Do you ever hate being "that guy"?

I'm sure a lot of people know what I'm talking about. Getting known among
friends as the guy with weird hobbies and tools. A good buddy pulls up today
with his snowblower, says it broke and he remembers I had a welder. So being in
a not-completely-antisocial mood I help him out. Just as I'm about to start it
starts snowing hail the size of peas, then blowing sideways. Everything gets
covered with the white stuff, and after having trouble starting I finally get
it done. Then he happens to mention that his blower wasn't actually running,
and he heard I knew engines...
Well, at least I can feel my fingers after a few hours and he's back to making
money with driveways. Maybe I'll end up with that Stanley No. 7 he's been not
using for 6 months.
GTO(John)
Reply to
GTO69RA4
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I can relate. Last summer, a friend of the family needed his utility trailer lengthened. I explained how it could be done and the price of the steel, he gave me the money for the materials and i bought them. After about four hours of measuring, cutting, and welding, it was done. The only thing left for him to do, was to cut the wood floor boards (using the template that i provided) Upon delivery, he gave me a firm handshake and a thank-you. That was it. Apparently, my labor was free. I would have been happy if the guy offered anything. A case of beer, a twenty spot, anything. Maybe we're all better people for helping, but i wouldn't let anybody do me a favor without even offering a couple of bucks. Now, i'm usually "too busy" to help certain people.
walt
Reply to
wallster
Walt, if money for the labor was not addressed up front, the guy may have been under the impression that it was "you scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours". Why not give him the benefit of the doubt until such time comes where you may need assistance from HIM. That's when his character will be revealed. If he has no skills or favor discounts to offer you, wait till you need some grunt help and put him to work, even if you have to point out the favor you did for him on the trailer. Some people don't get "squared up" until they've had a little guidance, and a "jump start" from others. I had a guy in my neighborhood once that I did'nt know well. He wanted me to weld a small part for him. As I welded, he picked up a broom and swept my entire shop for me, unsolicited! Got the corners, too! Needless to say, we both gained a friend and a new respect for each other that day. People can surprise you both ways.
RJ
Reply to
Backlash
I have learned much about people's expectations and their sense of obligation and gratitude. One friend is so concerned that he will be overcharged that he wants to know the price before the project plan and approach are decided. Another friend just does not seem to have it in him. He wants it "for free" like I should just do it out of friendship. Then there have been two, who are just the opposite. I loan them the tools and consumables, maybe help them a bit to do it themselves. They hit a home run: - They are verbally grateful for my assistance - They are concerned about paying for materials and supplies - When the job is done, payment for materials is prompt - A written thank-you note with a HD gift card enclosed arrives in a day or two Make me just want to go the second mile to help them again.
Tom
Reply to
Thomas Kendrick
We're still friends. I just found it a bit inconsiderate of him. This particular guy is amazingly cheap so i guess i should have expected it. I'll find some heavy lifting for him to do next summer.
walt
Reply to
wallster
I get that all the time. I fix cracked lawnmower bodies, lawn tractor parts and lawn furniture. Glue chairs back together and fix favorite toys for the whole neighborhood. Payment usually arrives on December 25th. I am looking at this year's profit right now. Five liters and a half gallon of Johnny Walker Red and a fifth of Black. :-)
Reply to
Glenn Ashmore
Other folks in our building tend to treat the machine shop as the local hardware store. Generally if we have plenty of something we are happy to help out but there has to be a limit.
Recently when the plumbers came to borrow a 1/16 drill I looked up the catalog number in the MSC big book and sent a note back that we didn't have any drills to spare but they could buy some out of their budget from MSC and supplied all the details.
The plumbing instructor then complained that the good quality drills from MSC were more explensive than the hardware store drill he had bought before. Of course they didn't stand up to the use but that seemed to escape his notice.
For those who may not know MSC is a very large industrial supplier here in the US (and Canada?). Excellent service and they have just about everything.
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Happy New Year to all!
Errol Groff
Instructor, Machine Tool Department
H.H. Ellis Technical High School 643 Upper Maple Street Dantieson, CT 06239
New England Model Engineering Society
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Reply to
Errol Groff
I have a sign on the welder that says $20.00 to turn on Switch and $5.00 an inch.
Bernd
Reply to
Bernd
snip---- .
Your story reminds me of an incident many years ago, when my then brother-in-law was running a weld shop. A certain guy kept coming by with small projects for him to do. Weld the kitchen chair, maybe fix the broken handle on his lawn mower, that kind of stuff. Each and every time he came by he asked for, and got, a good deal. He was clearly interested in getting things done either very cheap, or free.
One fine day my ex b-i-l was whining about this guy, so I suggested to him that the next time he came by with a project, he should suggest to him that because he'd always been the giver of the good deals, this time we was going to be the receiver of same. In spite of the fact that this small job was worth only $5, we wanted to get $20 for it because it was his turn for the "good deal".
The ex b-i-l totally surprised me by doing exactly that. They guy picked up his chair and walked out and never came back again.
Some people are in it for what they can get. It's a good idea to sort them out before they use you until you're used up.
Harold
Reply to
Harold & Susan Vordos
Cool! Wish your neighbors were mine!
Harold
Reply to
Harold & Susan Vordos
Back when I was about 14 years old I was into ham radio with both feet, and pretty damn good at fixing the vacuum toob "electronics" of that era, if I say so myself. (Radios & TVs.)
My mom had a habit of telling all her friends that her son would fix stuff for them and they'd drop it off at our house for me to work on.
I got tired of getting nothing back in return, with my mom getting all the proud credit. I soon cottoned on to telling those moochers that I had to replace something like "an octal framistat" which cost me $4.50 at the parts store. They paid up, and I felt I'd balanced the books.
