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Dealing with wierdos/ tinkerers

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  • JRouche
    replied
    Originally posted by vincemulhollon
    "guys"? LOL I thought they were "wives".
    Yeah. My street has useless guys also, thats what makes the women wives JR

    Leave a comment:


  • Grind Hard
    replied
    Originally posted by vincemulhollon
    "guys"? LOL I thought they were "wives". When I was a young single guy I would have paid you to be your apprentice...

    That takes me back. I was 19... she was Much Older. Needed an awful lot of welding done around her house (damn railing kept breaking) and she would request me by name.

    Oh I was paid VERY WELL for the work I did. Some of which was quite legit... other bits were clearly make-work.

    Not complaining one wit here.

    Leave a comment:


  • vincemulhollon
    replied
    Apprentice?

    Originally posted by JRouche
    I literally see the wives doing all the "honey do list" stuff in my neighborhood and regularly have them coming over asking for tools, help or if I can just go ahead and do the whole job

    ...

    Well THAT gets old!!! Its always a one way street because these guys don't have a squat that I could use cept money.
    "guys"? LOL I thought they were "wives". When I was a young single guy I would have paid you to be your apprentice...

    "Sorry Ms Trophy Wife, I'd love to help you, but I loaned my left handed crescent wrench to my young lonely apprentice, let me get you his phone number, maybe you could suntan on the driveway while he's fixing your car and cook his dinner when he's done..."

    Seriously though most of this thread has been about taking it waaaaaay too personally. If wanna be customer is at a jiffy-lube level of mechanical prowess I have no difficulty referring them out to jiffy-lube, unless there's some incredible extenuating circumstances. Send them on their way, and be done with it...

    Leave a comment:


  • motorcyclemac
    replied
    In the gun trade...I get this kind of thing a LOT. People read magazines and come up with some modification that they *think* needs to be done. They call up starting the conversation with I have something simple for you.. OR ...I called around to see what this costs and it is a total rip off at the other shops...what will YOU do it for?

    I had a customer leave me a voice mail wanting the fore-end changed out on his AR15. He started the call by explaining that he had this done on this rifle by one of my competition...THEY RAPED ME.... I brought them the parts and the still charged me $75.00. I want this one changed out for one with rails....what kind of a deal can you give me? I would do it myself since it is simple but I just don't have the tools...and I don't want to buy them since I'll likely not use them again. Uh........

    People just don't understand that to be in the machine shop business or any skilled trade involving technical knowledge and specialty tools isn't cheap. I have well over $100,000 wrapped up in my shop. I have years of training and experience in what I do. You are seeking me out to do something you don't know how to do OR don't have the equipment to do. Yes it seems simple to you but the devil is in the details and that is why you are seeking a professional to do it.

    People that start out by indicating they are cheap or they want to dismiss or discount my costs to get where I am....can pound salt. If they want to recognize that I have expenses...and any job worth doing is worth doing right...then we'll talk. But starting out in a manner that indicates I am going to do a stranger a favor by screwing myself... makes no sense to me.

    Cheers
    Mac.

    Leave a comment:


  • vpt
    replied
    Originally posted by Video Man
    My "shop" is my garage, strictly non-professional hobby HSM shop. So my answer is "my hobby is making things, not buying metal. So you provide the stock and I'll machine your metal." It has failed to work only once, and that project was an interesting one for a good friend.


    I do that. I say bring the material and I'll weld it/machine it. Lots of times I don't see them again and if I do the "cost" looks cheaper because I don't have to add for materials.

    Leave a comment:


  • saltmine
    replied
    Having worked in the automotive industry for nearly 50 years, I've had my share of weirdos/tinkerers, etc.

    In the past, I'm usually beseeched by a stranger, who a friend had told I might be able to help him. Early in my career, money was tight, and I did take on "side jobs" to fatten my finances, from time to time. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that everybody thinks fixing cars is quite easy.. They also think most mechanics are alcoholics (or idiots)...I can't even guess how many times I've heard, "Overhaul my car's engine, and I'll buy you a six-pack of beer..." I usually tell them, "I don't drink." To which they reply, "OK, One case of soda...what brand do you like?" Their estimate of the value of my time & experience goes way off the track, most of the time.(ie: an engine overhaul = twelve cans of Pepsi? Or six cans of beer?) Unfortunately, in most trades, you get what you pay for. The automotive industry is one trade where money and experience is badly out of balance....

    I can't really blame people, though. In an effort to make a profit (in most cases, a HUGE profit) the majority of dealers and garages charge up to $150 an hour for shop labor. Sadly, the guy who does the work seldom sees much more than $20 an hour from the labor charge. I think this is one factor that drives the customer away from the dealer/bigger garages, they can't afford it.

    I used to know a guy, who continually had car problems. He always complained bitterly about "being ripped off" by dealers and shops, so his way of dealing with it was to seek out and recruit mechanics to do "side jobs" for him away from the shop. He offered to pay me about 1/10th the price for a repair he needed, I turned him down. "You pay peanuts, you will get monkeys." He was disappointed, because he had heard I did good work...But I guess I was too expensive for his tastes. He was off, headed for a local tavern. Surely, he could find a mechanic to do his bidding for a couple of dollars and a few drinks.....Did I mention he was always having continual car problems? Anybody can fix cars.

