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Project Superintendent
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2,525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I find myself in a situation where I get the role of bad cop. I am in between projects, and got sent to help out another one of our superintendents. The project is a mean and nasty reno of a school in one of the worst areas of Nashville, while it is being occupied. 1950's building, lead paint abatement, asbestos abatement, radon treatment, gut to a shell, rebuild a few wings at a time. He has a 4 phased schedule and phase 1 has to turn over december 16 so that they can move into phase 1 and vacate phase 2. It's not hopeless, but it's close.

The super is a little younger than I , but in his 40's and has plenty of experience, his problem is he is too nice a guy, so I get sent out here to be the bad guy, set up weekly meetings with subs (which he hasn't been having) and expedite answers from the PM's and architect. So far I have pissed off all the people listed in this paragraph, but it seems to be having the desired affect, progress is starting to accelerate.

Yesterday one of the school board members caught a guy smoking in the building and the chit hit the fan. I print up and post signs all over the job that anyone caught smoking will be removed from the job. I told all the foreman that I am just waiting for one guy to make an example of. That earned me a bunch of friends.

Got a meeting arranged for tommorrow with all the PM's, supers and foreman. Other super tells me this afternoon that we really better stick together at this meeting cause "all the guys on the job are really mad" I said "mad about what? Somebody making them do what they agreed to do when they signed their contracts?" Looks like he is going to continue to be the good cop. :rolleyes:

Rant over.
 

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Accidental Painter
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2,292 Posts
I don't call it bad cop. More like mercenary.

About once a year I'll get a job from a property manager where they'll give me 3* the work theyre maintenance crew does, just to show them it can be done & they can be replaced.

My longest client actually started that way. He says "If I have to hire bill, that's money you DON'T get." Man those guys hate me... (he pays piecerate)

Talk about getting dirty looks.
 

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Super Moderator
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29,164 Posts
Well, I find myself in a situation where I get the role of bad cop. I am in between projects, and got sent to help out another one of our superintendents. The project is a mean and nasty reno of a school in one of the worst areas of Nashville, while it is being occupied. 1950's building, lead paint abatement, asbestos abatement, radon treatment, gut to a shell, rebuild a few wings at a time. He has a 4 phased schedule and phase 1 has to turn over december 16 so that they can move into phase 1 and vacate phase 2. It's not hopeless, but it's close.

The super is a little younger than I , but in his 40's and has plenty of experience, his problem is he is too nice a guy, so I get sent out here to be the bad guy, set up weekly meetings with subs (which he hasn't been having) and expedite answers from the PM's and architect. So far I have pissed off all the people listed in this paragraph, but it seems to be having the desired affect, progress is starting to accelerate.

Yesterday one of the school board members caught a guy smoking in the building and the chit hit the fan. I print up and post signs all over the job that anyone caught smoking will be removed from the job. I told all the foreman that I am just waiting for one guy to make an example of. That earned me a bunch of friends.

Got a meeting arranged for tommorrow with all the PM's, supers and foreman. Other super tells me this afternoon that we really better stick together at this meeting cause "all the guys on the job are really mad" I said "mad about what? Somebody making them do what they agreed to do when they signed their contracts?" Looks like he is going to continue to be the good cop. :rolleyes:

Rant over.
In my limited experience, not much need for a super who isnt a pusher.
 

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Official CT Greeter!
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1,397 Posts
Who needs friends...only friend I need on any job is the payroll person hahahahaha
 

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GC/carpenter
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44,137 Posts
Most effective way to get people moving is hit them in the pocket book. Do that enough times and sh!t starts happening. I've worked for my share of Large commercial builders and got to see first hand how the moving and shaking was done. Sometimes it's like trying to pick a turd up by the clean end.
 

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Super Moderator
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24,787 Posts
In my limited experience as a Commercial Super, schools included, I rarely got to finish any job I started......

Was always sent to fix a job that was behind schedule, phucked up or owners pissed off.....

