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Originally Posted by Lannis
I ordered an item from eBay on December 1st. The "tracking" (if you want to call it that) system said that the USPS took possession on December 4th in Huntington, WV, that it was "in transit" ....

Somethin' ain't right.

Lannis

It got here today. The tracking system gave up on it for the month it was in the 200 miles between Huntington and my post office. Glad to get it regardless.

Lannis


Starting today, customers will be requred to unload the semis at the back of Wal-Mart, in addition to their self-checkout duties.
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All I can say about the post office is this. I'd happily pay more to use UPS. They know what the term tracking means, they get things here when they say they will, and when I send things out they arrive on time.


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Originally Posted by Lannis
Originally Posted by Ob1quixote
I remember when there was a mad race to snag a fast food job.
If you didnt get one, you looked for lesser positions in bigger restaurants; busboy, dishwasher.

Not making a living, but damn sure learning how to work, and learning that there really aren't any dirty jobs, just lazy people ... 600 students at the school, and the job went begging.

Lannis
My first jobs were all the dishwasher/busboy types, or the temporary gigs cleaning up at construction sites.
I learned your lesson about cleaning women's restrooms while cleaning up after events at the arena while I was in university. Damn they can leave a horrible mess!
Then I graduated and had to clean studio restrooms for no pay as an intern. God bless America!

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Originally Posted by HughdeMann
All I can say about the post office is this. I'd happily pay more to use UPS. They know what the term tracking means, they get things here when they say they will, and when I send things out they arrive on time.
At least the Postal Service doesn't leave my package on the porch across the street!


"Gosh, it's not a 1/4 20, must be metric."

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Originally Posted by Lannis
Originally Posted by rick e.
I agree.

WHAT?


[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

Lannis


It's true, there are lot's of jobs out there...but you have to move to them. Not easy for many to do. I did it as a teen with two hundred bucks in my pocket.

Today, in my neck of the woods, I would gladly pay someone $50-$100 per hour to change light bulbs. I would gladly pay $500 per hour for basic plumbing or electrical work. I'm not kidding. Just got a quote from a plumber to change two shut-off valves under a kitchen sink. $750. Ask him how long it would take. He said 15 minutes....(not my sink BTW)


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Originally Posted by rick e.
... I would gladly pay $500 per hour for basic plumbing or electrical work. I'm not kidding.

Where on Earth are you?
I may have to add a surcharge if it's outside a 2000 mile radius of the office.


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My plumber is a guy named Victor. He does NOT do new whole-house plumbing installations, but allocates all of his time to installing appliances, fixing leaks, and fixing broken pipes.

He's my age, has been doing this for 40 years, and every time I've ever called him, he is there either that same day if it's an emergency, or within two days if it's not.

If I call him to come out for a 15 minute job, it's $75. I bought three new toilets (tall ones, as we get older we don't want to flex up and down any more than we need to). I bought the toilets, and he installed all three of them for $200.

He, of course, has all the work he can do, so there's never a "gap", and he does not get involved in new construction, so that means that "delays" don't pile up on one job due to framers, electricians, etc on a previous job, and force him to miss commitments that he's made for the next job. He's in control of his schedule.

He's made a good living all these years, he has hundreds of friends, NO ONE is bad-mouthing him. I don't know why more people can't be like that unless it's just love of the almighty dollar. Is the percentage of people driven by "I'm going to make as much as I possibly can and **** 'em if they don't like it" really so high that it's rare to find a regular guy like that?

Lannis


Starting today, customers will be requred to unload the semis at the back of Wal-Mart, in addition to their self-checkout duties.
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Originally Posted by Lannis
My plumber is a guy named Victor...

He's made a good living all these years, he has hundreds of friends, NO ONE is bad-mouthing him. I don't know why more people can't be like that unless it's just love of the almighty dollar...


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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
Originally Posted by Lannis
My plumber is a guy named Victor...

He's made a good living all these years, he has hundreds of friends, NO ONE is bad-mouthing him. I don't know why more people can't be like that unless it's just love of the almighty dollar...

I'm all for folks bettering themselves, working hard, charging what the market will bear (depending on what "bear" means - in this case it means that very many people use plumbers as a prime example of overcharging barstewards), and all that.

I worked hard myself, and I COULD have made a lot more money if I had moved somewhere where opportunities were better and salaries were higher, but where I'd have been miserable with a lower quality of life, and IF I had spent time away from my family to a degree that would have hurt them and me. I like making money, but not that badly .... !