    No, I'm not a member of the local car club. I found out, very quickly, that most of the members knew absolutely nothing about cars...old or new, and they usually pounced upon new members like a pit-bull on a raw steak, especially when they discovered the "new guy" was actually a mechanic.
    The clincher was; most of them would "let you work on their custom/classic car" and your pay would be a free ride in the car to a show or in a parade.
    Trust me, working on cars all day long, the last thing I want to do is attempt to work on some hacked up "custom" in a dirt driveway, with tools I would have thrown away 20 years ago, come to think of it, some of the tools WERE tools I'd thrown away 20 years ago....And, contrary to popular belief, free rides are not very life sustaining.

    And then there's the weirdos/tinkerers/weekend mechanics/wanna be OCC motorcycle builders....I post on five or six forums, besides HSM.net. I've dealt with my share of them.
    Most don't place any value in what you write, regardless of your background. More of them, right or wrong, are looking for a fight, and will contest anything I say, even if it violates the laws of nature & physics. After posting on these forums for many years, I've come to suspect that about 1/3 of the people who disregard or challenge my posts are probably zit-faced teenagers, with a burning desire to screw with adults, or they're grumpy old men, who can't be told anything, anyway. Either way, trying to help is usually an exercise in futility. I sometimes find myself stopping in the middle of a reply, and deleting the whole post, rather than carry on the argument
    I should have listened to my Mother.....She once told me, "Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." Of course. She also said, "Never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

    You're lucky, Scottike. They not only tell me to bring the beer to a BBQ, but they also request meat, bread, buns, condiments, charcoal, eating utensils, and napkins.....and that's only after I've completed the task they had for me....for free.

    Leave a comment:


  • philbur
    replied
    LOL

    Phil

    Originally posted by 383 240z
    EVguru. Hey that is what got me into this in the first place!!! I could not afford to buy parts I wanted, I could not afford to pay somebody to make that parts I wanted. So I bought a mill and lathe, now I cant afford anything!!! Keith

    Leave a comment:


  • Video Man
    replied
    My "shop" is my garage, strictly non-professional hobby HSM shop. So my answer is "my hobby is making things, not buying metal. So you provide the stock and I'll machine your metal." It has failed to work only once, and that project was an interesting one for a good friend.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scottike
    replied
    I have about three stock replies to "favor" requests:

    "Sure, Bring it on over, I'll be glad to show you how to do it."

    "For what it's going to cost/achieve, your better off blah, blah, blah."

    "I work hard, and my "free time" is worth a helluva lot more to me than the wages I earn when I'm working."

    Friends and family are a different story entirely, "Bring beer, we've got meat for the BBQ".

    edit: Beer not required.
    Last edited by Scottike; 09-16-2011, 01:34 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • JRouche
    replied
    My problem is its NOT the occasional weekend mechanic/ wanna-be O.C.C. motorcycle builder/ inventor/ tinkerer/ etc...

    I'm surrounded by white collar workers that don't own a wrench. And if they do they use it as a hammer. I literally see the wives doing all the "honey do list" stuff in my neighborhood and regularly have them coming over asking for tools, help or if I can just go ahead and do the whole job (I'm retired and they all know it)...

    Well THAT gets old!!! Its always a one way street because these guys don't have a squat that I could use cept money. And I'm set for money, don't need it or the work, I love my free time.

    So anymore I flat out decline when someone asks or say it looks too difficult for me. And if the guy still persists I'll take him into the shop and proceed to make his ugly whats-a-what even uglier.

    Say its something that needs to be TIG or MIG welded. I give him a helmet so he can watch as I accidentally blow a MASSIVE hole in the whats-a-what and say really loud, OOOOPS! The oops really gets their attention. Then I proceed to pack the hole with gobs of filler till its all one piece again. At the end and say, yup, that was really hard, here you go, hope it works..

    I never get the "can you do this" for me request from that guy again.... And we still remain neighborhood "friends", no hard feelings...

    Of course there are family and real friends from out of the neighborhood that need stuff done and that's ALWAYS an open door policy. But they ALL know how the two way street runs and at what speed. JR

    Leave a comment:


  • Lew Hartswick
    replied
    Originally posted by Davo J
    A friend of mine gets people asking about an odd job to be done and he tells them to bring it around, pay for materials, and while he is doing it they can mow his lawn, he said they get a shocked look on their face and he replies with, you want me to work for you but you wont work for me?
    No one has mowed his lawn yet.

    Dave
    I love that approach. You can even mention that "you are supplying the machinery, power, and work space" . :-)
    ...lew...

    Leave a comment:


  • 383 240z
    replied
    EVguru. Hey that is what got me into this in the first place!!! I could not afford to buy parts I wanted, I could not afford to pay somebody to make that parts I wanted. So I bought a mill and lathe, now I cant afford anything!!! Keith

    Leave a comment:


  • EVguru
    replied
    What if you ARE the wierdo and the tinkerer?

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Put a sign on the outside of your shop door that says, Shop rate is $65 per hour, or what every your price is. This weeds out the people that think their going to get this done for $10 or some cheap price.

    If they come through your door you need to decide if you want to work on their project. If it something you don't want to do then over estimate the time and price. Tell them you can not do a certain thing and you will have to order tooling that they will have to pay for.

    The problem I have is friends and relatives that want things done for free. I don't mind doing favors for people but some people push their luck wanting lots of favors but when I ask them for a favor they never have time. I don't expect favors but if I need one and they refuse they don't get anymore favors from me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Davo J
    replied
    A friend of mine gets people asking about an odd job to be done and he tells them to bring it around, pay for materials, and while he is doing it they can mow his lawn, he said they get a shocked look on their face and he replies with, you want me to work for you but you wont work for me?
    No one has mowed his lawn yet.

    Dave

    Leave a comment:

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