Kill the roofer, Bring a ladder

I am speechless. Wait, no I am not speechless.   The roof labor market is a key indicator. Below are two ads that I saw and applied to. What is amazing is the response that I get from some of these contractors: I found this article on  my blog on hiring follows: Experience Roofers (Collegeville, PA) Date: 2012-09-12, 2:47PM EDT [Errors when replying to ads?] I need 6 roofing guys with experience in shingles roofing to start asap. If this is your 3rd or 4th roofing job, don’t bother. Must be able to put ply. Must have all tools needed including ladders, roofing nailers, shingles remover, circular saw and so on. I am tired of people borrowing my tools and not taking good care of them or returning them. Must understand safety protocols. Please write a brief description of your experience and contact phone number. Only those with phone numbers would be considered. No resumes. Please look at the pay before u reply and don’t come to job and try to negotiate the pay. However, those with pump jacks can be paid more. I can pay bonus based on productivity at the end of the job. We are busy… Read More →

Roofing behind bars, Lewisburg Penitentiary.

Lewisburg Penitentiary is in quaint Pensylvania College Town. To me it is  the first entrance to Hell that I have seen. From interstate route 80 its high red brick walls can be seen . I roofed this dog in 1991 behind bars. So have I been in prison?  Yes. How did it feel? It felt like to breathe was impossible , it felt like danger was imminent, it felt like being  at a club for the meanest nastiest people in the world. You could not trust anyone , not even the guards. I was completely innocent , I had a contract to replace the roofing. This was work for the Department of Justice and I saw the injustice of injustice. How did I get there? It was easy and not so easy. I can tell you that I will never do another prison as long as I live. The Guards wore grey linen uniforms shirts buttoned down the front, their pants brought to mind my cub scouts pants . Heavy cotton , yes zipper and two buttons. belts were not allowed for obvious reasons. All guards were unarmed that escorted us to the yard. I expected a high level of… Read More →

US Marine on the roof lifts falling.

Joe Kenney is a roofer in New Jersey. He has worked for me and I have worked for him. Our styles are completely different. I am a perfectionist and he is not. I am a hard head and will fight to do a job right and he will not. He served our country and I did not. Joe was a sniper in the Marines, yet he calls me a spook.  I am 5’7′ and he is 6’2″.  Joe has had many up’s and downs as a roofer as have I. We both agree with his slogan. “Once a roofer always a roofer”. I have said so many times before how many Marines I have worked with. Joe, Jerry, Phil, Dale, Danny, Pete, and on an on. What brings the Marines to the roof I do not know? I am just damn happy to know them. I always ask these guys if I am working hard enough and they always laugh. Phil in particular laughs when he remembers my little battles on the roof at a variety of complex and dangerous jobs. We laugh and laugh about the last 3o years of incompetent inspectors that tried to slow us down or… Read More →

Crazy as a Roofer

Perhaps the most sad and the most enlightening experiences I have had in my life have been with the roofers in a struggle . I have to admit that I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best mechanics that were also some of the most notorious drug addicts or alcoholics.  In my younger days as being a boss I made many mistakes when dealing with addicts. I was a classic enabler, one by giving them a job, second giving them an ear , and third  being there when they were at their worst and taking them back. I have had ex-marines in my arms crying and been at the epic moment of attempted suicides.  I have even taken roofers back whom I was paying $32.00 per hour that had cashed their check and then went to try to sell the tools out of the truck just to get as much cocaine as they could for the weekend.  I cannot believe  that I actually took some of these guys back.  Of the amazing things that people have done to hurt me here is a classic list: Reported me to the department of labor for prevailing wages. Yup… Read More →