Archive for December, 2014

I suppose you need bait/lures to catch fish.

December 31, 2014 Leave a comment

I was driving past the conference centre in Nanaimo the other day and saw some Jehovah’s Witnesses trolling for lost souls to save and I couldn’t help but notice that one of the female missionaries was wearing tall, high-heeled boots that I associate with something best done in the privacy of one’s home.

She did look somewhat like the women that work the night shift on that corner except her hemline was a little lower and her complexion was much better.

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Tight margins and cutting good customers a break.

December 29, 2014 Leave a comment

The end tank on my car’s radiator failed so I went out shopping for one today.  It made me think about profit and discounts for good customers.

I like the idea of cutting a good customer a good deal if you can but when you let one customer know you value them more than others you’re also letting your other customers know that they don’t matter as much.  It’s the difference between saying, “THE customer is #1” and “THAT customer is #1.”  Of course that doesn’t happen if you keep things hush-hush but people do talk.  During the time I was a self employed welder I gave a fair price and that was that.  With a few exceptions it didn’t matter who you were and the price for a given task was the price whether you were rich or not.  I aimed to make money on the job but wasn’t going to get rich in the process.  I’ve needed a day job to make most of my money for quite a few years now and wonder if this attitude is why.

People would sometimes plead poor or want to haggle but for that to work I would have to arbitrarily add more to my initial price to be conceded during haggling or loose my profit.  Would that wider margin alienate some prospective customers?  Would that be fair to customers who just accepted my price?  I’ve told prospective customers my offer was a take it or leave it situation and I’ve also agreed to a lower price just to get some work.  I won’t do that anymore because I’ve never lost money on a job I didn’t get.  The next guy who arbitrarily asks me for a lower price will be asked what he wants removed from my scope of work to accommodate the cut.  I like to help people but I’m not the welfare office.

Sometimes there just isn’t wiggle room.  Here is an example for the work I do on gates and overhead garage doors:

Usually someone makes money from their labour and a mark up on the supplies they use(which pays the overhead of procuring, transporting, and possibly warehousing the supplies).

The only garage door wholesaler in my area refuses to sell to my company(I’m not approaching them as some homeowner wanting wholesale(which I’ve seen them do, by the way))  for fear of alienating my former employer who is their biggest customer.  Because of the situation every door part I buy is either paid at full retail or trucked over by ferry to Vancouver Island and the shipping costs leave me no room for marking up the price and remaining competitive…

….so I don’t get paid for time spent dealing with my parts so it comes out of the labour portion of my bill, which I can’t inflate because of wanting to be competitive and fair…so there is less room to deal with unforeseen costs or sleazy attempts at post hoc negotiating.  It’s hard to be competitive AND profitable in a cornered market.

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50 shades of wrong.

December 22, 2014 Leave a comment

I was looking at a gas sign advertising a price of $0.959/liter and it made me think about how many people will round that price to 95; I call it 96.  Both answers are wrong but one is less wrong than the other.

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It’s the end of an era!

December 13, 2014 1 comment

I sold my one ton “Rented Mule” pickup!  I haven’t had much work for it lately and it’s too expensive for fuel just to drive me around so it was time to go.

I’ve owned it since my mid 20’s and I’m a little sad to see it go but the truck’s name says it all:  A combination of abuse and neglect have the truck in a state where fixing everything would cost far more than it would ever be worth so I gave a nice young man from Port Alberni a really good deal and the axles are going to be put in a project truck of his.

Selling a vehicle online has been interesting.  I’ve been offered drugs, a gun, a broken down ATV, a Chevy Impala, and countless low-ball offers.  It’s been a fun exercise and has made some room in my driveway.

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A note to prospective employers: It’s SOCIAL media.

December 6, 2014 1 comment

I saw some activity on my blog and social media that I suspect might be related to a job in Alberta I am applying for and I started thinking about stories where people have gotten in trouble at work because of what they posted on Facebook.  Usually it involves getting caught playing hooky, showing highlights of an alcoholic bender or playing sports while supposedly disabled.  I wondered about simpler things that aren’t especially damning but might rub some folks the wrong way.  Let’s look at my own banner and profile pictures:


Taste?  Questionable at best.

Misrepresentation?  Yes, but one that couldn’t be believed; it might as well be a picture of Johnny Cash or a cat.  You should be able to figure out that I’m not a famous Russian baritone singer and probably not involved in Lucha Libre.

Irreverent?  Yes.  You should pray for a sense of humour.

Professional?  No.  This is not my professional web presence; you’ll find that over at LinkedIn.  I would repeat anything I have posted on Facebook or this blog in the lunch room but not necessarily in the office; it’s called compartmentalization.

If you’re here to research me specifically then feel free to judge.  If you don’t accept my arguement for what I post on social media, simply don’t care about the tone of this blog post, or have ANY doubt about what you see then don’t waste another second considering my application.  I’m clearly not your ideal candidate and you’re clearly not my ideal employer.  Nobody’s time will be wasted and we’ll both eventually get what we want.

I actually already have a great employer and that’s why I can play hard to get.  The only thing wrong with them is that they’re not in Southern Alberta.

Having only 21 “friends” is another issue.

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