Me a PR guy.....yea right.....

First day on the job....

MANDATORY sub meeting in 48 hours....

Don't give a rats a$$ where you are or what you are doing....
If you ain't here you have abandoned the job...

Tell PM to lose my cell # for the next week.....

I'll call him IF I need anything....

I am here to kick arse and take names....

We are not friends....

EVERY sub has read the General Conditions, safety rules & general job requirements....read...NO SMOKING....

I meet with each sub & want to know WHY you ain't performing?
Interesting answers.....

Resolve issues, stop fighting, get rid of non-performing company crew. Bring in MY labor force.

Clean up & organize the fuster cluck....

Get required materials to job....

Re-establish relations with inspectors....

By the time I got there original Super was long gone....

Usually very ugly for the first week...

Then we rolled right along....everything working as intended.....

Then I get a phone call.........:laughing::laughing:
 

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Super Moderator
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29,164 Posts
In my limited experience as a Commercial Super, schools included, I rarely got to finish any job I started......

Was always sent to fix a job that was behind schedule, phucked up or owners pissed off.....

Me a PR guy.....yea right.....

First day on the job....

MANDATORY sub meeting in 48 hours....

Don't give a rats a$$ where you are or what you are doing....
If you ain't here you have abandoned the job...

Tell PM to lose my cell # for the next week.....

I'll call him IF I need anything....

I am here to kick arse and take names....

We are not friends....

EVERY sub has read the General Conditions, safety rules & general job requirements....read...NO SMOKING....

I meet with each sub & want to know WHY you ain't performing?
Interesting answers.....

Resolve issues, stop fighting, get rid of non-performing company crew. Bring in MY labor force.

Clean up & organize the fuster cluck....

Get required materials to job....

Re-establish relations with inspectors....

By the time I got there original Super was long gone....

Usually very ugly for the first week...

Then we rolled right along....everything working as intended.....

Then I get a phone call.........:laughing::laughing:
Ill tell on myself a bit.

My third commercial project as the super was a whole floor demo and replace on a state high rise in Austin. I was 24.

The first two projects were 1/5 this size combined.

Week 3 my boss sent a "seasoned" "project manager" , he was really a super who got forced into PM, to tell me what was up.

What was up is I was a" dog squeege on the bottom of a real supers shoe, but your who we got"::blink: He spent three hours reviewing my "job log" , budget and date of completion. He told me you have really :censored: it up, but here is how to fix it.....

Two hours later I saw the light. :laughing:

Just bought that dude a burger last month when I was in Austin. Still a hard azz, still a bad azz :thumbup:

One of my big screw ups was not spending enough time upfront scheduling subs and setting release dates for materials, another was sub communication, another was being to soft with inhouse guys I was friends with. ....... and some other stuff :whistling


Learned a lot over the following 2 years.
 

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Fine Handcrafted Opinions
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994 Posts
mudpad said:
Well, I find myself in a situation where I get the role of bad cop. I am in between projects, and got sent to help out another one of our superintendents. The project is a mean and nasty reno of a school in one of the worst areas of Nashville, while it is being occupied. 1950's building, lead paint abatement, asbestos abatement, radon treatment, gut to a shell, rebuild a few wings at a time. He has a 4 phased schedule and phase 1 has to turn over december 16 so that they can move into phase 1 and vacate phase 2. It's not hopeless, but it's close. The super is a little younger than I , but in his 40's and has plenty of experience, his problem is he is too nice a guy, so I get sent out here to be the bad guy, set up weekly meetings with subs (which he hasn't been having) and expedite answers from the PM's and architect. So far I have pissed off all the people listed in this paragraph, but it seems to be having the desired affect, progress is starting to accelerate. Yesterday one of the school board members caught a guy smoking in the building and the chit hit the fan. I print up and post signs all over the job that anyone caught smoking will be removed from the job. I told all the foreman that I am just waiting for one guy to make an example of. That earned me a bunch of friends. Got a meeting arranged for tommorrow with all the PM's, supers and foreman. Other super tells me this afternoon that we really better stick together at this meeting cause "all the guys on the job are really mad" I said "mad about what? Somebody making them do what they agreed to do when they signed their contracts?" Looks like he is going to continue to be the good cop. :rolleyes: Rant over.
Sounds like you got 'er handled.

