Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job? - Business - Contractor Talk

Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?

 
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:17 AM   #1
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Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


hey all, im new to the forums, looks like a good place to write about my experiences and gain some good info while doing it! Im a young contractor (31), i have a GC license in california, been in the trades since i was 16... i got my license about 3 years ago and business is growing very fast. one thing im running into doing these commercial buildouts and restaurants is dealing with other businesses while working on my own project.

so the current problem im having is at a mall, im on the second floor doing a small restaurant which sits above 3 other stores. all of our below floor plumbing runs in their ceiling, fortunately its all tbar below so its not that painful. i have in my contract a standard clause for delays not at fault of contractor, all that good stuff. i also did a very detailed schedule, had a preconstruction meeting with the mall managers, and gave 2 weeks notice to all the stores, and their respective corporate offices, i recieved confirmation as well. dates to work in their store was the 5th-14th, i padded the timeline with a few days just in case... one store didnt open up until the 9th, and even after that they missed another 3 days which pushed us past the 14th. the inspector OK'd our work but needed the system under test with a 10ft head. stores didnt open again... mall wont help...

my question is this.. how do i deal with the constant incompetence of these corporate people who fail to do what they say? i wrote an email expressing our frustration and that its costing us over 10k just in missed days alone.. these people go as far to hire security (which i pay for), but fail to actually open the store. another issue im running into is that no matter how much we clean, the store manager always seems to find an issue, by the time i hear about it, its gone through 6 different people, the email i get about it has a long list of people from corporate, the mall, and really makes my team and i look like fools.

what are your experiences? is this pretty standard for these types of jobs? do i just eat the cost of doing what they want me to do? one store is claiming i damaged the store (theres a small dent in the drywall in the stock room, ankle high). theres marks all over the place from carting in product, anyone whos been in a warehouse knows what those types of marks are, but they want me to patch and paint half the store room.

id love to hear your opinions on the matter! my instincts tell me to just do it, but im on the fence about it, a big part of me wants to chew them out, send them a bill for all the missed days, and make them review the video to prove we did it.
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Old 03-01-2018, 10:37 AM   #2
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


bump, comon, 100 visiters, no advice or stories?

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Old 03-01-2018, 10:54 AM   #3
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


It sounds like you need to get documentation of the requests you have made, and make sure they are well informed of the items you need to have completed for your work to proceed.

You'll need proof they agreed to your terms, and had been well informed of their tasks, then they can be held responsible for delays.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:00 AM   #4
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


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It sounds like you need to get documentation of the requests you have made, and make sure they are well informed of the items you need to have completed for your work to proceed.

You'll need proof they agreed to your terms, and had been well informed of their tasks, then they can be held responsible for delays.
all of that is there... im stuck on the actuall billing them... could i even collect? im deffinately not filing a lien over it.. my client is a great guy and loves us, he will pay it.. but its not his fault!i hate having to give good clients 10k+ in change orders that have NOTHING to do with the jobs... its just incompetence..
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:00 AM   #5
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


What can anyone say? You know the score now. They have a team of nasty lawyers that know every trick in the book and might have written a few. This seems to be the modern trend, corporations buying more and more companies getting bigger and bigger making sure you know how small you are.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


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all of that is there... im stuck on the actuall billing them... could i even collect? im deffinately not filing a lien over it.. my client is a great guy and loves us, he will pay it.. but its not his fault!i hate having to give good clients 10k+ in change orders that have NOTHING to do with the jobs... its just incompetence..
Then fix the petty problems and try be happy about it. You might get a few customers out of it, you never know.

You may need to charge a bit more when you anticipate these types of issues reoccurring in the future. Surely other people face the same issues in your area.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


Your contract should have made your client responsible for getting entry into the other stores and the contract should have a daily mobilization rate meaning you get paid just for showing up when the stores are supposed to be open. Your problems are the reason why we just finished a hotel project and our contract was more than 200 pages.

Maybe, it is not too late to drop the ball on your client's lap.

As for keeping the bottom stores clean, I always have the exact same problems with store managers and even when we think the places are spotless they will make a spec of dust look like we destroyed the store. I think they all have a Napoleon Complex. You have to realize that the people they complain to have an obligation to notify you, but don't call the managers names and tell everyone you are doing your best and will try to do better.

