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Post Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:43 pm

What a day

Just spent 2 days digging 400mm x 400mm x 150mm holes, boxing them and filling with concrete as bases for some lightweight posts.

The supervisor saw me boxing them, saw me digging them, and saw putting the mesh in, and saw me mixing the concrete, he even saw me putting the concrete in.

After they were all dug and boxed, we get halfway through concreting them, and he says.... 'how deep are the boxes?'

'150mm' I said.

'Is that going to be deep enough' he says. I said 'it should be, the posts are very light and hollow, and it is only a base for it to be bolted too, so all should be sweet.'

'No' he says. 'I want them 300mm deep'.

'WHAT! I only quoted on 150mm and that is what I've done.'

'Sorry' he says. 'I want them deeper'.

I'm doing this as a subcontractor to another sign shop.

I ring the sign shop I'm doing it for and he says ... 'yes I agreed to do them 300mmm.... didn't I tell you that? '

'Err.. no you didn't....'

'Oh well' he says, 'we need to do them deeper, so you better start again'.

2 days of work for nothing.

My client says we'll work something out, and I know we will, but now I have to start all over again, and break up the concrete 1st... :( :( :( :evil:
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Post Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:37 pm

I would be seeing red at this point!
:evil:
I even sort of am after reading that.
If it is any comfort, I have a re-do coming up that looked great to me, but not the customer apparently after a week, that has 4 colors of cut vinyl and a lot of weeding. But that pales in comparison to your problem.
You should have told the guy you are a certified PHD.
(post hole digger)
Hope you get it worked out Shane.
I can just picture a guy with a clamshell digger imprint on his head.
Love....Jill
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Post Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:49 pm

Jillbeans wrote:You should have told the guy you are a certified PHD.
(post hole digger)

I like that Jill. :D

I was told that PHD was what vets had after their names. It stood for Pussycats, Horses and Dogs.


My sympathy Shane. :(
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Post Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:45 pm

i would have uprooted them the instant they said this mate...
pull the poles out and wipe. dig as much of the concrete out as possible before it sets.

the thing with doing subbed work is to always make sure you have paperwork with full spec and try and do as much info exchange by email as possible, just to keep you right.

it is all very well this sign firm forgot to tell you, but that goes for nothing.
it is their problem. if they are giving you allot of work then fine, don't rock the boat much, but something has to be said, maybe 50/50 on costs... i don't know, its difficult giving a view blind.

i have no problems doing work for other companies. just completed allot of signage for another firm at Christmas there... but you must cover yourself if things go pair shaped because if they do, its you that's picking up the costs.
the annoying part for you is digging and mixing etc is really hard going, its something i personally do often, and in the past i traveled the uk doing just this with large signage projects. its hard work and can be a bit sole destroying so i know where your coming from being faced with having to do it all again for nothing.

hope you manage to claw back something from it mate.
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Post Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:28 am

as they say mate, poop happens.

as long as your pears and souls are in the right place, then its an extra charge to the people paying the bill.

Have you got your measurement in metric right though?

400x400x150mm is only the size of a small paving slab, if you have to redo you could literally just lift them up in one shovelful.

Peter
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Post Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:34 am

I can't take credit for the PHD, my friend Sheila from Alabama says that.
My day continued to worsen, Shane.
I had just completed a menu for a client (a pretty good one too, but quirky) a few days ago.
I had sent him proofs 3X and he finally was satisfied and had the menus printed and put into his holders for use this morning.
He called me at about 8:45 AM, livid, saying I had "f-ed up all his prices"
I got out his original faxed menu sheets from two weeks ago.
Turns out he'd faxed me an old menu.
I still had to scramble to fix the prices (I was scheduled for an estimate at 10AM) and got bawled out too.
:cry:
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Post Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:41 am

Peter Normington wrote:as they say mate, poop happens.

as long as your pears and souls are in the right place, then its an extra charge to the people paying the bill.

Have you got your measurement in metric right though?

400x400x150mm is only the size of a small paving slab, if you have to redo you could literally just lift them up in one shovelful.

Peter


Yes Peter, the size is right. They are only putting a 100mm x 100mm post on it with an alarm button. I then sign 'alarm button' on the pole once it is connected.

No big deal, wish I had of removed the concrete while it was wet tho as rob suggested, as it would have saved me the extra work now that it would have dried. It has electrical conduit going through the centre, so I have to try and not to break that too :(

I was so annoyed I just cleaned my tools and came home.

Jill, I must have jinxed you :) I too had a client that approved artwork last week, after me sending approvals back and forth. I had just started when she rang to say I had the wrong phone number. I looked at the signed art, and said 'that is the number you gave me, and I've been using on all the artwork'.

All she said was 'I'm not blaming you... just fix it'... Sheesh!!

Then she rings me this week and said.... 'you've got the company name wrong' I looked at the artwork again and said 'but you signed the artwork with that name on it'.

She said that was her old letterhead, but her shop is in a new name. Once again she accepted responsibility, but she wants it fix NOW!!. I told her she'll have to wait a week. :roll:
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Post Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:08 am

Hi Shane I wasnt saying the bases were not adequate, just that as a consolation they wouldn't be to difficult to remove, not knowing about the conduit though, which complicates matters :(.
I think I would have straightened out the supervisor with the shovel before leavinng though!