I haven't done much commercial, but learning to not make decisions and judgement calls based on whether or not I would piss people off was one of the best lessons I ever learned.
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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909 Posts
my dad made me eat cigarettes when i got caught smoking
 
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GC/carpenter
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44,137 Posts
It's like baby sitting, my wife as a third grade teacher told me something that holds true even to adults. She said she can never tell a joke to her kids in class because she will lose the whole class. She said they can't handle it. Same thing when your in a position of authority, you give an inch they WILL take a mile.
 

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Have Trowel, Do travel
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909 Posts
I've been called a lot lately an arrogant aszhole.

my favorite" you cigar smoking mutha fukker"
 
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Contractor of the Month
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26,075 Posts
I've worked in commercial construction for some time and I know the exact type of 'bad cop' you are referring to.

Now there are two types, the guy that is stern but fair, calculating and an effective problem solver...and the guy that thinks he owns the job, can boss around the subs, rides people every minuet of the day etc.

I think the former is vastly superior.

Respect is mutual, if the subs respect you and you respect them they will follow your orders. Much like children if they dislike you they will go out of their way to make your life more difficult.

I still wouldn't define your roll as "bad cop" but it sounds like the previous site super is more of a "door mat".
 

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Contractor of the Month
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26,075 Posts
It's like baby sitting, my wife as a third grade teacher told me something that holds true even to adults. She said she can never tell a joke to her kids in class because she will lose the whole class. She said they can't handle it. Same thing when your in a position of authority, you give an inch they WILL take a mile.
Give an inch take a mile only applies for people who have no respect for you, these people shouldn't be working for you in the first place.
 

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Super Moderator
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29,164 Posts
I've worked in commercial construction for some time and I know the exact type of 'bad cop' you are referring to.

Now there are two types, the guy that is stern but fair, calculating and an effective problem solver...and the guy that thinks he owns the job, can boss around the subs, rides people every minuet of the day etc.

I think the former is vastly superior.

Respect is mutual, if the subs respect you and you respect them they will follow your orders. Much like children if they dislike you they will go out of their way to make your life more difficult.

I still wouldn't define your roll as "bad cop" but it sounds like the previous site super is more of a "door mat".
While I agree, this goes beyond being a good super. It is a simple matter of class. How one treats others is a very good indicator of their class.
 
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Super Moderator
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It's like baby sitting, my wife as a third grade teacher told me something that holds true even to adults. She said she can never tell a joke to her kids in class because she will lose the whole class. She said they can't handle it. Same thing when your in a position of authority, you give an inch they WILL take a mile.
I run a tight ship, but I am known to tell jokes at lunch. For that matter, I eat with/feed my crew and subs pretty regular, usually have a couple of cook outs and a crew/sub/vendor dove hunt on my father in laws place as well.

Never had an issue with authority or respect. I dont play favorites, that is usually the issue you are reffering to. I fired my brother in law for being 10 miniutes late twice, I fired my best friend for poor craftsmanship without hesitation. Like Inner said, hard but fair. No favorites.
 

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Project Superintendent
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2,525 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Most effective way to get people moving is hit them in the pocket book. Do that enough times and sh!t starts happening. I've worked for my share of Large commercial builders and got to see first hand how the moving and shaking was done. Sometimes it's like trying to pick a turd up by the clean end.
Usually just once is all it takes. All it takes is phone call to accounts payable, and that is a tool that I use when I have to, but yes it is like picking up a turd by the clean end. I like that description:laughing:
 
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