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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently have been hired as a manager of sorts for an architect/ contractor. After working this job for two months now, I can clearly see problems. One of the sites has no porto-john. I asked the two Native American workers where they go and they said behind big rocks or dirt piles. See what I mean? Not a good way to treat the workers and a potential fine if caught. It's just bad practice.

Another problem is morale. The men are overworked. My employer has no problem getting jobs and his end results are beautiful homes for high end customers, but he burns bridges with employees. There is a lot of grumbling behind his back and a high turn over. The main problem I can see so far is he has employees rather than hiring ICs where ICs would be better suited. He has a high turn over of workers because he doesn't put enough bodies on a job and has unrealistic deadlines. I can see this is going to be a challenging job. He hired me at a point where he was exasperated and frustrated at losing workers so I think he wants to make improvements. I believe he is having a hard time recognizing his faults. I suppose this is where I come in. Joy.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this here. I bore my friends with this talk and I figure I have an audience here who understands or can relate somehow. Thanks for listening.
 

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GC/carpenter
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Reg said:
I recently have been hired as a manager of sorts for an architect/ contractor. After working this job for two months now, I can clearly see problems. One of the sites has no porto-john. I asked the two Native American workers where they go and they said behind big rocks or dirt piles. See what I mean? Not a good way to treat the workers and a potential fine if caught. It's just bad practice. Another problem is moral. The men are overworked. My employer has no problem getting jobs and his end results are beautiful homes for high end customers, but he burns bridges with employees. There is a lot of grumbling behind his back and a high turn over. The main problem I can see so far is he has employees rather than hiring ICs where ICs would be better suited. He has a high turn over of workers because he doesn't put enough bodies on a job and has unrealistic deadlines. I can see this is going to be a challenging job. He hired me at a point where he was exasperated and frustrated at losing workers so I think he wants to make improvements. I believe he is having a hard time recognizing his faults. I suppose this is where I come in. Joy. Anyway, I just wanted to share this here. I bore my friends with this talk and I figure I have an audience here who understands or can relate somehow. Thanks for listening.
Please excuse my ignorance, but whats ICs? My guess is independent contractors? You will be surprised what happy employees will do for you and the company. Loyalty goes both ways. Hell if your employees are happy they might start meeting those deadlines. You should hire more help. Simply put more bodies on the job will take some burden off the over worked. More bodies doesn't necessarily mean the job will cost more.
 

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Any builder who can't at least provide a place to go to the bathroom is a scum bag.

In my opinion, you are treading on thin ice. If I was your employer and found this thread, you'd be kicking rocks.

Doesn't sound like much of a loss though.
 

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Not trying to stir anything up by why is it when people tell stories they have to tell the race of a man? Especially when the story has nothing to do with their race. Two black guys, two indians two white dudes....
Everyone has to use the bathroom. Behind a tree or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Californiadecks- yes IC=Independent Contractor
and they live on the reservation but work off the res.

Okiecontractor- I'm with you on this when I hear the newscasters on the radio distinguish between races but I purposely, put in their race to "fill in" more of how my employer operates. I should have followed up to say the non Indian workers on other sites have a john, so my bad.

Yes, I think my work with him may be short lived if he's not willing to listen. If he hired me as a manager than I need to speak up for safety and comfort of the workers, not just getting his jobs done fast. He will either take my advice or fire me. I'm pretty sure though, if some changes are implemented, efficiency level will improve, morale will go up and jobs will go smoother and quicker.

I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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If you are THE manager then pick up the phone and have a john dropped off. That should be easy to fix.

Talk straight with this guy about your ideas on how you NEED to run these jobs in order to make them profitable. Don't be a pushover. You will either gain respect or find it's not the place for you. But you better bring the results.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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I recently have been hired as a manager of sorts for an architect/ contractor. After working this job for two months now, I can clearly see problems. One of the sites has no porto-john. I asked the two Native American workers where they go and they said behind big rocks or dirt piles. See what I mean? Not a good way to treat the workers and a potential fine if caught. It's just bad practice.