($4.50 would buy me a whole carton of cigarettes or over 10 gallons of gas back then 'yknow.)
Mom finally cought on and called me a son of a bitch for doing that. She never saw the irony in what she said.
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
This is on the lines of a post I couldn't get an answer for. How much is the cost of running a $4,000 welder. I would think there would be a chart for what ever ASTM weld per foot with bean counting production figures with just materials.
Even a good idea on how much the Jaguar will cost to maintain every 6 months to a yr. kinda thing.
Many times I've been the "other guy" and have no idea what it costs. Ask and never answered. Then they weld the crap out of it while it would be good with half that much. Then I'm worried that $20-$40 would be an insult and they turn around and don't want anything and would rather talk about another subject. Like their full on Packard restoration.
O/A is a mystery also. How much does it cost per minute to cut or braze. I've never had a welder or torch and just gone for it to get an idea of the costs. I'm sure the combinations are endless , but say working with 1/4" steel would be a good ball park.
I'm just starting to catch on that the welder can't run continuously from reading the NG's without cooling. I've only run into that problem when doing lawn art and have the welder shut down in an artistic moment and lose where I was waiting for it to cool down. Kinda like painting a car with an inadequate compressor.
Reply to
Sunworshipper
I missed the staff meeting but the minutes show "Backlash" wrote back on Mon, 27 Dec 2004 08:57:46 -0500 in rec.crafts.metalworking :
And sometimes ... I don't know who owes who for what, so we'll start off the year "even." Then we'll start the "Okay, you owe me for the beer, but I brought the heater over, and the gallon of milk, so ... hold this while I cut it and we'll cal it good." routine over again. >
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
Sunworshipper,
It's a figure my neighbor likes to use. Says it keeps the guys with the lawnmower handles and such away. Only the serious will pay. I'm sure you can get a price at any welding shop and I'd be willing to bet it's higher. As far as A/O goes I don't have a clue as how you'd go about pricing.
Bernd
Reply to
Bernd
how about getting asked to change someone's sparkplugs[ father in law] on Christmas eve while it is crapping ice on everything and 10 degrees outside, just lucky for me I had started my winter rebuild of my zero turn mower and had the good fortune of doing it outside!
well got significant points with the wife
Reply to
williamhenry
I get that all the time. I kind of like it. I've met a lot of interesting people, been part of some VERY interesting projects, been offered the chance to be part of some very oddball projects (refused, but was left with funny stories to tell), and generally had a pretty good time doing it. I designed and built a sidereal clock for an astrologer, and designed and built stage props for a magician. What kind of sign do you put up to attract those sorts of jobs? You just have to get the reputation as a guy who can do anything, and among the mundane, are these gems.
Mind you, I wasn't trying to make a living doing any of these hobbies -- I just enjoy having the tools and skills to tinker at them -- so, these odd jobs that find their way to me aren't getting in the way of my livelihood.
There are a few people who abuse this, but not many. Their projects seem to take a little longer to get done, so the system is self-regulating to a certain extent. So, I go on doing a little metal-working, a little computer-guruing, a little internet-researching, a little electronic/electro-mechanical design and fabrication and any other odd jobs that people bring me when their usual resources fail them. Like I say: kind of fun, (and definitely good for the ego).
-- --Pete "Peter W. Meek"
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Reply to
Peter W. Meek
At work, the cheapest price/hour is somewhere between $50-$100/hour.
Some things cost more than the above hourly rate per minute.
But seriously - just don't tell anyone about your machines ;-)
Regards,
Robin
Reply to
Robin S.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (GTO69RA4) wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@mb-m28.aol.com:
Fortunately there are two of us on our street. There's me, the amateur woodworker, and I get many calls to make just a couple of cuts, can you let me use your saw, how about that screwgun I saw you using on your deck... Then there's Ken down the street. He's a contractor, and while he does get paid business from the neighbors, he also gets requests for freebies. Good thing he's a friendly guy.
Reply to
Hitch
| | Fortunately there are two of us on our street. There's me, the amateur | woodworker, and I get many calls to make just a couple of cuts, can you let | me use your saw, how about that screwgun I saw you using on your deck... | Then there's Ken down the street. He's a contractor, and while he does get | paid business from the neighbors, he also gets requests for freebies. Good | thing he's a friendly guy. | | -- | John Snow | "Pull hard and it comes easy"
I firmly believe in bartering. I also firmly believe that if you do something for someone else because you know it's the right thing to do (sort of like charity) you wind up better off in the end. The world is full of stories of those whom we have helped winding up in a position to return the favor in bigger ways. Like eating for free a few times after I pulled someone up the snowed in street. I didn't know he managed a McDonalds's! But then again moochers rate right down there with the "will work for food" losers on the street corner. I'm not always such a great judge of character, but I do catch on eventually.
Reply to
carl mciver
One comment I'd like to add to this thread is that it's not always a good idea to do business with close friends of the family. I recently did (paid) work for a neighbor quite awhile back and only recently found out that he was severely pissed off at all of us because he had expected something different from what the work was stated to be. I knew there would be problems because I tried to explain that I couldn't do what he wanted, and that the other company that was going to finish his project would have to do it since they had the tools to do it properly, but I would do the other half of it at a lower rate than them. He nodded yes to all of that but didn't truly understand what I was talking about, so he stayed under the assumption that I had done it, and since he didn't allow for the extra time or cost, he missed a deadline and lost money on his project. If he had simply called me I would have at least tried to set things straight, but he never mentioned it to anyone until recently. So from now on I refuse to do projects either free or paid for anyone who's that close to the family. It's not worth the sitcom-drama.
Reply to
Xane T.

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