such as myself.

tazz3069
11-14-2009, 12:13 AM
HMMM $100,000.00 seems like 3 strikes to me. I just do not understand the work ethic anymore. When I was in my teens, I loved to work to see that paycheck at the end of the week. The harder that I worked the more money I get. Still the same way today. I can not pay and electrician $25.00 an hr and babysit him. I can maybe see an apprentice at $10.00hr but not a journeyman electrician. The the heck is wrong with people now a days. I am tough on my sons. I love him very much and I want him to have a good head on his shoulders. I do not tach laziness. I teach responsibility and for 15 years old, he is very responsible. He also knows how to be a teenager that is normal. In the real world, he is a smart kid. We need more people like that. He knows what it takes to make a dollar and knows what it takes to spend a dollar.

mmandley
11-14-2009, 09:36 AM
I hear all of ya. I feel the same way when it comes to the public.

My friend explained it to me very well. Check this out.

At Buffalo Wild Wings for Monday night football. This friend of mine always orders tons of food and beer. Always wanting his food hot, beer cold, and expects it delivered fast. I can understand and respect this. At the end of the night his tab is generally 60+ bucks. So he happily pays the tab and tips 2 bucks.

WTF?? 2 bucks for close to 10 trips to our table just for this one customer?

So last week Claudia and me had enough of this as it embarrasses us because we go there every week for the last 2 years, I know the manager and we always have the same table waiting and its the best table IMO. Its right by all the screens. You can see the football game, from any direction without craning your neck or moving, see the baseball game, and see UFC fighting. Awesome seats.

So back to my friend. Me and Claudia decide to confront him on his < what we see as cheap, non appreciating behavior. We ask him why he tips so little? I mean he works for the same company as me, is paid higher then me, had a more expensive home then me, and a new car. I know he can afford a lot more then 2 bucks.

His reply is its owned to be served hand and foot. That's the waitresses job.

We checked with the waitress and made sure she is paid the normally 2 bucks an hour a waitress is paid and she is. She said she works for tips and thats her income.

After talking with my friend for most of the game about this he just keeps reverting to his idea its owed to him and there's no reason to pay her with a Tip. All of us at the table were just floored with his attitude to this. He is a bit younger at 29. Im 36 and was raised with the older style of parents that believe in tipping, truth, loyalty, honesty, dignity, respectfulness, manors, and all that good stuff. I still to this day open the truck door for Claudia, wait to eat till she sits down with me, and thank her for cooking and cleaning the house.

To make this long story short, my friends behavior is the same reason you cant get good service at most places, same reason why when you hire a contractor you have to hover over them, same reason i have to check my garden shed for my shovels, rakes, hoses when the landscaper is done. Its a different world in the 2K then it was in the 80s, and 90s.

Ohh yea, needless to say but we don't invite him out as much as we used to, and when we do i feel obligated to tip her more now to make up for his lack of it. I just cant stand our normal waitress to look down on us because of him.

NCSUmoomba
11-14-2009, 09:50 AM
You guys are forgetting the fact that one of the reasons these people have more money, is that they take advantage of and stiff people whenever possible.

tazz3069
11-14-2009, 09:54 AM
I agree. I think that we all have friends like that. Now out of those 22 years of being an electrician, I use to be an Executive Chef. Being in the restaurant business is not the easiest thing to do. Both the front of the house and back of the house work their tail off daily. We paid our wait staff nicely. They also worked for tips. Its all about the service and not was is owed. Being an Executive Chef, I used to get lots of tips for the food. I turned around and gave it to my cooks. Yes I created the dish but these guys recreated it for the customer. Now my wait staff went out of their way to give the customer an experience that they will never forget and get when they come back again. They also were tipped very well. I worked in a restaurant were the sommelier took home about 125k a year. And that was just so selling a good bottle of wine. Now mind you, the majority of that money was in tips. He made suggestion of wine to go with the food. At bringing home that money, yes he knew his stuff. Now that been said, I know what it take to work in a restaurant. Now if the service is outstanding, I give 20%. If the service was just OK, then I give a lot less. It all really depends on the service. In my restaurant, the front of the house and the back of the house always worked together to get the food out hot and in a timely manner. Without the teamwork, you might as well just shut your doors. That goes with any business IMO

tazz3069
11-14-2009, 10:03 AM
You guys are forgetting the fact that one of the reasons these people have more money, is that they take advantage of and stiff people whenever possible.