Another problem is moral. The men are overworked. My employer has no problem getting jobs and his end results are beautiful homes for high end customers, but he burns bridges with employees. There is a lot of grumbling behind his back and a high turn over. The main problem I can see so far is he has employees rather than hiring ICs where ICs would be better suited. He has a high turn over of workers because he doesn't put enough bodies on a job and has unrealistic deadlines. I can see this is going to be a challenging job. He hired me at a point where he was exasperated and frustrated at losing workers so I think he wants to make improvements. I believe he is having a hard time recognizing his faults. I suppose this is where I come in. Joy.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this here. I bore my friends with this talk and I figure I have an audience here who understands or can relate somehow. Thanks for listening.

If you tell him the truth and he doesn't want to hear it you may be part of that employee turnover :whistling

Burning out employees isn't a good thing. All you will accomplish is getting work that gets worse and worse. When the moral hits a low then the thefts start because the employees thing the boss owes them something (other than a paycheck).

How are the payscales? If you are being paid above average then a little overtime is something you might expect. If he is paying standard or below standard wages you will naturally have a high turnover.

Having a porta potty on the jobsite is a law in many areas. They aren't that expensive and if he is doing high end jobs for wealthy clients it shouldn't be a problem unless he is a real tightwad.
 

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Turn over is due to work environment. You have to pay a premium for people to keep working under poor conditions long term. Good working conditions where the guys feel appreciated is a lot cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
"If you tell him the truth and he doesn't want to hear it you may be part of that employee turnover"

Yes, I'm well aware of that. But who's going to do it? I figure it fits in the job description of manager. The employees are too afraid for fear of losing their job. If I don't, I'll see myself as a lame manager and that's just depressing. So, it's a risk I'm willing to take. Okay, I feel pumped. I'm out of here. Have a good day at work all.
 

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"If you tell him the truth and he doesn't want to hear it you may be part of that employee turnover"

Yes, I'm well aware of that. But who's going to do it? I figure it fits in the job description of manager. The employees are too afraid for fear of losing their job. If I don't, I'll see myself as a lame manager and that's just depressing. So, it's a risk I'm willing to take. Okay, I feel pumped. I'm out of here. Have a good day at work all.
I don't know how things work where you are but here in Ontario, if the ministry finds violations they can ticket everyone from the employee, to the manager to the company, so you may be on the hook for a ticket yourself.
 

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I know a company that brought in a "manager" to help them run their company as it was pretty screwed up. It was one of those "secret things" where the guy worked with the crews for a while and the crews later called that person "the spy".

I don't know what the spy/manager/adviser told that company, but from what I know of that company, it's very screwed up and that starts firmly at the top, with the owners. They don't want to pay good money, so they get not good people, don't have good tooling, skrimp on hourly reimbursement, etc. Anyone worth a hoot quickly moves on as soon as they can and the dead enders stay.

So do your time there, come up with a structure/plan and implement it, or bring it up to the owner. If they balk/refuse, well then it's pretty apparent what/who the problem is, so you too can be one of the good people that leave such companies. I've done it more than a few times myself.

Not trying to stir anything up by why is it when people tell stories they have to tell the race of a man?
Actually, it may. If one contractor had a whole crew of illegals and another had a whole crew of americans, is that significant/telling about the contractors?

Most of the construction work in the mountains of colorado is about 90% mexicans, for larger/commercial projects there, even higher. I find it interesting as I've not ran across a lot of indians in the trades. How he knew they were indians, I don't know. I've ran across far more russians/ukranians/poles than blacks in the trades.

Funny how talking about this stuff est verboten these days.....
 

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Actually, it may. If one contractor had a whole crew of illegals and another had a whole crew of americans, is that significant/telling about the contractors?
Sometimes yes it is significant. This time it wasn't. Illegal or not, Native American or not I'm sure they would appreciate a port a john.
 

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It sounds to me like this guy is unknowingly insenstive to his employees. One mistake that I've seen many times over is when a GC fails to provide the infrastructure for the comfort and convenience of the workers. Typically they say, "I hire them, they do the work, I pay them. That's all there is to it."

