Saturday, May 13, 2006

Just WTF Are We Thinking?

Normally, I wouldn't use this as a forum for opinions other than those associated with boating. I mean, why on earth would you care what I thought about, say, Social Security. There are those who might ask why they should care about my opinions on boating.

That aside, yesterday I helped my longest and best friend, Leigh, do some trim work on a house of a friend of his. Apparently, the contractor had gone bankrupt or whatever, and wasn't working on the house. There are other financial considerations but they're not the important thing right now.

What is important is that the quality of work done in a very expensive addition and remodeling project is awful. I've avoided carpentry for most of my life - woodworking escapes me for some reason. Glass, metal, plastic, electronics, electrical, plumbing, and so forth - no problem. With carpentry, I could not get the quality I wanted out of the work I do. I have no idea why. I know how to measure (you'd be surprised at how many people don't). I can use power tools. I can even use really, really big power tools (like excavators).

But I can't seem to get wood to work properly.

Apparently, I've been worrying needlessly. It's clear that the contractor at this job hired less than skilled workers for the job. Sadly, nearly every doorframe we put the trim on was wracked or twisted. What should have been a four or so hour job took all day since every single cut except for four were custom.

It is sad to see someone spend so much time and money for an addition and get so thorougly screwed - and the subcontractors, too.

There is a point to all this saddness - and it really does make me sad - namely, where are we going as a people, as a nation? We complain about the quality of work, yet we work so terribly or accept awful work. We complain about nonskilled workers taking our jobs, but we won't do them.

We want more money, more benefits, more of everything but we don't want to work for it. We have an overrated estimate of our own worth. Just a hint: We're worth no more and no less than anyone else.

It makes me really angry that a contractor can behave so badly. And he'll get away with it, too, I'm sure. And that's really sad.

That's the end of my rant for today.

Tomorrow - down to the boat for a little sailing, weather permitting. Well even if not. Still gotta go!

Hope to see you on the water!


Tim said...

I understand what your saying and I too question the trend.
I live in the UK and things are not so different here when it comes to expectations.

The pressure of life seems to divide people into those who fling themselves whole heartedly into this 'Chasing the wind' way of life and other who feel they have no hope of attaining the dizzy heights of the life the TV adverts promote.

I found a book called 'Affluenza' that describes this social phenomena as a kind of influenza. They also have a website: , it is challanging stuff.

Zen said...

I feel ya on this big time!!!
sad the direction things are going