I do some large jobs in commercial buildings with more than 1,000 employees on three 8-hour shifts. These jobs will have maybe 20 to 40 supervisors and I have to answer questions and listen to complaints and suggestions from 3 to 4 supervisors at a time. The worse part is what the supervisors want often conflict with each other and what the owners want.

Handling problems is the reason you are supposed to be earning many times more than your employees earn. You are paid to take the heat and persevere.
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:16 PM   #8
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


I would ask to see some video I’d be curious how it happen and what my guys did to do it.
I think you should make a point of talking to the store manager.

These corporate people love to send emails!

Everybody has to be accountable



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Old 03-02-2018, 11:51 AM   #9
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


I would send an email to all the folks that have been emailing you detailing the lost time you are entitled to be paid for according to your contract. Include all store owners and mall management.

Based on what you've said, it seems that your customer would be the one liable for these charges. I would explain to them that they should go after the other stores to cover the charges.

Regarding fixing store room walls and what not, buy a good digital camera. Take hundreds of photos in and around the areas you will be working in. It WILL save your ass at some point it time.

Last week I had a customer try to blame me for destroying some lines to a county radio system. There was another contractor on site troubleshooting. I received a lengthy email detailing the problems they found, how my company HAD to be the ones that damaged the system and a very presumptuous explanation on how it all happened, and how much it was going to cost to repair all this damage.

Luckily, my foreman did his job correctly. He called me when he found this (6 months ago). He took multiple photos of it. He noted it on his daily report.(foreman fills out an excel sheet everyday listing hours worked, miles driven, weather conditions, work performed, issues found, time left to complete, any visitors, etc..) I sent all this to the customer and the accusations stopped immediately.

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Old 03-02-2018, 01:50 PM   #10
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


Really, these are just routine hassles related to doing retail projects, doesn't sound like any real disasters. You just need to continue doing what you say you will do, when you said you would do it, and document everything so something that isn't your fault can't get blamed on you.
To ease the pain on collection, I would set up multiple billings throughout the job so they aren't holding you hostage with all of your money (and your subs & suppliers) so near to the end of a job.
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:28 PM   #11
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


we reviewed all the photos we took and patched and painted half the back room to accommodate them. talked to another store employee when it was done to see what she thought and said it was the security guard who pointed out the damage to the store manager, who in turn told their boss in new york, who flipped out and sent 100 emails. we sent over some photos of the security guards cot, blanket, and pillows he sets up in the back room every night to get some sleep and a nice photo of the white board that was on the ground broken from falling off the wall, yet again. haven't heard a peep from anyone :\ we had a meeting with the owner and hes paying all of the costs and will attempt to recover from the stores\mall himself.. its all covered in our contract but we never want to use the contract unless we have to. between the mall managers, these stores and the architects he hired, i feel like im in the twilight zone. my PM doesnt even want to deal with them anymore, possibly the worst location to do work in weve ever experienced. were all done working in the other units, escaped with only cuts and bruises and a massive headache. well see how the rest of this thing goes :-X
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:27 AM   #12
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


Working in malls sucks...just wait until you get a place above a bank or server room.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:43 AM   #13
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


I was working in a storefront in the mall and a couple of security guys dragged me to the office in cuffs. OK, I made up the cuffs part. I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork and give all my legal info, which I had. It wasn't bad but did kill about a half hour.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:14 AM   #14
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


The truth is, with more experience, you would have seen this coming. The guys that bid against you, and lost, knew it. Now you have the experience. Next time you will allow for this type of thing.

No offense to you. I just get annoyed when I loose a job, by alot, because someone is new to bidding this type of work. I used to think the owners thought less of me. They thought I was trying to gouge them. Now I realize, they never thought that. They knew the other bidder was inexperienced and they took advantage of him.
You are lucky you have an owner that is willing to pay you. Is it possible you were the low bidder and he figures, even if he pays you the extra, you are still lower than the other guy?