But there is indeed more to it. When you are the manager, supervisor, boss, etc. you have the luxury of being able to come and go whenever you please. If you have a personal need (food, bathroom, etc) you can handle that on your own terms.

But a construction worker who is stuck in the confines of being on that site needs a picnic table or some other place to eat, a restroom, a place to store personal items, and possibly a food vendor if there aren't any nearby stores.

It would be different if the workers could come and go whenever they wanted to and they could take breaks as long as they deemed necessary but they are "chained" to the site. The half-hour that they get isn't nearly enough time to go anywhere and get back unless there is a spot right next door to the site.

So if I were in your position, I would bring up the items that I mentioned above because while all of this is obvious to the workers, this may not be as obvious for the GC.
 

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Sometimes yes it is significant. This time it wasn't. Illegal or not, Native American or not I'm sure they would appreciate a port a john.
True. I just find the strangest things interesting I guess. From my experience, some groups put up with things that other groups wouldn't, so a lot can be told by the ownership from their crew, the makeup of their crew, their tools, etc.

With the mexicans having taken over the construction trade in the mountains (not a lot of living areas there one can afford also), they are no longer the cheap labor that they used to be as they have options and will bail on one job to another for more money, be treated better, etc.

So to me in my warped mind, it'd be interesting to know what these indians do, their skillsets, where they are staying, etc. Sometimes people bring up "construction workers" up from Denver and sometimes these people are snagged from the street/shelters.

:)
 

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Staffing strategy is just a tough thing.

A local paint contractor hires guys with no license, sells them whatever tools they need (on time, taken out of their pay check), and they're really grateful / loyal. The van picks them up at home and drops them off every day His long term / lead people have their licenses.

Getting to use the best tools around is attractive to some, or being on the best crew. Nobody likes working on a site with no john.

Oh, yeah, you always have to pay more if people are working with / for jerks.
 

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Okiecontractor said:
Not trying to stir anything up by why is it when people tell stories they have to tell the race of a man? Especially when the story has nothing to do with their race. Two black guys, two indians two white dudes.... Everyone has to use the bathroom. Behind a tree or not.
Because culture is different with different races. And rather or not it's on a reservation has a lot to do with culture. That's why. I've done a lot of work for the Indians. It is a little different situation then working for the rich banker in Anaheim Hills.
 

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This thread ties in perfectly with the others about being in the trades. I find the lack of electrical power on a jobsite disrespectful, let alone the lack of a porta-john.

No, I'm not bringing my own generator. No, I'm not walking across a 2x10 to get your countertops into the kitchen. No, I'm not gonna piss in the weeds.
 

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Because culture is different with different races. And rather or not it's on a reservation has a lot to do with culture. That's why. I've done a lot of work for the Indians. It is a little different situation then working for the rich banker in Anaheim Hills.
I mostly agree with you but by saying I saw a black guy walking down the road today and a bird crapped on him is pointless. Doesn't matter that he is black. Just that he was crapped on. Its irrelevant to the story.
 

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Most of the construction work in the mountains of colorado is about 90% mexicans, for larger/commercial projects there, even higher. I find it interesting as I've not ran across a lot of indians in the trades. How he knew they were indians, I don't know.
I know some guys who work in the SW part of the state about a 1/3 of the work force is native americans. It's a funny dynamic, the mexicans vs the native americans, if there is a large % of native americans then the mexicans for some reason don't like to be there.

whats also funny is the mexicans will make fun of each other, the native/tribal mexicans usually get ragged on by the more non native/spanish mexicans

Instead of 90% I'd say the work force is split, 50% white 50% hispanic, Had a guy on a job this summer, his family had been in the area a couple hundred years longer than my family has been in the usa. Crazy stuff, asked him why he's never left the valley, he says he went to college on the front range and that was enough.

speaking of workers, jerk boy better work till 11 tonight and get things finished up since he was hanging out down on federal blvd all morning

what was the question?
 
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