Oh could I tell tales of construction foulups. I live in a California county where building contractors and construction workers form the main industry--or did before the economic collapse. They still form a major industry, but at least many of the worst crummy ones have left the business and the county, because of stiff competition after the downturn. Before that, though, I went through 5 or 6 different idiots working on my house until I found a contractor that was honest, thorough, fair, competent and even highly creative. Then he moved back home to the Midwest. He fixed many of the problems caused by the other guys. But the one that takes the cake he couldn't fix without a major rebuild: one of the dummies cut a doorway about 6 inches too short. I discovered this when it came time to buy a new door. After that, I started checking their work more often, although that doesn't save me from highly specialized potential mistakes I can't see and/or am not specialized enough to supervise. Isn't that the point, anyway, of hiring specialists? To hire someone who either knows what you do but saves you time, or knows what you don't?
I wish only subcontractors made these errors. About a month ago Verizon crew cut all the coper wires in the back of my house. When asked why the cut my phone, fax, DSL, etc... hey responded hat in a month or so we will get wired for FIOS.
GREAT SCHEDULING !!!!!
I'm sill fighing with Verizon to restore my phone and fax.
It doesn't even have to be an electrical contractor. One of my customers had the parking lot repaved and the PAVING contractor broke the ground connection for the electrical system. On a 480 volt system they were blowing uip items left and right.
@ Tim: Very true. You need to check the work and what sort of a quality level has been matched. They always try to finish stuff early as possible since they can take advantage of that and do someone else's work as well plus they also know that they do not get paid for time but for the work.
It maybe cultural, but it maybe governmental. Isn't this a government department? Or at least overseen by the government? How many times, even in American culture, that government workers tend to follow the beuracracies unfettered by thought or common sense?
And before you government workers bombard me with, "I do not do that!" I am only telling my experience. You may actually be smart and use common sense.
When our factory was moved to a new location the assemblers were given torque specifications for every threaded fastener because judgment calls were to be avoided in their culture. I would have product shipped to me to sample production runs and one unit caught my attention because something was rattling inside the case. When I opened it up I found that a potentiometer was loose. The nut had been tightened properly to torque, but it was cross-threaded. Certainly the assembler and inspector knew the pot was loose, but questioning authority was taboo, after all, the pot was tightened to spec.
Double checking sub-contractors is good advice. I recently worked on a job that required wiring low voltage communication and high voltage control voltage from valve sets to a main control panel. The bid job clearly stated that the control voltage and comm lines were to be seperate conduit to avoid interference between the lines. The contractor used the same conduir forboth to save time. Fortunately, we caught the error before signing off the project.
That's why I was wondering if it was cultural, Charles. In some cultures, thinking "outside the box" (such as calling engineering rather than following the replacement procedure which obviously wasn't working) is discouraged. For example, while two Americans may find two different approaches for solving a math problem and are congratulated on their initiative, in some cultures following the prescribed method without deviation is what is valued and they would have been chastized for using a different formula from the one being taught. Value systems and worldview affect us on levels we aren't even aware of and in ways that people from other cultures often find very puzzling.
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