can more than 1 chief work a site?
I’ve got a complex forming job coming up involving a big driveway consisting of various radius curves along with curved retaining walls and stairs all incorpurated into the design.
……oh yeah and this will basically be all built on the side of a mountian, so all will be sloped.
I can handle the scope of the work as I’ve got quite of bit of experiance working with this kind of form work. my problem is skilled help. I work with one kid who is capable of handling pretty much most things I throw at him. But for me and one guy to do this job it will take 6 months. and I can not see the clients being happy with 2 guys showing up to form a job of this nature and size.
I told the the general my take, and that I would need more guys ( I myself do not want to hire a couple guys just for one job. ) I’m busy mostly with smaller jobs and the one guy I have is working out great right now.
I could simply pass on the job. But This GC is not only a source of bread and butter for me, but meat and potatoes along with the gravy. I’ve worked on a lot of his projects, and he likes the quality of my work.
The problem is skilled help is hard to find these days. I can get some part time labourers. But I could use at least another kid like the one I got.
He said he would see what he could find…….turns out he comes up with another one of ME. another guy with an assistant.
Now this in thoery is fine. but right away I’m trying to figure how this will work. We’ve already established that all will be paid by the hour by the GC’s company going by timesheets. making everyone temporary employees. so that part is fine. what concerns me is pottential for egos and butting heads. I don’t know what the other guy is like, but I probaly won’t want him telling my guy what to do and he won’t want me telling his guy what to do if we have differing opinions. Also I don’t want it to turn into a big contest either. see who can get their part done the fastest. I like to work hard,get the job done, and do it right.
apparrently this guy does quality work as well, but the GC does describe him as a viking that likes to push his guys by yelling a bit. Which is the complete opposite of me. I like to lead by example. when a guy screws up I let him know what he did wrong and what he should have done, and leave it at that. He already feels bad for screwing up so yelling at a guy doesn’t help.
anyway……anyone any experiance with a scenario like this. any tips? I already agreed to have a 3 way meeting so we can try to get on the same page. anything else I can do or should be wary of?
Thanks in advance for any tips/opinions. My comp is down and I’m checking the board from the library so may not see repsonses immediately and be able to answer questions right away, but I will answer any questions soon as I get back here.
Can you split up the projects so that you two aren't directly working on the same thing at the same time?
I'd assume that as big of job as you say it is you shouldn't have that much problem doing that.
The GC is ultimately responsible for the quality so that would be his problem, the same as if you were doing all the work yourself with adequate no. of employees.
I have worked for companies that have been doing trim work in the same place as other trim work companies. Never seen a problem. We were always working on different elements so there wasn't any conflict to cause problems. That's not to say that there wasn't the usually petty bickering but most GC's aren't going to listen to that crap, they got more important things to concern themselves with, also they figure your mature enough to handle them.
I wouldn't put my employee in his hands as I assume he wouldn't put his in yours.
Edited 6/19/2006 7:08 pm ET by DougU
can you break it up into sections.. your crew do one .. the other crew do 2.. you do 3, they do 4..?
no, huh ?
Do it like the railroad, you start here he starts there and you meet at a certain point first one there wins. Cause the other guy has to tie into your work. :)I only golf on days that end with a "Y".
I think it would be best to try to break it up as much as possible, and I will try to do so. it's alot of work in a small area ( relatively speaking ) I don't want us working on top of each other. I'm praying that when they dig they will find some level areas and not a hillside of granite, so we at least have a spot for several work stations.
Your situation makes me think of the advice an older carpenter gave me early on.
It's proven itself over and over as the best I've ever received by being simple, direct, and effective.
" Just do your work."
Sounds like what you've done before so... keep up the good work.
good advice...focus on what your doing and don't worry about the chaos that others may be wrapped up in.
I can see this going a couple of different ways.
One is a disaster with the two of you butting heads, trying to establish supremacy, competing for your helpers and in general screwing up the job by not being able to make the various parts of the work fit together seamlessly.
The other way is that you learn from each other, share your helpers to make the most efficient use of your less skilled workers, use your particular talents to a greater degree and make a solid long term friendship.
If I was going to enter in this arrangement, I would want to talk to this guy and work together with him on a trial basis on a small job. Don't take anybody else's word on him unless it is strongly negative. If your experience works out, take him on. If not, keep looking.
I really like your second scenario. I take pride in my work and my abilities, hope I will never be to proud to learn something from the other guy. hopefully he will be the same way.
I'd meet with this guy and tell him what you are telling us. This doesn't have to be a pecker match, just explain the scope of the job and your take on it. He may have some other ideas that can be beneficial or not. Play nice and everyone is happy. :-)
Thanks for advice... I will try to make this guy feel comfortable, with the 1st impression.
