One enlivening aspects of this business is continually encountering new situations. While these encounters are a learning opportunity I also like to ask if there is a non-random reason for the encounter, maybe a change in industry practice, codes, etc. For example: when a GC rejected our customary and never-failed-before approach to meeting insurance requirements I called their risk manager. I wanted to convince him to accept our cert. I ended up learning that a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision (which had rattled this GC, rightly or wrongly) was the cause of this new environment. That meant I might run into this problem again and have to figure out a solution
Recently I had a situation where I warned a GC that they had to hold off and they agreed. We expected to do some cleaning and touch-ups on precast panels and the anti-graffiti coating interferes with any such work on the surface. A week later, to my surprise, I noticed that the panel had in fact been coated. The GC (separately both the project manager and the assistant project manager) insisted that the painter had been told not to coat the panel and it was not coated. No question; it was coated. I found it unusual for a GC to think something was undone when in fact it was done. (The opposite is normal – they expected something to get done and it did not get done.) One incident means little – it can be an odd, random, event.
But this week on a different job the same thing happened. The GC fully understood that we (actually my customer who is installing the column covers) had to weld angles onto the columns before the fireproofing went on (Chicago is very strict about scraping fireproofing off) and said that the fireproofer would hold off until they could do the welding. We scrambled to get angles fabricated and had them delivered only to learn that, much to the GC’s surprise, the fireproofing was on the columns. Given that I never encountered this before (except for the earlier instance) it is not likely to be totally random.
Is this because GC’s are more chaotic, less in control of the job? Or is it that subs are so slow (big backlog are rare these days) and they want to get the work done ASAP? I have no idea. Maybe you know if and why this is a new trend. I’m interested in your thoughts on this.