So very true. I also have clients that are worth 6 figures and they have no problem writing checks at all. I will give you and example. My mother-in-law has a great deal of money. As a matter of fact her and the entire family has a great deal of money. She is very generous when need be. She also shop for bargains she does not need that real expensive stuff. She had taken my wife, son, and I to Washington DC and paid for everything. Really nice of her. She just wanted the entire family to go on this trip with them. So thee are people out there with sense of reality and some out there with a sense of fantasy.

skiyaker
11-14-2009, 10:28 AM
Atlas will shrug!

sandm
11-14-2009, 11:08 AM
hey tazz, nice post threatening pulling crap out of the wall, but why not just file a lien for the money owed? might take a while to get paid, but that can cause a ton of issues for the guy...

my uncle is an electrician in mojave valley and got hosed by a guy doing some work on an indian reservation in parker earlier this year.. there's scum everywhere always trying to take advantage of people they think they can..

tazz3069
11-14-2009, 11:20 AM
A Lien was filed with my wholesale house. Something like $6,000.00 is owed to them. I have already spoken with management at the building and told them what is going on. Here in Vegas, commercial properties are giving an incentive to move it. They paid $XX.XXsft for a build out. All the sub submitted their proposasl to the owner, He then submits them to management. Well this is were it gets good. My proposal for the job was 31K He took my proposal and added 20K to it. management wrote him a check for 56K for the electrical work. He did this with all the subcontractors. Basicaly he is gaining and extra 100K from all the work that was done. He said that he did this so that he has money to open his doors. By the way, all the subs left the job except for me. I am a fighter and will not back down for what is right. I hope this POS get it in the end. I would love to see hiom in jail.

sandm
11-14-2009, 12:14 PM
sounds like some shady deals going on there. guessing that there will be some way around this for him. no one will care in the end if everyone gets paid. now if someone is left hanging, then it gets interesting.
hows business there? mum moved to henderson(macdonald ranch) last spring and seems that there's quite a bit of new commercial going on. can't believe the lots going up the hill behind her. should be some high-end work up there soon :)
hoping to get down to vegas in january for a weekend to build her some shelves..

tazz3069
11-14-2009, 05:09 PM
Business is OK it can be better. Because of the bad times and the way that people pay. I am now writing my contract exactly how the job wil be performed to how and whenI get paid. I mean, the contract is very specific. Even to the amount of times we need to use the bathroom. JK My contract are very to the "T" That way, my attorney, contractors board, and building department have nothing against me when it comes to getting paid on the work I did. How is your mom liking Henderson? I do some work there not too much. I am hoping to hook up with a big contractor there to get into some of those custom homes.

tazz3069
11-14-2009, 06:29 PM
Funny. His name is Mark Levenson. He is known for ripping people off. Well I guess the buck stops here with him. He has know idea who he is dealing with.

sandm
11-14-2009, 06:48 PM
she really likes the area. it would drive me crazy all the old farts driving around there, but it's a nice area. have some other relatives that live in a crazy big house on a golf course that's within 2 gated communities in henderson, but haven't been there.
some of those houses that will be going up on that terraced hill I would imagine will be a $50k+ electrical bill..
I've been paying around $3.10/ft for an average install on new construction from my cousins shop and feeling like I'm getting screwed :)

kaneboats
11-16-2009, 09:36 AM
I've never had a problem dealing with contractors. I grew up in a family of them. I rarely need one at my house cuz I do most of the stuff myself. When I do need something I call and talk to the boss. I tell him to come by when it's convenient for him, not me. I ask him to call ahead of time so I can have the cash ready when he arrives. I pay in cash up front and I don't need a ticket or receipt. I always get great service. They seem to understand this language.

I went to school with a guy who was a bellman at a Chicago hotel. (He's a law professor now). He tipped more than anyone I ever met (usually in a stack of ones). He explained that he earned his money in tips and so do all the service people. He said, "If you can't afford a proper tip, you can't afford to go there." I started tipping a lot more, especially when service is good. I think it's great to reward excellence but not mediocrity.

