Category Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post: Giving the patient what he wants?

This is a guest blog post by Tony Baratto, President at Evans Roofing Company, Inc.

Tony Baratto

The Conrad Murray trial is a metaphor for the contracting industry. As a roofing contractor, I have heard every excuse in the book for “getting one more year” out of a failing roof membrane. I do know that when I work under those conditions, I am guilty of practicing bad medicine.

But, like Conrad Murray, some of my patients are just too big to argue with. So, I sometimes find myself in the position of accepting responsibility for a decision I KNOW is the wrong decision.

Of course, my decisions are not usually in the life and death category but, they could be. Lots of time I see structural conditions that are deteriorated because of water damage. A large seismic event could expose those damages in a very life threatening way. I have seen roof deck conditions so bad in some retail locations that I have implored family and friends to never shop at those locations because I fear that even a modest earthquake could lead to collapse.

Of course, I inform the client of my fear and nearly beg for those conditions to be remedied at once. However, most often the answer is something like ”we may be tearing this building down next year” or “we are planning a complete renovation soon.” All they want is my best effort to keep the place watertight through the winter.

Just like Conrad Murray, I hook the patient up with my strongest medicine and squeeze the syringe. Someday I may find myself in court defending those actions. I see now, there is no defense. All of us really need to learn where the line is between being a good contractor and being a good person.

It will not be cheap. If we refuse, someone else will get the job. (Not that I would ever hope for this.) Worse yet, there probably will not be an earthquake, no devastation or “aha moment” that will make our decision look wise. We’ll just lose the job and maybe even lose the client.

Like Mother always said “Being good isn’t always the easiest choice.”

Guest Post: 10 Ways Being a Construction Manager is Better Than Being a Movie Star

This is a guest blog post by Philip J. Reed of Westwood College.

Lucille Ball Hollywood StarSo you’re considering whether or not you should go to school for a degree in construction management. It’s a job you think you’d be great at, and, if you’re good at it, you could have a pretty secure income for the life of your career. But there’s one thing bothering you: construction management just simply isn’t glamorous enough. Well, cheer up, friend, because it’s not as bad as you think! Join us, tongue firmly in cheek, as we take a look at 10 ways that being a construction manager is even better than being a movie star!

1. Your meals aren’t interrupted by autograph seekers.

Think about how fortunate you are, being able to eat a hamburger in peace! If you were a movie star you’d be hounded by all those annoying fans, pestering you to sign their napkins, repeat iconic lines of dialogue, or pose with them for photographs. Who needs it? You’ve had a full day of work, and you’ve earned a little time to yourself. Good thing you’re a construction manager! The only thing people expect you to sign are paychecks.

2. Being difficult to work with is a good thing!

We all hear about Hollywood divas (male and female!) demanding everything from private luxury trailers to special on-set treatment to having only orange M&Ms in their candy bowls. When we hear stories like this, our first impulse is to deride them as being fickle or spoiled. If we hear that a construction manager is picky about details or demanding of specific results, and we instead see that as evidence of effective management. Funny how that works out!

3. You get it right the first time.

Five words you’ll never hear (or say) as a construction manager: “Cut! Let’s try that again…” You have material, manpower, time and money tied up in every decision you make, so you need to make sure those decisions are made right the first time. You don’t get to snap your fingers and start the scene over from scratch, meaning that you and your staff always, at every moment of the day, have to work to your full potential. And that’s something to reflect on with pride. Continue reading