Sounds like a lot of folks here have made those same compromises.

Lannis


Starting today, customers will be requred to unload the semis at the back of Wal-Mart, in addition to their self-checkout duties.
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Originally Posted by rick e.
Originally Posted by Lannis
Originally Posted by rick e.
I agree.

WHAT?


[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

Lannis


It's true, there are lot's of jobs out there...but you have to move to them. Not easy for many to do. I did it as a teen with two hundred bucks in my pocket.

Today, in my neck of the woods, I would gladly pay someone $50-$100 per hour to change light bulbs. I would gladly pay $500 per hour for basic plumbing or electrical work. I'm not kidding. Just got a quote from a plumber to change two shut-off valves under a kitchen sink. $750. Ask him how long it would take. He said 15 minutes....(not my sink BTW)

Sadly, if anyone accepted one of these jobs, you might have to step over a homeless junkie getting in the front door.

Don't get me wrong with good paying jobs, there are loads of folks really really hurting, and in many cases, it ain't no fault of their own. It's not easy and everything is a crazy balancing act with some luck involved, both good and bad. Help people and keep your BS detector fully charged.


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Just a sign of the times
Reduced flights because of Covid means that freight has to wait unless you paid for the top rate tracked & delivery time guaranted freight.
I had parts sit in Hawaii for better than a week then on to Toyoko where it sat for another 5 weeks till it got a flight to Australia.
In the USA it went to 16 different depots before being uplifted to Hawaii
Total transit time 11 weeks .


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Originally Posted by rick e.
Originally Posted by Lannis
Originally Posted by rick e.
I agree.

WHAT?


[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

Lannis


It's true, there are lot's of jobs out there...but you have to move to them. Not easy for many to do. I did it as a teen with two hundred bucks in my pocket.

Today, in my neck of the woods, I would gladly pay someone $50-$100 per hour to change light bulbs. I would gladly pay $500 per hour for basic plumbing or electrical work. I'm not kidding. Just got a quote from a plumber to change two shut-off valves under a kitchen sink. $750. Ask him how long it would take. He said 15 minutes....(not my sink BTW)

There is always more to it than meets the eye.
When we ran the courier company there was a big shake up in the insurace industry down here.
All insurance companies doing transit insurance changed to a % of your annual carry & not a fixed fee per driver & % of your gross turnover
We were turning over around $ 1.5 mil at the time but our carry was around $ 500 mil so our insurance went up from about $15 K to 300 K overnight.
The insurance on the vans went up about 4 times and out public liability went up to $ 50 K base + $ 10K per driver .
Divided by into the number of jobs we did it worked out at near $ 10 per job for insurance alone .
Our avearge price for anything less than a trolly load was $ 6 at the time .

I would hate to even imagine what USA companies have to pay out for insurance where you can sue the running shoe company if the new runners did not make you run fasted and you got hit by a truck running across a 12 lane interstate .

Some one has to pay for those eye watering payouts given to idiots as a reward for their own stupidity and it is not the insurance companies.


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750 bucks the plumber wants and he admits to it being a 15 minute job to replace two valves costing $20 ? I was an electician and contractor before rretiring and while I did not do residental work , I am aware of the labor rates....There is something missing from this story.....
In the Rochester NY area ,signs in front of McDonalds and Burger King say $12.50 an hour for crew workers.Ohio where Kevin lives is $8..70 an hour. Both wages reflect the state minamum wage....
You have to think about what is a fair wage for a job requiring an hour of training......


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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
750 bucks the plumber wants and he admits to it being a 15 minute job to replace two valves costing $20 ? I was an electician and contractor before rretiring and while I did not do residental work , I am aware of the labor rates....There is something missing from this story.....
In the Rochester NY area ,signs in front of McDonalds and Burger King say $12.50 an hour for crew workers.Ohio where Kevin lives is $8..70 an hour. Both wages reflect the state minamum wage....
You have to think about what is a fair wage for a job requiring an hour of training......

I can answer that. Where-as we talk dollars-per-hour, almost everything I get bids on now is a flat rate. For better or worst. The flat rate for a sink shut-off is $375 each. BTW, that includes a new ($20) feed line.

The same goes for electrical. I'm part owner in a downtown 4 story building and I get all the fun working with repairs. Just payed $1000 for four elevator lights. (Upgraded to LED)

Speaking of elevators, that one is per hour. Yes, I had to pay $350 per hour to the elevator guy so he could let the electrical guy in....