If I had a friend stiffing the wait staff I'd be too embarrassed to go out with him. If I absolutely had to go out with him I'd try to arrange to have 8 or more in the party so the gratuity is added into the bill.

tazz3069
11-16-2009, 10:05 AM
I have a big meeting today with the Management of the building I am working in with the SCUM BAG that I had a problem with. They want me to show them my original contract with his signiture on it. They want to see what we charged him and what the Management paid out on the build out. I can guarantee that the invoice that was given to them was marked up considerably. Love to see this guy in handcuffs.

sandm
11-16-2009, 11:36 AM
good luck tazz. bet it'll be a fun meeting..

kane, I agree to a certain point. seems that more and more when I go out to eat, the service is ok, not excellence, but yet everyone seems to think that mediocrity is worth 15-20%. I certainly don't expect you to come around and be the life of the party, but if I have to ask 10 minutes after my beer is empty for another, you are not doing your job. with the average dinner out being in the $40-50 range with a couple of drinks around here, I expect good attentive service for an $8-10 tip..

and what's up with all the tip cups showing up in places like mcdonalds.. give me a break...

newty
11-16-2009, 10:25 PM
Tazz, sorry to hear about all the trouble, but I would have love to have been there when you pulled the universal uninstall tool out!!:p
Nothing I hate more than people who will do anything to anyone to save/make a buck!
Don't get me wrong... I'm as frugal as the next guy and I'm all about best bang for the buck, but I'm anything but cheap (hence why I own a Moomba)!
Pay it forward, Karma, what every you want to call it, I beleive what goes around can and WILL come around. Even if I'm in a resturaunt and the service not good, I'll always tip at least 20%. You never know whats really going on with the waitress. She could be having an off day, so do I make it worse or can I try to make it better?

Mmandley I'd drop that buddy like a bad habit. People like that will only bring you down, if not by association then by some other way. Its only a matter of time till they start treating thier friends that way.
My 2 cents anyway.

tazz3069
11-16-2009, 10:44 PM
Well today was very interesting. My contractor received a phone call from the owner of the project. He called an emergency meeting today at 11am. It would have worked out perfect. Mind you I said "would have" Well the GC (General Contractor), myself, Simplex Grinnel (Fire Alarm), and all the management, were all waiting with bells on. The Jerk Off never showed up and never answered his cell phone. What a POS this guy is. Well the job is at a stand still again. Ball is in his court now. Score is Owner -5 contractor +75. I think we are in the Lead. Plus his electricity is going to be turned off in 10 days if he does not pay the bill. $1065.73

DOCDRS
11-16-2009, 11:01 PM
keep us posted, we are all interested in how this unfolds.......a guy who is rooting for ya

tazz3069
11-17-2009, 07:51 AM
Thanx I will keep you guys posted. I will be there again doing some finish work for the fire department. Maybe he just might show up. Who knows.

tazz3069
11-17-2009, 08:38 PM
I had, which I hope, is the final meeting with this guy. I am very proud of myself. I hope ypu are sitting down when reading this. After arguing for about an hour over money and all the work that has been done, I finally pulled the attorney card. Even though we have a contract for the electrical performed, He did not think, because we are friends, that I would charge him for the extras that he wanted on the job. Well being friends does not put food on the table or pay my mortgage. He wanted me to give him a discount on the final invoice. I said NO. I also was hired by the management to install the fire alarm system. He wanted me to pad the invoices to cover his extras. When he found out that I did not pad the invoice, He was Pissed. He said " I have a budget. How am I going to pay for all of this?" I told him that he should of thought about it before he asked my employee to add all the extra electrical. No about the attorney card. I told him that if I did not get my last payment, I will not only lien the job, I will have my attorney come after him. I told him about the final price he owes, plus attorney fees, plus time served. I think he will make the right decision. We will see when I get my final check.

sandm
11-17-2009, 08:56 PM
didn't notice in the first post that this dude was a "friend". that def. muddies the waters depending on how close the friendship is.. I can understand now how come he wanted some of the things done. downside of bringing friendship into business. I have given my cousin a hard time for charging me for some of the upgrades that he has done for me in a couple of houses, but bottom line, I understand it's business, but he has been burned in the same type of deal for others that don't understand. "come on, it's just a few extra outlets and switches" :)

hope he does the right thing and pays, and if it's the end of a friendship, probably wasn't a good one to begin with....

