One Of Those Days - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

One Of Those Days

 
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:47 PM   #1
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One Of Those Days


It was one of those days.

Head over to a major drainage job with one employee in tow. Im driving the SA dump, hes in the pickup. Another employee is on the way in the tandem, with a load of stone, and then hes off to a trucking job for the day.

Get a call, tandem is making a funny noise, stuck on the side of the highway.

Can it drive

Yes

Is it overheating or otherwise going to cost me a ****load of money if you keep driving it?

No

Get off the highway at the next exit and pull off in a suitable place.

I jump in the pickup and leave my useless employee behind (hes not licensed to drive the SA dump) with instructions to grease the machines, fuel them up and otherwise make himself useful. Pull off site for the tandem is only 10 minutes away.

Get to the tandem and see that the housing on the alternator has cracked. Think a bearing went, and blew the housing apart, not sure even now what happened. Pull the alternator off, good news right? Alternators are a quick fix, this truck will be on the road in an hour. Right?

Take the alternator to the aftermarket guy, he runs the number and cant find a match. Strange. Take the alternator to the dealer, who also has trouble finding a match, but comes out of the back with one that looks a heck of a lot the same. Service guys in the back swap the pulley and Im on my way.

Ready to install alternator on truck when I realize the pulley is grounded out on the housing and wont turn. I think there must be a spacer the dealer neglected to swap, so back to the dealer. Dealer says no spacer, so we match numbers on the two. Same number on both, it must be the right part. There is a very subtle change to the housing; the dealer says it must be that they redesigned the part. This part redesign means I need to manufacture a spacer to hold the pulley off the body of the alternator.
Off to the machine shop. Get a spacer manufactured in record time. Install pulley, back to the disabled truck.

Driver is half frozen, not dressed for the weather; useless employee is on the other site still greasing the machines and fueling them up (4 hrs later at this point).

Install alternator, everything fits, plugs in right and otherwise looks fine, except that the pulley is out of alignment by one spline on the belt. I say screw it, lets get the load of the truck at least. I drive the truck, 10 minutes to the drainage job and dump the load. The belt is shredded. Three splines out of eight are left. This tuck is seriously pissing me off.

My driver and useless employee (who only managed to grease half the points despite sitting on the site for six hours) pack up the job and head back to the yard with the SA dump and float. I drive the tandem back with a thread for a belt, praying the whole way.

I call the dealer, tell them its the wrong alternator, give them the VIN number and tell them I want the alternator the truck was manufactured with. Turn out, its a different part number, dealer dude didnt think to mention that earlier. It will be at the dealer at 4:30. Im at the dealer at 4:30, part isnt there. It takes another hour for the part to show up.

End result, truck is back up at 7pm. Absolutely nothing useful got done today. I have two employees that will expect to be paid for the day. I have two jobs that didnt get done. I went backwards at least 2 grand today.

Some days I wish I was the truck driver.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Pete
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:58 PM   #2
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Re: One Of Those Days


well if its any consolation I discovered at 9 am that the wall I built yesterday is off a whole brick from one end to the other.

In other words, I managed to lay up a whole wall, about 1800 brick with a rather noticeable slope to the joints that is completely obvious now that I have arrived at the top of the wall and one side is flush with the top and the other end has another brick to go yet.

Hmm, wonder if any one would notice that we sliced 48 brick at a very slight angle to make it all flush at the top? Not gonna happen.

Fortunately there are two windows in the wall and I was able to "just" remove the brick between the windows. Removed about 350 brick and relaid them just in time for sundown.

Been doing this for six years, dumbest thing I have done in a long time.

Tomorrow I will attempt to start where I was when I ended the day yesterday.

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Old 11-18-2011, 10:04 PM   #3
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Re: One Of Those Days


Ouch.. that sounds like a really long frustrating day. I've worked with a couple people similar that just seem to be no help let alone attempt to be a help (irritating). It almost seems as if they feel like its sort of a day off for them. That "wish I was the truck driver" feeling perfectly describes it. Anyways glad to hear your truck is working again.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:20 AM   #4
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Re: One Of Those Days


Nobody ever complains about the good days.
Sorry for your bad run, but that's the cost of doing business - for the opportunity to have more good days then bad.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:34 AM   #5
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Re: One Of Those Days


Quote:
Originally Posted by TxElectrician View Post
Nobody ever complains about the good days.
Sorry for your bad run, but that's the cost of doing business - for the opportunity to have more good days then bad.
That's a nice thought, but the problem is, everyone is living so close to the bone and finances are so tight that ONE really bad day can set you back for a month of good days.

If I were queen of the world (and it shouldn't be long now), I'd grant small businesses (which are going to be the HEART and soul of our economic recovery, if there is one), a tax holiday for ONE YEAR.

If you're out there investing your own capital and spending your own time (60+ hours a week) and busting up your own hands and wearing out your own back, then you should get a break. (Not to mention all the other regulatory headaches small businesses endure, and the burden of making sure you don't miss a step when keeping your own books and flawlessly abiding by the IRS's 65,000-page tax code.)

But back to the original post, I'd bet there are a fair share of small business owners who (in these tough economic times) have EMPLOYEES who are making more money in 2011 than THEY are making as the company owner.

Rose

Last edited by rosethornva; 11-19-2011 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:05 AM   #6
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Re: One Of Those Days


Quote:
Originally Posted by rosethornva View Post
That's a nice thought, but the problem is, everyone is living so close to the bone and finances are so tight that ONE really bad day can set you back for a month of good days.

If I were queen of the world (and it shouldn't be long now), I'd grant small businesses (which are going to be the HEART and soul of our economic recovery, if there is one), a tax holiday for ONE YEAR.

If you're out there investing your own capital and spending your own time (60+ hours a week) and busting up your own hands and wearing out your own back, then you should get a break. (Not to mention all the other regulatory headaches small businesses endure, and the burden of making sure you don't miss a step when keeping your own books and flawlessly abiding by the IRS's 65,000-page tax code.)

But back to the original post, I'd bet there are a fair share of small business owners who (in these tough economic times) have EMPLOYEES who are making more money in 2011 than THEY are making as the company owner.

Rose
I don't think I deserve a break, although I would like to see the tax code a little more understandable.

Many times my employees have made more reportable income then I have, but I have other percs that make it worthwhile for me to be in business- if not I would seek employment from someone.

No one guarantees owning a company is going to go smoothly and be profitable, I only do it for the opportunity to have a little more control over the outcome.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:00 AM   #7
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Re: One Of Those Days


Quote:
Originally Posted by TxElectrician View Post
I don't think I deserve a break, although I would like to see the tax code a little more understandable.
.
Heck, I've been self-employed for 20 years, and I think *I* deserve a break!

I still maintain that if the average Joe had to submit quarterly estimated tax payments, there'd be a tax revolt TOMORROW!!!

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