Bastard maestros

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zer0nz
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by zer0nz » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:59 pm

Gloria wrote:My question to you is...where was the person in charge of supervising the job? Who in hell was watching the store?? If no one was....who's to blame? Maybe MickeyO should put his "2nocents" into it :lol: He surely has a good amount of experience in the subject.
i think chile is rubbing of on you,

Its not my fault because my supervisor didn't tell me off for doing something wrong even tho it was common sense :)

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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by admin » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:59 pm

I finally got around to starting to dig out the footing on my house this year.

First I decided, I was not going to hire a machine because I needed a bit more precision in the excavation. Perhaps for some other stuff, but not the footing. So, it all needed to be done by hand. Not a massive excavation by any stretch, just a strip footing, 8-20 inches at most below grade, 24 inches wide. Mostly just cutting sod to get down to the hard stuff that could support a house. Decided to do that one myself, rather than pay some guys to dig. It also gave me the time to figure other things out regarding the rest of the house as I worked.

So, as I am digging away, and was starting to get a bit tired of digging, I started to revisit why I did not hire some guys to do it. So i started to make a list of pros and cons (mostly cons) of hiring maestros / labourers to do the work:

cons:
---- They would not dig a foundation at all. hell, there would not be a foundation really of any sort. They would just build right on top of the mud, likly with some precast concrete piers with a couple of pieces of rebar to hold the house together, spread way too far apart. all done in classic domino style.
----- it would take me at least 8 hours to explain to them and convince them why I was doing it the way I was doing it, even though it was none of their frigen buisness.
----- I would spend at least 8-10 hours of their 6 hour work day, running around managing them, and not just managing them in the sense of how to do the work. For example, pick them up at the bus stop in the morning (at 9-10 am, not 5-6 am), wait for them at the bus stop when they were late (1-2 hours on average), stop everything because they needed to go to lunch (1 hour lunch, plus 30 mins getting back, 30 mins going), start everything again (another 30-60 mins), stop work because it rained, start work because it stopped raining, stop everything because they needed to catch the bus, and so on, and so on. In short, they would make me the employee.
----- they would over excavate, and I would endup needing to dig everything out even more to make sure I got everything to the same level again. in other words, I would be redigging the dig anyway.
---- At least 5-10 tools would disappear just in the course of excavating the footing (no way they are touching my imported power tools).
---- they would likly quit in the middle for no real reason, and I would have to go find some more guys
---- those guys would then not show up for work, and I would have to fire them and go find some other guys
---- it would take at least 2-6 guys total, working less than 6 hours a day, to excavate, and even if it was a 1 day job for 2 guys, it would take 2 months.
---- and so on, and so on.

pros:
---- still trying to come up with one

Before I had even finished the list of reasons for not hiring maestros to dig the ditch, surprise, surprise, I was done digging the ditch (within a 1 inch tolerance, thanks to the laser level [oh yea, they don't know what a laser level is, and I sure was not going to show them my laser level]). My total time was less than 20 hours, digging part time, over a week or so, and all my tools were still accounted for except for the single high quality Chinese made shovel I broke.
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ABIII
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by ABIII » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:04 pm

I got a quote for 550.000 pesos to do a calicata...

so I said, that buys a lot of concrete

and dug my own exploratory hole,

measure how deep till I started hitting undiggable rock and made the foundation there.

by the way, the 550.000 pesos was for 3 whole holes
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frozen-north
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by frozen-north » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:38 am

ratbert wrote:

'In this case, they know what is right and what is wrong. They just elect to do the wrong thing, because it's easier for them and there are no immediate consequences. Other than never being invited back to work.'

'... is the predominant feature of much of the local culture.'


Which culture? Are you thinking of Enron? Or any of the other financial frauds of late? Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn and the hotel employee? The Catholic Church and its handling of the sex abuse of children?

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MikieO
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by MikieO » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:24 am

Ohhh shit, project manager Gloria is on the case. I better not comment lest I uncover another of my inadequacies.
One of these days we ought to compare projects so's we can admire Gloria's kitschy interior decor and experience
the satisfaction that comes from a simple job done by simple people.
For my next one, I have already lined up US framing, concrete and electrical subs. If I get a container down I'll load it
with US plumbing fixtures and I'll add a US plumber to the job. No, in the long run it won't cost more when you
figure in dumb shit chilean maestros.
Ratbert, I feel your pain.
“Now, a lifetime of experience has left me bitter and cynical.” ~ Calvin & Hobbes

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hlf2888
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by hlf2888 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:39 am

When I came into the kitchen and found the maestro hammering screws into the wall, instead of drilling them in, I knew I was not in Kansas anymore. I shudder to think of what I didnt walk in on. Like Donald Rumsfeld said


There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

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momof3
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by momof3 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:41 am

I have found excellent maestros, gardeners and nanas but their number one complaint about finding customers in our "fine" area is "Cheap before anything." When I refer someone boasting of their merits the "Yes but how much do they charge?" is always the deal breaker.
Gloria is on to something. Chile is still circa 1975 with their view of the disabled so many don't realize what a gold mine they have for potential employees. And hey, if they don't pan out you can hire one of the many wandering "English" teachers looking for their big break in Chile's booming economy. :wink:
We agree to disagree.

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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by admin » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:53 am

I had the idea a while back of putting together an all women construction crew. Engineers on down to ditch diggers. Women in Chile do far better work than men in just about everything else and are far more detailed orientated, why not construction?

I was talking to a Chilean friend last weekend that has had her share of rip-off maestros (at least three houses worth). She said the problem with maestros in Chile is they will never say they don't know how to do something. If you ask them if they can build a nuclear reactor, they will say "no, problem". If you ask them when, they will say "tomorrow".
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jehturner
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by jehturner » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:13 pm

Ugh. All so familiar (including the trenching). If you want a job doing properly...

PS. I see a lot of women on construction & engineering jobs these days.

john
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by john » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:10 pm

What Chile needs is a Bracero Program. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed US construction workers that would welcome the opportunity to have fun in the sun on subsistence wages. :lol:
One must care about a world one will not see.
--- Bertrand Russell

GJJIM
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by GJJIM » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:48 pm

john wrote:What Chile needs is a Bracero Program. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed US construction workers that would welcome the opportunity to have fun in the sun on subsistence wages. :lol:

Ah no. They all returned to Mexico when the housing bubble burst about four years ago. The remaining 'Mericun workers are mostly lazy, stoned/drunk, and obese. You do not want them in Chile. :alien:

john
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Re: Bastard maestros

Post by john » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:43 pm

GJJIM wrote:
john wrote:What Chile needs is a Bracero Program. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed US construction workers that would welcome the opportunity to have fun in the sun on subsistence wages. :lol:

Ah no. They all returned to Mexico when the housing bubble burst about four years ago. The remaining 'Mericun workers are mostly lazy, stoned/drunk, and obese. You do not want them in Chile. :alien:
You have your facts wrong. The number of unemployed US construction workers, in Dec. 2012, was 1.1 million (which represented 13.5% of the total construction workforce). Sixty-five percent of all construction workers are native born Americans. So, if you apply that same 65% ratio (close enough for government work :wink: ) to the 1.1 million who are currently unemployed, there are 710K unemployed native born American construction workers. Your move! :)
One must care about a world one will not see.
--- Bertrand Russell

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