One is never to old to learn something new...
If your both that good perhaps you can each learn something. One never knows, you two could pull it together and work on a few more projects side by side.
Remember, your not the only person who does this work. Work as a team but if you don't tell his guy how to do something,,, he lives by the same rules. I've worked for a few screamers and learned to toughen up my skin. I'm not so easy to work for either sometimes. :-)
Put yourself in his shoes. If you were seconded to a project, how would you want to interract with the existing supervisor? Maybe he would be happy to take a secondary role, working on some defined portion of the project.
"When asked if you can do something, tell'em "Why certainly I can", then get busy and find a way to do it." T. Roosevelt
what concerns me is pottential for egos
Simple problems call for simple solutions. You're concerned about egos getting in the way. The answer: put your aside and all will be well.
The bigger problem is having chief. Either you, or he has to be the man in charge. And you both have to agree to that. If you both aren't on the same page starting out in this regard, it will never solve itself after the job commences.
Either you, or he has to be the man in charge.
Blue's correct from my experience. My first similar trial was in a cabinet shop with an idiot who insisted we would work independently, in a very small space. Didn't work at all. Somebody has to direct traffic.
Second time was even closer to your situation. I was brought in as the skill guy for some extensive concrete forming, short retaining walls, stairs, curved parking borders. Detailed drawings, no lattitude. GC provided the labor but failed to tell them who was in charge. None of them knew enough to supervise, leaving everybody to pretty much do as they pleased when I quit trying to organize on the second day.
I resigned and he begged me to stay on. The first pour was a nightmare as he hadn't changed anything. I left immediately after, walking out on an interesting project.
Hope your experience goes better.PAHS Designer/Builder- Bury it!
I had the opportunity to frame a large, well designed home for an excellent contractor. The home was a challenge the money good, but I had to work with the contractors son.
We had the three way meet, and I came away feeling good about the situation.The kid was half my age, but very bright. I learned from him, and I hope he learned something from me. If I didn't feel good about the situation I would have bowed out.
I enjoy my work,especially framing challenging homes.When the money and challenge are right, I leave my ego at home and try to put a team together and do the project.
good luck greg in Connecticut
I think it can be done, just make sure each crew gets their share of the grunt work. It's not fair to have you and your man on the end of a shovel for eight hours and the other crew sipping tea waiting for the backhoe to finish. The thing I find with two different subs doing the same project for a hourly wage rather than a set price is you compete for hours. The other guys gets there at 5:30 works until 7pm shows up on Saturday and Sunday gets 3/4 of the job done and your left with 1/4 of the hours you thought you would get.
So if you can break the project up into equal hours and scope of work then just have at it. If they other crew gets done before you then you should have an understanding with the GC or other crew as what is to happen, ie they help complete the job or their work is done and off they go.
So the GC has subbed the work to you--right? You sub sub a portion of YOUR work out to the other guy. Everything is papered up properly so at worst he's history and you are where you are now. Nobody is the GC's employee anyway--the job is subbed to YOU. Tyr
I have read everyone's advice and in a just and perfect world I think this is a fine solution. But that's NOT where I live. I don't mean to look at the glass as half empty but here's how I see it:
You asked the GC for another laborer/ helper/ up and coming mechanic. He gave you another crew with its own boss/ cheif. The GC is looking out for himself - not you. Now he has 2 teams - competing. This is a very dangerous work model.
You need to tell the GC that the other team is under YOUR supervision. You can agree that you won't tell the Viking's laborer what to do but the Viking has to do what YOU say - no appeals to the GC, period.
I think that is the only work solution but don't think that it will be agreed to. The site as you say is small with a lot of inclines, therefore ALL the flat space will be in high demand, by you, the Viking and any other crews onsite. If you each have your own areas to work as independants, you will always be competing for something. What a headache.
The job is yours. Be assertive. Take responsibility. Take charge. Find a couple of other guys - even beginners with spunk, and teach them your way - you're the Boss. They can still be on the Gc's payroll. If you don't take control, someone else will and all that time and effort you have invested will be for naught.
Just my thoughts,
Exasperate your vegetables until exhausted; disturb your chestnuts in milk until queasy, then disappoint.
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You raise some good points and I appreciate your thoughts.
The crew that I used to work for was run by a couple brothers close to my age. They grew up in the business and were highly skilled. I started out at the bottom with them having little experiance and worked my up to were they treated me as an equal in many regards as I began running the rest of the crew for them when we would split up and somethimes when they were present ( often on the larger sites) As well I was inloved in problem solving and also implemented my own ideas in how certain things were done. This was a great set up and I enjoyed work for them ( I felt more like I was working with them rather than for them.)
I have also been in a scenario where 2 alpha males end up competing. and it's just not fun.