Peter
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Post Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:23 am

Peter Normington wrote:Hi Shane I wasnt saying the bases were not adequate, just that as a consolation they wouldn't be to difficult to remove, not knowing about the conduit though, which complicates matters :(.
I think I would have straightened out the supervisor with the shovel before leavinng though!

Peter


No probs Peter. I understood what you were not being critical. I forgot to mention about the conduit though :oops:

My son made the same suggestion about the shovel too.
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Post Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:24 am

Send the bill and say you went back and re did them to the 300mm ! didnt you see me while I was there !
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Post Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:12 pm

Richard Urquhart wrote:Send the bill and say you went back and re did them to the 300mm ! didnt you see me while I was there !
:lol1: :lol1: :lol1: problem is it is at a high security mental hospital.... and nothing happens without the security dept knowing about it... When you walk in you are tagged, your car is tagged.... they probably know more about me than I do :o

My wife is still trying to work out how I got out :-?
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:14 am

just an update,

Spent all day Thursday ripping up the concrete an digging the holes to 300mm... Thought I'd better see the Engineer to let him know that we'd come back to redo the stuff.

He comes out of his office, shakes my hand, thanks me for coming back, and says ' how deep are you going with the holes this time?'

I say '300mm as we agreed last week.'

'NO NO NO' he yells, '300mm is not deep enough!... I want them 500mm in the ground and 150mm out of the ground!'

'But' I said ' you requested them 300 last week'

He said 'forget what I said last week this is what I'm saying this week!'

At this point, I thought about following peters suggestion :evil: :evil:

Fortunately I took my jackhammer and hired a generator for power, but it was going to be a big ask. I had my 14yo son and 72yo father with me, so the bulk of the digging was going to fall back onto me.

I just looked at the guy in disbelief..... he says 'its not that hard, just get a 450mm auger on a post hole digger and go down 500mm.. how hard is that?'

I reminded him that we couldn't use a mechanical digger because the engineering staff had already laid the conduit.

'well' he says' you better get started. :evil: :evil:

I rang the guy I'm contracting too, and he knew nothing about it. What I didn't know is that he has to meet a deadline, and any more delays was going to cost him penalties. He told me to do whatever I needed to do to keep the engineer happy.

As I'd already book a concrete truck with premix for lunch on friday, I had a lot of work to do.

I have to say my son stepped up to the plate and worked above and beyond what I expected of him. My father tried to do more than he should have and was exhausted by late Thursday, Friday he was a mess.

My son 'hit the wall' just before the concrete arrived on Friday.

The concrete company sent a really nice young fella who took one look at us and said you guys look exhausted. He was right.

The concrete company have two policies. 1) their employees do not get involved in laying concrete, and carting wheel barrows full of concrete, and 2) They work their hourly rate at 8 barrows per hour. If it takes longer than that to empty and spread 8 barrows, they charge $45 per half hour that they are delayed. We needed 26 barrows with the new depths

I said to the guy that I would be battling to push loaded barrows around the hospital within their time frame.

He was going home after my job, so he told me not to worry. He finished up moving the truck to as close as he could get to each set of holes, meaning I didn't have so far to push the loads.

By the time we got 2/3rds done I was just about knackered. It was 36 deg c, 80% humidity, and no breeze.

The young guy took over pushing my sons barrows, and by the end was filling the holes as well.

I've written to the concrete suppliers praising the bloke they sent. Not wanting to get him in trouble for breaking company policy, I've just mentions what a great advertisement he was for the company.

By the time we had finished, I've got to tell you, we were all knackered.

The engineer came out of his office and said 'all done?'

I said 'yes'.

He says ' see, it wasn't that hard after all.'

So help me, if there had of been a shovel handy, and I had the strength to lift it, I may have been writing this from a new address

:evil: :evil:

I'm thinking the engineer is trying to make the contractor I'm working for, go into penalty time.
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:32 pm

well done... the ground must be a lot tougher there then here in the uk :lol1: :lol1:
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:52 pm

That all goes to reinforce the opinion I had of you Shane, that you're a really nice guy.

Me? I'd have batted the engineer for sure, and probably disposed of the body in the bottom of one of his post holes. :evil:
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:20 pm

:oops: thanks John. I must say it takes a lot to get me offside, but this guy pressed all the right buttons I'm afraid. Still, I was very conscious that I was working for someone else, so had to represent that company in a positive light. If it had of been me, I would probably have handed him the shovel and gone home :-?

Dave, the 15 holes were all in clay, and rock. When they excavated the site for the conduit, I'm not sure why the didn't dig the holes to be concreted at the same time, but when they filled in the trenches they used building rubble and rocks, then compacted it tight. So, once we got through the rubbish to 300mm, we then had to deal with the dry clay down to 500mm :evil:
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:29 am

I think I would have bought that asshat a cappuccino loaded with exlax.
:evil:
Thank goodness the concrete guy was decent, a concrete guy was a lifesaver for me once too.
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:19 pm

sounds like a nightmare job Shane...well done for ploughing through it.

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