Emails are the corporate way. Years ago, probably my first serious commercial build out, there were alot of questions on the table. I called and got the answer, "I don't know, I'll check into it and get back to you." Then I got an email, within a couple minutes. That's when I realized they email everything. That's when I started as well.

Don't forget to make sure your emails get there. I have gotten so reliant on them, I got lazy. Had a large client ask for a bid, by a certain date. It was tight, but I got it done and emailed. Talked to him 2 days later. He said he never got the email. It was important, I should have double checked with him, by phone. My fault.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:36 AM   #15
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


We do high end stores in malls all the time. I hate it, but it pays good money. Usually some dweeb (gay male or female) comes out from New York to "kinda" oversee things. But it's mostly bitching, moaning, crying, complaining and finger pointing. And let don't forget the changes they want made that violate the laws of physics and building codes.

With that said, I make absolutely sure that my contracts have pages of exclusions, unseen conditions, delays by others and just about everything else I can think of, and/or, experienced over the years. That is the only way to do it. If I am really lucky, we are doing the fire alarm too, which means that I can hold up the whole thing if anyone tries to make my life more difficult.......plus I got the Fire Marshall on my side, not theirs.

As far as mall security and security guards in general, I have dealt with hundreds of them, and, I can count the smart ones on the finger of one hand. Remember these are not sworn officers (although they try to act like it), they work for the mall or the store owners. If you have a problem with them, take your complaints to store/mall management, that is who their employer is.

Also, take lots of pictures and document time, place and date. That pretty much gets the A---holes off your back.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:57 AM   #16
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


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As far as mall security and security guards in general, I have dealt with hundreds of them, and, I can count the smart ones on the finger of one hand. Remember these are not sworn officers (although they try to act like it), they work for the mall or the store owners. If you have a problem with them, take your complaints to store/mall management, that is who their employer is.
He didn't say anything about mall security, that was me. And I had no problem with them, they were just doing their job and making sure I was authorized to work there. Apparently I wasn't until they had the insurance info.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:38 AM   #17
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Re: Any Opinions Dealing With Corporate People While Doing A Commercial Job?


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We do high end stores in malls all the time. I hate it, but it pays good money. Usually some dweeb (gay male or female) comes out from New York to "kinda" oversee things. But it's mostly bitching, moaning, crying, complaining and finger pointing. And let don't forget the changes they want made that violate the laws of physics and building codes.



With that said, I make absolutely sure that my contracts have pages of exclusions, unseen conditions, delays by others and just about everything else I can think of, and/or, experienced over the years. That is the only way to do it. If I am really lucky, we are doing the fire alarm too, which means that I can hold up the whole thing if anyone tries to make my life more difficult.......plus I got the Fire Marshall on my side, not theirs.



As far as mall security and security guards in general, I have dealt with hundreds of them, and, I can count the smart ones on the finger of one hand. Remember these are not sworn officers (although they try to act like it), they work for the mall or the store owners. If you have a problem with them, take your complaints to store/mall management, that is who their employer is.



Also, take lots of pictures and document time, place and date. That pretty much gets the A---holes off your back.


Oh do I know EXACTLY the guys/people your talking about lol. I had a little phone conference with all of the “in charge” people and the owner of my project. I will say that a group session with a foot being firmly put on the floor and/or throats stops all the bull * REAL quick. Job is progressing again finally... the architect that did the plans bailed and refused to do the structural changes we need..found out the “architect” was actually just a drafter working for the architect the owner originally hired. It looks like the real arch. Is old and is having health probs... and his daughter “not an architect or drafter” is trying to keep things going , and the guy doing the drawings is cutting and pasting from old plans just enough to get through the city. Our general conditions are roughly 20k/m and I feel horrible for having to charge that since the actual client is a great guy...delays on my jobs like this RARELY happens and it’s never my fault.

I’ve gone against my better judgement and just built the place the right way. It may not be exactly per plan but it’ll be gorgeous and most importantly work correctly. Here’s a couple pics of one I completed a lil bit ago. Exact same thing almost. any opinions dealing with corporate people while doing a commercial job?-img_0266.jpgany opinions dealing with corporate people while doing a commercial job?-img_0263.jpgany opinions dealing with corporate people while doing a commercial job?-img_0274.jpg


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