I've never heard as much whining as I hear from building contractors these days. Well, maybe I hear more whining from politicians, but the difference is small.
"That's not in my contract", they tell me.
"I don't get paid to clean up", they say.
"It's not our fault the door doesn't work. It's the flooring contractor's fault. Make them fix it" I hear.
Blame avoidance and contract escapability, these are the tools of today's contractors. It is rare that I meet even one contractor in a year who seems to have any sense of honor. How has it come to this?
I have learned that as individuals, people generally want to do the good thing, the right thing, the honorable thing. Singular employees of a contractor seem to carry a desire to fulfill the terms of the contract as best they can.
Then I meet their project managers, or their owners, and things generally go south from there.
I wasn't aware that if an owner doesn't catch you being a cheat, it's okay to not fulfill the terms of a contract you signed in good faith. In fact, it seems that today, the most important part of a project manager's job is to continually see how much of the actual contract he can avoid; how much he can cheat an owner.
That's what it's about, and I hate it.
My job (besides finish carpentry and other various construction duties) is to make sure these contractors at the very least fulfill the jot and tittle of their contracts. That job should be easy; contracts are fairly straightforward. It's not like trying to read the IRS tax code.
I enjoy working with the people who fulfill these contracts. What I do not enjoy is watching people whore themselves out for a dollar or two. Goodness! If you are going to be a whore, at least do it for a couple million Make it worth your while!
It is their choice to cheat. It is my job to make sure they don't get away with it. You can imagine that sometimes, contractors are not very happy with me. That's okay. As individuals, I care about them a great deal. But as corporations, they are whores, they know it, and they don't know any other way of doing things.
If I were a good man, I could pity them, but I have enough faults of my own, I am not high enough to pity anyone. So all I can do is share these building projects woth them, and keep butting heads with corporations whose sole aim is to take an owner's money while doing the least amount of work possible.
This is America, and in America, we call that "good business".