tazz3069
11-17-2009, 09:12 PM
Sandm--
I agree with you to a point. If I did it, and he did not go behind my back, then I]it would be a different story. He did alot of this work while I was out taking care of my mom. He told my employee that I oked the work. After I found out that work was done without my permission, I stopped my employee buying power with the wholesale house and canceled his Home Depot card. I also told him that if he does it again, it will be on his time not mine or he can job everybody in the unemployment line. Now I need to deal with all the mess. I guess that it comes with the territory of owning a business. I tightened my belt up and things are either my way or it no way. I hate to be that way but I cant not have people take advantage of the situation. I was taking care of my mother who, we thought, had breast cancer agaon for the fifth time. And no I did not answer the phone. And no I was never called to authorize the extra work. It looked better when I showed up today with my cell phone log. The days I was in Calif., taking care of mom, he said that he called or my employee called to see if it was OK to do the work. The time that I was not available, both did not call.

sandm
11-17-2009, 09:25 PM
sucks to not trust those that you deal with. cousins deal with it all the time. apprentices that are good are hard to find, journeyman that can be trusted want a ton of cash and can deplete the profits in a job quickly. I deal with a lot of temporary workers(have 13 reporting to me right now) and it has been amazing with the unemployment rate as high as it is, the quality of the workforce has gotten better, but I still went through 25-30 workers to get the ones I have currently.

DOCDRS
11-17-2009, 09:31 PM
Sandm--
I agree with you to a point. If I did it, and he did not go behind my back, then I]it would be a different story. He did alot of this work while I was out taking care of my mom. He told my employee that I oked the work. After I found out that work was done without my permission, I stopped my employee buying power with the wholesale house and canceled his Home Depot card. I also told him that if he does it again, it will be on his time not mine or he can job everybody in the unemployment line. Now I need to deal with all the mess. I guess that it comes with the territory of owning a business. I tightened my belt up and things are either my way or it no way. I hate to be that way but I cant not have people take advantage of the situation. I was taking care of my mother who, we thought, had breast cancer agaon for the fifth time. And no I did not answer the phone. And no I was never called to authorize the extra work. It looked better when I showed up today with my cell phone log. The days I was in Calif., taking care of mom, he said that he called or my employee called to see if it was OK to do the work. The time that I was not available, both did not call.

doesn't matter ,you did not ok the work ..........the fact that he said it was ok'd means someone is not telling the truth....and you know who that is....you caught him, called his bluff and he has to deal with it......either he's a d**k and worse or he will step up to the plate......I hope all works out, and your right....net effect is he is expecting you to pay him for the work you do........we will go out of business will quick if we do this

tazz3069
11-17-2009, 09:46 PM
There are crooks out there. They are just more visible in this economy. I have gone through many employees also. They are awesome in the beginning, but as time progresses, the workmanship sinks everyday. The most famous phrase that I hate is "I get paid hourly" or "I do not like to work fast" or "I do not know how to work fast" Working fast is not the point. Working efficiently and productively are the most important thing along with teamwork. TEAMWORK I can not believe I just said that. Nobody believes in teamwork anymore. I remember, working in Calif, all contractors worked together. We had a blast, we had fun and got a sh*^t done. Why can it be like the old days?

sandm
11-17-2009, 11:22 PM
going to open up a huge can of worms with this post I bet, but I can guess you're about the same age I am tazz. look at the people in the 20's and early 30's in the job market. def. a difference in work ethics..
there are exceptions, but been my experience.

zabooda
11-18-2009, 03:56 AM
I saw some interesting flourescent shirts on some road crew guys when I was in Iowa that said: "Work Hard or Go Home." They were at a sports bar right after work and seem to be a good team. I worked for my dad in high school and there were a few times he sent me home. That is when I decided to work for the government ha ha.

mmandley
11-18-2009, 10:16 AM
going to open up a huge can of worms with this post I bet, but I can guess you're about the same age I am tazz. look at the people in the 20's and early 30's in the job market. def. a difference in work ethics..
there are exceptions, but been my experience.

I agree with you here. Me being the 30s crowd, but i was raised much differently, raised the old school way, ass whoopins, treat people with respect, open the car door for the ladies, all that stuff.

When i refused to learn that stuff my pop put me in Military academy for 10 years. Wow what a place to be LOL. It worked though.

tazz3069
11-18-2009, 12:35 PM
going to open up a huge can of worms with this post I bet, but I can guess you're about the same age I am tazz. look at the people in the 20's and early 30's in the job market. def. a difference in work ethics..
there are exceptions, but been my experience.


