Saturday, March 12, 2011

On Time...

   always means to me, early.  Yesterday I set two big gate posts in concrete and because I am still a bit weak from the voodoo chemo that cured me, I found someone else to dig the holes for me.  We had agreed to meet at a nearby restaurant where I had offered to buy him breakfast. I didn't know this guy and wasn't buying him breakfast to be nice.  It was my idea of a bribe, an offer to get him to the job on time.
   Thirty five years in construction and the worst thing you can do to me is to interrupt my schedule, be late for work or not show up at all.  Everything has an order, in this case I had concrete arriving later and there would be nothing to do without the holes in place.  Had he not shown up I had a list of three others who might dig the holes for me.  I always have a plan "B".
    In the "old days" on time always meant early.  If a job started at 8 AM then you got there early, got the tools out and everything lined up and you actually began working at 8 AM!  This is no longer true.  People show up late as if that were normal, with their coffee in hand and then they want to go to the bathroom before even wondering what the day might offer.  I can't even imagine that!  I want my day to go easily and for that I have to know what is going on, what problems might occur, what unexpected might happen and what tools I might need.
    I originally met the owner to give a bid, discuss the job and see where the gates might go.  I called for a Utility Locate to make sure there were no underground utilities that might be in the way, then I went back to the job to see the markings on the road and determine the perfect location with the homeowner.  I wanted all these issues settled before I had any crew there.  There is a time to discuss and a time to work.
   I developed this notion of time because I once had several employees and any and all time lost always came out of my chech.  The employees always got their eight hours worth, the government for sure got theirs, no waiting there!  The insurance companies and other expences always got their, and what was left over was mine.  All wasted time was paid for by me.  As an employer you quickly learn a plan "B" or you can not stay in business.  It seems now that who ever is buying our services is paying for eight hours and getting only six!
I just couldn't do that and my crew soon learned to be on time, or they found other work.
    I was so happy!  I arrived to our 8:30 AM breakfast at eight o'clock and my new found hole digger was already there!  Wow, that is a good way to impress me and I will tell all my friends and others in this gate building business that I am in.  Word of mouth, the best advertizing ever.
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  2. Jerry, you are a G-E-M ... everything in order, everything in place and a place for everything .. What the heck do you do for spontanaety??
    Lunch at 12:05? just kidding ,, I'm always early too... I'd rather be the waiter instead of the waitee !!

  3. well, time is more valuable than money! and beauty is more valuable than time. i believe your work expresses this...