You know those emergency lights with the battery that cost ~$40 and are attached to the wall with two screws and wired with two wired nuts? $250 each flat rate to replace.

I could go on and on...


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Originally Posted by rick e.
I can answer that. Where-as we talk dollars-per-hour, almost everything I get bids on now is a flat rate. For better or worst. The flat rate for a sink shut-off is $375 each. BTW, that includes a new ($20) feed line.

The same goes for electrical. I'm part owner in a downtown 4 story building and I get all the fun working with repairs. Just payed $1000 for four elevator lights. (Upgraded to LED)

Speaking of elevators, that one is per hour. Yes, I had to pay $350 per hour to the elevator guy so he could let the electrical guy in....

You know those emergency lights with the battery that cost ~$40 and are attached to the wall with two screws and wired with two wired nuts? $250 each flat rate to replace.

I could go on and on...

That all sounds very much like a sort of "local" issue, driven by whatever state and locality you're in, and those massive, unrealistic costs driven by the folks making the real money - the city building-codes people and the organizations controlling the workers. You the landlord aren't making the money - the guy turning wrenches and running wires isn't making the money ... the municipality and the organizers are making the money. The elevator dude is making $40 an hour, maybe - where'd the other $310 go? No place that earned it, I can promise that!

When I have work done here at my place, I just hire a guy. Matter of fact, when I built my house, I did all the wiring myself from top to bottom, bringing in the building inspector at the right times to sign off on my work, which he was happy to do ...

Lannis


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Originally Posted by rick e.
Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
750 bucks the plumber wants and he admits to it being a 15 minute job to replace two valves costing $20 ? I was an electician and contractor before rretiring and while I did not do residental work , I am aware of the labor rates....There is something missing from this story.....
In the Rochester NY area ,signs in front of McDonalds and Burger King say $12.50 an hour for crew workers.Ohio where Kevin lives is $8..70 an hour. Both wages reflect the state minamum wage....
You have to think about what is a fair wage for a job requiring an hour of training......

I can answer that. Where-as we talk dollars-per-hour, almost everything I get bids on now is a flat rate. For better or worst. The flat rate for a sink shut-off is $375 each. BTW, that includes a new ($20) feed line.

The same goes for electrical. I'm part owner in a downtown 4 story building and I get all the fun working with repairs. Just payed $1000 for four elevator lights. (Upgraded to LED)

Speaking of elevators, that one is per hour. Yes, I had to pay $350 per hour to the elevator guy so he could let the electrical guy in....

You know those emergency lights with the battery that cost ~$40 and are attached to the wall with two screws and wired with two wired nuts? $250 each flat rate to replace.

I could go on
The work was done in or near what city? Elevator is speciality work and
350 bucks for a man to show up for a few hours is the cost..If the lights were changed usIng a step ladder, you may want not to hire contractors wearing ski masks and pointing guns


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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
The work was done in or near what city? Elevator is speciality work and
350 bucks for a man to show up for a few hours is the cost.

I guess the question was in the context of a man earning $40/hour + .50/mile travel ... Having worked in a highly regulated industry for years, I understand about overhead, permits, and other "hidden" costs that may be part of the real work (safety issues, special training, etc) but some of the rates quoted in this thread are madly out of line for anything that a working man might see. But someone is getting the money. A bloated municipal bureaucracy? Connivance between inspectors and union bosses? Whatever it is, I'll bet it ain't good. The fact that it shows up in some geographical locations and not others suggests that it's worse in places where "bagnato il becco" is the order of the day .... and not a real expense associated with real work.

Lannis


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I have done electrical work for elevator contractors. supply the power to the motor controls, running conduit in the shaft for fire alarm etc. They do charge very high rates, partly due gov't regulations and because in many areas there is one company with no competition. Corruption can be a factor of course. At my level of business it could be kissing ass and the cost of a beer.


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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
At my level of business it could be kissing ass and the cost of a beer.

Well, that's life! Everyone has to do a little bit of that; some more, some less.

Well, I don't know about you, but I've had my periodic and theraputic rant and I'm done for a bit!

Lannis


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Originally Posted by Lannis
Well, I don't know about you, but I've had my periodic and therapeutic rant and I'm done for a bit!

