Time is Money

Jack’s Wednesday guest post – –

Ever since I was an apprentice painter and often working beside other trades I’ve been fascinated by how these folk prepare for their jobs. How they set out measurements and think through the steps ahead of time. It’s partly through working beside more experienced tradespeople, partly through college classes and often through just thinking things out ahead.

But there’s a big difference between thinking things through and actually getting on with the job in hand!

A couple of months ago the owner of the house across the street met with two young guys and they had a big discussion about the brick piers either side of the front steps. There are two on each side – the back ones about four feet high and the front ones about two feet. They probably spent about three hours in discussion. Then a few days ago the two young guys were back in their pick-up and spent another three hours examining, debating, arguing and then leaving. This morning was the same except one of them brought coffee and actually got a couple of crowbars out of the truck, took pictures of them and put them back. Then they drove off!

So something like maybe nine or ten hours debating and discussing, but no work done.

Meanwhile –

Two other guys arrived in a truck pulling a cherry-picker and with various ladders, tools and planks at the big empty house next door. They got organized fairly quickly and carefully, getting access to one of the two brick chimneys on the high roof and within a few hours one of them (I later discovered he was a mason and bricklayer) was up there and working. Over two days he had completely rebuilt the chimney, and they then shifted all their stuff to the other side of the house.

The first chimney had a flat section of roof around it, but the second one was coming out of a sloping roof. So they had to build a scaffolding work platform off the slope, which isn’t easy at all. But this morning the mason was up there and had started work on re-building that chimney. If the weather holds up tomorrow, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got it finished.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the other two aren’t back tomorrow to ponder over the brick piers for another three hours.

2 thoughts on “Time is Money

  1. Those two looking at the brick pillars must be city employees. We had a joke when I was working for a particular city in Virginia. Seems a fellah was sitting on his porch one morning when a city pick up pulled up out front and painted 3 large orange circles in the grassy median that divided the street. The next day a crew of 3 in a city dump truck pulled up and dug three big holes where the circles were. Three days passed and the crew came back and filled in the holes that had been dug. The poor fella on the porch had enough so asked the crew what in the world was going on. They said the first pick up was from streets department who decided to plant trees in the median and he marked where the trees were to be planted. The next crew dig holes for the trees and then came back 2 days later to fill the holes in. The old fella, befuddled, naturally asked, “So where are the trees?” The crew leader replied, “Oh the guy that plants the trees took sick. We just came back to complete our work order.”
    Sounds like that crew works for a similar outfit.

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