Raymond went around to his crews and had them start ripping out the drywall. There was a lot of push-back. In fact, the crews were as gung-ho as menopausal rattlesnakes.
But the work had to be done.
Al, the Master Electrician went storming off. Not that it would matter because there would not be any work for electricians for the next few hours while the drywall crews finished stripping.
Two hours into the shift Raymond got a call from the project manager. The PM sounded frazzled and beat-down. “I hate to ask you this, but can you double back and work first shift?”
Raymond said, “Sure, what have you got? Are you demoting me to paint crews?” Raymond was hoping this was the case. At least he controlled the paint crews on all three shifts and would not get his nose rubbed in the shit.
“Nope. I gotta have you cover the electricians on first.” the PM said.
“What happened to Davies?” Raymond asked. He was not relishing covering for Russel Davies.
“Russel Davies is no longer working for this project, nor will he in the future.” the PM said.
Eric Martens was listening over Raymond’s shoulder. “About fucking time.” he stage whispered.
“How did that happen?” Raymond asked, “Not that you have to tell me.”
“Apparently Al, one of your second shift electricians took a bunch of pictures last night of where they left off work. You guys had finished five rooms, including the large conference room. Then he took pictures right after he came in showing that all the work had been vandalized.” the PM said.
“It also seems that one of your workers wears a button cam and captured video footage of Davies and you arguing with Davies bragging that he had destroyed the work second and third shift had finished.” the PM continued.
Raymond looked over at Eric who pointed at the third button on his shirt.
“Whoever took that footage knows Dilip Bhalsad, the overall site champion. Dilip called me and kicked my ass.” the PM said.
“I know you are new at this construction stuff, but I sure wish you would get me in the loop and give me a chance to deal with it before you go over my head.” the PM counselled.
“Boss, I had no idea those guys were doing it and I will discipline them appropriately.” Raymond said.
“Anyway, I am going to need you on first shift to straighten out this circus. You, apparently, now how to get stuff done.” the PM said. “I want you to find somebody to cover second. Just let me know who it is so we can bump their pay.”
Raymond hung up and looked at Eric.
“Explain yourself.” Raymond said. Raymond tended to be economical with his words.
Eric shrugged. “I met Dilip in the first battle of LA when we ambushed Cali forces. I was a sapper and Dilip was there to collect electronic intelligence. Dilip is good people and we kept in touch. He needed an inside guy to see why the project was going backwards. Dilip found out I was working here and asked me to wear a button cam.”
Raymond had no choice but to accept the reality that his #1 guy on second shift was a personal buddy of the manager with overall responsibility for the entire, multi-site “Islands” project.
“Are you willing to step up and manage the electricians on second shift? I hate to lose a skilled electrician by tying them up as a manager, and you are damned good at it.” Raymond asked.
“Sure.” Eric said, snapping his bubble gum. “I will give it a shot.”
“Ok, you start now. Get Al and Wally (the lead drywall guy) and the other leads together. I need to meet with them and pick their brains. I need to make a list of their aggravations...the things that are getting in their way and making it impossible to get eight hours of work done on a shift.” Raymond said. “I wanna do the same thing with the main players on third and then I am going to grab a nap in our paint trailer before first shift starts.”
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