As a man who prides himself on being able to sell ice to the Eskimos, this is a statement which could send a cold shudder down the spine of the most hardy Inuit.

This show of trust may have been formed over previous projects and built on comments such as “you gave us no problems on the last one” or “we hardly had to manage you guys”. As everyone in the contracting industry knows the least amount of grief you can give someone and for them to recognise that truly is a sign of a great job!

So you spend time walking through the job, chatting with a disinterested maintenance contractor trying to awaken his appetite on a job that is either “not his site” or who in most circumstances is just too busy to show you around as they have to fill in their “paperwork”.
“Any O&Ms on site mate?” you ask optimistically. “Hahaha you’ll be lucky, never seen anything on this job!”

Scanning dusty filing cabinets for any semblance of an O&M or wiring schematic you can lay your hands on, more determined than ever due to the lazy attitude and mannerisms of the guy who baulked at your request for information. Heaven forbid he would like to have a greater knowledge of the site he should be regularly maintaining!

*BANG* There she is all of the delights from the original installation through to historical CATB fit outs.
Stick that in your pipe lazy arse!

Time is then spent carefully copying the required information in a local print shop before paying the astronomical bill and handing back all of the original documentation to the site man whilst reiterating how important this all is not only from the building managers point of view but within this 30 year old folder could lie the answer to his nightmare of a day on site because the BMS was broke!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER my friend!

Whilst gaining as much knowledge on the site is a must, another day is taken out of your already overcrowded diary to assemble your findings and create your quotation based on your expertise.

Feeling encouraged and happy that you have used your experience and years of product knowledge to get the BMS/Controls package moving in a positive direction at this early stage you hover over the Send button.
Doubt creeps in for a split second whilst the cursor is held… “Nah you got this big man!” SEND.

A coffee is the treat!

Email straight back from the client… This can’t be good!

The reply reads: “They won’t go for that mate can we strip it down a bit or just go for a basic controls system”.

Aaaahh.

A Few things instantly pop into your head :
• How do you know they won’t? You haven’t even sent it on yet. You can’t have its been 10 minutes! Barely enough time to stick your logo on the EXCEL version you asked me to send!
• You asked me to give my opinion and added me as a valued member to your team to offer guidance within an area you have no clue on how to deliver.

I have created and worked on a solution to the problems this site has been having which has led to someone, somewhere deciding that it now requires upgrading and an expert to offer an opinion on the best way forward. This is what you are now in ownership of.
That someone, somewhere will be very interested in our proposal and I’m sure that for the sake of 5k for example and the cost I will now be forced to offer up, he/she would love to hear about the plan A scheme!

Right, so the next stage, “can I talk to your client? Can we meet him together so I can explain why he should go down this route rather than install stand-alone FCU controllers or just a simple time clock!?” *What is a time clock BTW??* Its a watch isn’t it? A clock that tells the time?….

Hardly ever will you get to sit down with the man who writes the cheques mainly because the representative you are dealing with on site is too afraid to ask the question as he/she doesn’t want to look like he/she doesn’t know what the job scope is or they are afraid that they will look like they don’t know what they are doing.
Stupid really as we teach our kids if they don’t know the answer to a question, then they should ask. Why should that change as you get older?

Anyway, the cost savings go in, you win the job on a scheme you are not overly passionate about because you know its not in the clients best interest long term.
The cycle continues.
Get to the end of the job. Demo ensues.. “Why haven’t we got this? Why can’t we see that controller from here?…

I’ve Never done this before have I?. Damn those experts ay!?

I blame Brexit!!

TBC…