I am 40. no worms here.

sandm
11-18-2009, 12:57 PM
I meant worms as to the stab at younger people. I got'cha beat by 1 year :)

tazz3069
11-18-2009, 01:04 PM
I knew what you meant. You would think that with this economy, peoples attitudes should change. Not the case at all. I get people that need work all the time. I look at their presentation and how they speak. I know this will open up a case of worms. I will not hire someone that has their pants half way down their back side. I do not like that people have more metal on their face than I have on my belt. I can not have someone with 20 different color of hair. I am OK with Tattoos. I have a few myself. The majority of my clients are in the 6 figure caliber. I need to have professional people to represent the company. I spend alot of time and money in trainig. If someone can not take advantage of that, then you are wasting my time and money.

sandm
11-18-2009, 02:21 PM
agree 100%. I have given up on people dressing up for interviews for a job. that has been gone for a long time, and I am hiring for manual labor in a warehouse, but to your point, I don't want to see what brand of boxers you have on, and tank tops are not acceptable wear for an interview, nor a hat. take a shower and comb your hair..
don't get the piercing thing, or the multi-color hair, but oh well. I'm ok with tattoos, but why you would get them in a place that can't be easily concealed with dress clothing for future jobs is beyond me, and to see them get pissed when you call them on it..

guess if I need an electrical apprentice, I'll look ya up :) my cousin used to yell at me though as it's real hard to have wired 12v car audio for years and make the switch to black being hot and red being just an extra 3leg wire, and he hated that I put outlets 12" off the floor, not 18 like he likes..

tazz3069
11-18-2009, 07:56 PM
All my ink is well hidden. Nobody knows that I have them until I go to the lake. That is the only time that I do not wear a shirt. Oh do not forget about the people that knock your sock off during the interview. Then get them on a job site and they have the deer in the head lights looks

sandm
11-18-2009, 08:07 PM
uhhhh...
there really is a difference in the white and yellow wires?? :)

tazz3069
11-18-2009, 08:27 PM
There could be. I remember I went to a house that was wired by another electrician that is no longer allowed at the property. The customer wnated me to add a few 4" can lights for him. The switch was off, i made sure, and grabbed the green(ground wire). I got a shock of a life time and a few deep cuts on my arm from pulling it out of the fixture. Now an experience electrician will never use the green wire as the hot wire. This fool did. I said a few choice words, told the customer, and had to rewire all the lights. Quality, ownership, craftsmanship, all out the window with this clown do electricity.

Sled491
11-18-2009, 10:54 PM
Tazz, Dude, you know I could add a 3 page book to this. You did the right thing, and funny thing is you and I both know that there is know way the whole story is being told or that you are getting your point across the way you really want.

I have your same problems every day. Good help is hard to find. I just had a buddy beg me to hire this guy he had do some reno work for him. Apperently the guy has really fallen on some hard times, and I'm not completely without a heart, so I hired him. Man I explain the pay periods and time cards to him almost weekly, and all I ever get is "whatever". WTF go work some where else then, OH ya that's right, the only reason you have this job is because some one begged me to give it to you. Just sucks out there right now.

Bottom line "In God we trust....all others pay cash!"

tazz3069
11-18-2009, 11:23 PM
You hit the mail on the head. I like Zabooda comment about the T-Shirts. I think that I need to make some up for me and my crew. "Work Hark Or Go Home". Things are getting better. I am getting the trust of all my clients. They know that I mean business. I do not screw around. I am usually the voice at all the job meetings. Sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. At least I get my message across. Everybody, clients and contractors, know I am a no bulls@#t type of guy. I am hear to do a job and not to waste time and money. Why can't everybody be that way. One of my clients did not call me on a recommendation on a GC. This client went ahead with the deal and wrote a $5,500.00 check. the arse never came back. People like that need to burn in you know were. It is usually very hot there. Yes HELL I said it.

By the way Sled how is business. My Solar Company finally is taking off. My partner and I are starting to get everything together, Vendors. Our application was just accepted to be a distributor for a big Vendor. We are waiting to hear from one more company. Soon we will be a big part of going green. Every little helps. I may not change the world or how the works, but I can certainly help. I will post my website as soon as it is ready.