It took Raymond Rojas ten days to put together his second crew. It took five working days to put together the third.
He stumbled into Eric Martens while putting together his second crew. Eric was thirty-five and a Marine. Eric stepped up as the crew lead and suggested that Raymond actively seek former military for that position when putting together crews in the future.
Raymond asked Eric, “I thought military men never volunteered?”
Eric’s response was, “That would not be Non-Commissioned Officers. By the time you get to Sergeant you figure out that the best way to keep your ass from being shot is to put a competent person in charge. I looked around and, frankly, I am the best guy for leadership in this sorry lot.”
Eric did not have a lot of friends because of his total disregard for “candy coating” and he did not care.
The entire third crew was made up of referrals from the other two crews. His workers nudged friends and family that they knew would be a good fit. By the time the third crew was pulled together, there was only one young man that Raymond had to bounce. It was an aimless young man whose uncle had nominated him in the hope that he would rise to the occasion. Sadly, the uncle overestimated his nephew. Raymond had another Marine, John Kloake, as the crew lead for #3.
John and Eric worked very well together. They spoke the same language.
Raymond started casting about for bigger jobs to bid. He was struggling to line up smaller jobs because it took almost as much effort to bid a small job as a big job, and it only kept one crew busy for a day or two.
Raymond went out looking but did not find work. Rather, work found him.
He received a “Request for Bid” from one of the new satellite “villages” that were being built around the local Universities to attract coders. All of the villages were named after islands. The RFB directed him to bid on the satellite known as “Venice”.
The amount of square feet per day to be painted was staggering but Raymond looked at the prints and did not see anything technically difficult.
One of the options was that payment would be made weekly based on the number of rooms completed. Given Raymond’s highly stretched capital situation, that was a very, very attractive option.
He bid the job and won.
The problems started when he had each crew show up on their respective shifts and after 24 hours his crews had not been able to paint a single room. Raymond had paid out $250 in wages and did not have a single, billable event to show for it.
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