Wow those drinks go so fast!

I have hired a team of electrician (3 of them) to do some re-wiring of the house I am working on. They are 50% completion and I have been furnishing all the materials.
Something that bothers me.
I hooked up a fridge and told them to help themselves, I asked them what they like and everyone seems to like Arizona ice tea or Gatorade. So I stock the fridge full with those drinks.
Problem, at the end of the day I go around and between the three of them it is not unusual that I found 15 or more drink bottles. They drink a lot? Noooooo... most of those are 80% full. So they worked in the kitchen, went and got a drink, took three sips, leave it sitting on a half framed wall, 30 minutes later he moves up into the attic to pull some wire, goes to the fridge and pull out a new cold drink, carries it into the attic, took three sips and sat it down in the attic...so at the end of the day they went through half a dozen 16oz drinks but only drank a little out of each.
Same thing with materials. I got them a box of EMT couplings, 50 of them, three days later they needed more, ok another 50, then another 50, I started to wonder, that is 150 EMT couplings, they have not laid that much pipes. I walked around and round up everything and yes I have 3 boxes of couplings, almost 90% full in each of them, so they forgot where they left something and ordered new. Same thing with wire nuts, connectors, MC connectors, reducing washers, switch plates, outlets etc...just seemed to be misplaced.
Now I am not worried too much about these materials, compared to the labor it's insignificant, but is that an indication that they may be sloppy and absent minded in the wiring as well?
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Welcome to the wonderful world of general contracting. If you supply the materials, what incentive do they have to conserve anything? Now a really good human being and electrician may do it because it is the right thing to do, but those guys are not around much anymore, so you have to deal with what you get.
Here is how I do it: I supply drinks, but I get a 10 gal. cooler and fill it with water and the gatorade mix of their choice. I give them enough of those packets to last however long they are going to be working, or a weeks supply, whichever is less.
Materials; I give them the materials and I tell them that this is enough to complete the job (plus some) and I tell them that if they run out, they need to show me where all of them went. I make sure that they understand that there will be no more coming unless they can demonstrate that they used more than I estimated. Sometimes they do and I don't give them a hard time, but I do check to make sure that they haven't walked off the job.
Ask them to be a bit more organized because it is a money and safety issue.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Robert Allison wrote:

If you can talk to them you're ahead... :(
I concur it now is the only way to deal w/ them--otherwise one has to be there babysitting 100% of the time which isn't possible/practical.
--


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wrote:

But they are professionals! Don't they want to be treated as one?
I don't get it.
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MiamiCuse wrote:

Professionals today are not what professionals were when I was younger. In the old days, missing 3 days of work over a month would get you fired. Showing up late more than three times a month would get you fired. Using company time to make phone calls would get you fired. Spending too much time in the bathroom would get you fired. Wasting materials would get you fired. Not knowing how to do your job would get you fired.
Nowadays, if you fire someone, you had better be ready to defend yourself in court, unless you have a document trail showing every thing that he did to cause him to be fired and every infraction had better be signed by the employee.
In addition, it is very hard to come by anyone to work, much less quality workers. I no longer employ ANY workers (except for the occasional day laborer) and do everything by subcontractors. When I did have employees, there would not be a week that went by that someone didn't come on the jobsite and offer them work at another company, for more money!
So, I guess that treating them like I do, IS treating them like the professionals of today. When you get a real professional on the job, you will quickly be aware of it, and treat them accordingly. It doesn't take long to recognize the difference.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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On Apr 7, 2:16pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

re: I have hired a team of electrician
In my case...
I have a league of teen-age softball players I have a bunch of Soap Box Derby racers I have 4 kids of my own My kids have friends that come over a lot
Problem, at the end of (any given event) I go around and between the (group) of them it is not unusual that I find (XX) or more drink bottles. They drink a lot? Noooooo... most of those are 80% full.
Sound familiar?
Maybe all these kids are going to grow up and become electricians...
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What ticks me off is that one can provide trash cans, and they end up empty at the end of every day. Know whut uh mean, Vern?
Steve
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On Apr 7, 2:16 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Surfeit does not make people happy. It makes them wasteful. Bob Allison has it right with the big jug of Gatorade. Give them three plastic cups and use a Sharpie marker to put their initials on each cup. It's a little late in the game to switch, and you might be shooting yourself in the foot by doing so, so maybe you should just stock that fridge with three or four bottles per man.
Electricians should be able to estimate their material needs to within 10%. You should have done a takeoff before starting the job and had the estimated amount of materials on the job with a bit over for the unforeseen. In reality, you're probably not saving much money at all by buying the materials. The electricians will have an account with their local supply house and will pay no more than you pay at a big box store, probably less, and they'll get the same or better materials.
Those additional materials will start disappearing. Ask them for a list of what they'll need to finish the job and then give them that and only that. You're living at the house, right? So if they run out they can just ask you for additional.
R
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wrote:

RicodJour:
No I am not living at the house. No way will I live on a construction site anymore!
I will move in when it's habitable.
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Didn't know you'd moved out - when did that happen? The rest of the advice still goes, and additional emphasis on the extra material walking.
R
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wrote:

I never moved in. I bought the house and have been working on it on and off, and will move in when it gets done one day.
MC
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Hmmm, I wonder where I got the idea you were in the house? Maybe it was the way you were talking a month or so ago about the light at the end of the tunnel looking pretty dim. What projects do you have coming up?
R
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Grin, happens. I'll go against the grain of the others and say this isnt really a problem although it's not all that much fun if you have to cleanup after them and they leave cans in the attic.
Had some plummers here, working til 10pm on a split pipe. It was cold (possibly no more than 20F). I was running the tea pot with lots of hot tea, powdered fancy coffee, and even made up a batch of hot spiced cider (non-alchohol type). I fed'em home made dinner, showed them the phone if they needed to make a call, and said anything in the fridge was fair game. Then we made any runs they needed for supplies.
Great guys, great job, lots of cups let go cold as they concentrated on the *work* and would forget they left a cup of now lukewarm tea or whatever someplace <grin>.
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There is a bit of a difference between an emergency repair at night and a planned project extending over a number of days. I'm entirely with you about treating the guys right, but that's a two way street and they shouldn't treat the owner poorly, which is what MC's guys are doing...at least as far as the drinks and materials are concerned. I think that's indicative of their attitude, don't you?
I also wonder how they could be so far off on estimating EMT couplings. Do you think that they all have early onset dementia or that the house is so freakin' huge they couldn't find their way back to where they left the boxes of couplings? They knew they didn't finish a single box - 50 couplings goes a _long_ way on a residential job. From the cheap seats it smells like those couplings, and whatever other materials aren't nailed down might take a stroll with the guys when they leave. Why else ask the owner for 150 couplings?
R
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"RicodJour" wrote

Emergency yes, but they started at 10am. Fed'em lunch then dinner. One wasnt able to eat green peppers as I recall and the other was a vegetarian. Had hot food snacks going all day suitable for both so they could come in and warm up. No, this isnt required, but it just was how my Mom raised me to be. I sent'em home with a loaf of home made rye bread from the breadmaker after they raved at the first loaf. After all, they were there long enough to let the breakmaker cook and spin out a second one <g>.

I saw a worry about the partly drunk drinks but I didnt see the note on the materials. Perhaps I missed that?
I'm not even remotely enough electrically savy to know what a coupling is.
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