Lannis


Well, we shall see what tomorrow brings laughing


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Quick updates from the UK to cheer you up (or at least make me feel better) crazy

In October I got a crate (content included my bike !) sent by my usual courier from UK to Portugal - normally takes about 5 days. This took 14 and came via Italy, which is *not* a shorter route. Mate who does shipping thinks somebody confused country code PT (Portugal) with IT (Italy) so it went there first before they realised their mistake. Oops facepalm

Next crate come out mid-December to beat the expected problems with the new paperwork / systems which came into force New Year for shipping goods UK / EU. Glad we did as I've just been told crates for individual customers* are "frozen" for 72 hours so the ports can clear the backlog of shipments sitting on the docks with paperwork problems.
* The trade term for mixing pallets from several customers onto a single vehicle is "Groupage", the new systems are still settling in and the paperwork for these vehicles is causing problems hence the 72 hour freeze. We live in interesting times ohno

Last edited by Nomad6T; 01/09/21 2:39 pm.

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Originally Posted by Lannis
That all sounds very much like a sort of "local" issue, driven by whatever state and locality you're in, and those massive, unrealistic costs driven by the folks making the real money - the city building-codes people and the organizations controlling the workers. You the landlord aren't making the money - the guy turning wrenches and running wires isn't making the money ... the municipality and the organizers are making the money. The elevator dude is making $40 an hour, maybe - where'd the other $310 go? No place that earned it, I can promise that!

When I have work done here at my place, I just hire a guy. Matter of fact, when I built my house, I did all the wiring myself from top to bottom, bringing in the building inspector at the right times to sign off on my work, which he was happy to do ...

Lannis

A lot of this comes down to the owners.
Absentee landlords by & large do not care what it costs,and their accountant managers even less , particularly if they are on a percentage basis, they just add it to the future rents.
My sister was given an upgrade notice from the strata manager for $ 5000 to fit a fire door & archatrave to her unit.
She protested to the strata manager after I refused to lend her the money.
She & the other owner resident were the only two to complain, all of the absentee landlords just signed off on the costs.
When I forced her to get the fire brigade to check, she and 11 of the 12 units all had compliant doors although some twit had pained over the plates & a few had removed them.
Upshot was she is now the strata manager & the other owner resident is the strata secretary, the strata fees are now 1/4 of what the other manager used to charge.
When she checked, the real price of removing the old doors & fitting new ones was under 1/2 what the old manager had quoted.

As was previusly mentioned , it is a case of what the market will bear and no reflction of the actual cost and if you can just pass the cost on, who cares.

On the subject of doing it yourself.
I moved into the Blue Mountains in the late 80's and one of the first things I did was to rewire the whole house, followed by the gass then the water .
Twenty years latter she sold the house & moved interstate.
Down here you now need an electrical compiance certificate to sell a dwelling.
When the inspector looked at her place he asked "Did your husband do the wiring?"
What makes you think that she replied.
"It is far too neatly done and uses too much wire to have been done by a professional" was his reply
And yes he signed off on the wiring.

Last edited by BSA_WM20; 01/10/21 6:27 am.

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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
I would hate to even imagine what USA companies have to pay out for insurance where you can sue the running shoe company if the new runners did not make you run fasted and you got hit by a truck running across a 12 lane interstate .

Some one has to pay for those eye watering payouts given to idiots as a reward for their own stupidity and it is not the insurance companies.

Not meaning to turn this political, I'll clarify my viewpoint: I TOTALLY AGREE with you, but also have blame the alleged attorneys. They use a good chunk of their profits to pay lobbyists in Washington that have allowed this former 'nuisance' to become a full-blown DISASTER. A quick search will show the vast majority of politicians are/were alleged attorneys.

This was not meant to be...

Last edited by GrandPaul; 01/10/21 2:00 pm.

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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
...A quick search will show the vast majority of politicians are/were alleged attorneys.

This was not meant to be...

The Founding Fathers.
As many as thirty-five including Adams, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and Jay were trained as lawyers though not all of them practiced law. Some had also been local judges.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#Occupations


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Originally Posted by Hugh Jörgen
Originally Posted by GrandPaul
...A quick search will show the vast majority of politicians are/were alleged attorneys.

This was not meant to be...

The Founding Fathers.
As many as thirty-five including Adams, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and Jay were trained as lawyers though not all of them practiced law. Some had also been local judges.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founding_Fathers_of_the_United_States#Occupations

Maybe this is because the colonists wanted a nation of laws and not a kingdom?

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