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Old 04-30-2008
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Sailormann, I agree with your assessment on how to get the job done.

I've been a contractor in construction for over 35 years, and I've dealt with clients that didn't know their ass from a hole in the ground about my work, tried to run the job by telling me how it was suppose to be, and how long it should take. I've also dealt with clients that didn't know a thing about what I do, told me what they wanted, and gave me complete control in getting the job done. I've bid some jobs that tried to get me down in price, and jobs that never said a thing about the price.

A long time ago I didn't know what my value was, so I worked for less. As the years went by I realized by the horror stories told me by others, that I was worth more than I thought. From that day on I decided that I would never prostitute my labor again, and I would always do the best work that I can...for a price! Good work comes at a price, and if the client doesn't want to pay the price, then he doesn't get me to do the work (Period). One day my dad (rest his soul) said to me "there are no craftsmen anymore", and I told him, "Oh yes there are, you're looking at one! But dad, I'm sorry to tell you this. No real craftsman would ever work for you, because you're a cheap ass."

Everyone that has the gift of working with their hands, can look back at what they did for the day, and feel good inside about a job well done...and they deserve to be paid for good work. I know this about craftsmen, and it's the same with all craftsmen, no matter what they do. I'm willing to pay for good work, and I tell the people doing work for me that. I know that it takes time to do good work, and time cost money...that's just the way it is. Many people will hire and pay an unskilled worker to do a job for them, and they'll think they got the better of the deal...but their just fooling themselves. It takes years to get good at something, and those years of dedication to a craft should be rewarded with good pay. Now the question comes, how much should a good worker make? I think a good worker should be able to take home at least $200.00 a day. If the worker wants to make more money, then he needs to go into business for himself, and then that's when the hourly price gets to $70.00 to $80.00 per hour. Why the big jump in pay? Now the man's company is paying taxes, workers compensation if he has workers, insurance, rent, utilities, purchasing equipment...and the list goes on. People think their getting ripped off, but that's the cost of being in business.

I know these things when I go to a yard, and I know I'm going to pay through the nose for good work, but I'm willing to pay if I get it. When I have engine work done (and it's not often), I tell them to look for everything that needs to be done, and do it. When I'm having electrical or electronic work done, if they find something that's not right, then make it right. Once you get everything right, all that's left from then on is normal maintenance...and that is the work I do for myself.

Tell the yard or contractor what you want, ask them for suggestions if they see something you don't, get a proposal listing the work they're going to do, a price for doing the work, and a time frame when it will be done. If these people come recommended, and you have a good feeling about them, sign the contract and give them a deposit. If you get a bad feeling about them, move on to the next contractor until you find the one you like. Plan on the work taking longer to get done and costing a little more, as there is always the chance of some unforeseen problem...they don't have x-ray eyes.

Do these things and you will probably have a good experience.

Did I rant long enough?
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