Shhh, You’re being Recorded – and Two Other Tips

Executive summary. Just three random important things for contractors that didn’t make up an article all on their own: the legality of audio recording, running one man short, the golden rule of bid forms.

What’s this article about? It’s about being a smart contractor in the easiest of ways. Learn from others’ experiences what to do. Or not.

You can’t record me. Uh, yeah. I can. And it’s admissible. It’s called one-party consent. Look it up on-line here. [QR]

It will take your lawyer, specifically knowledgeable of the laws in your state, but it very well could be that your meeting can legally be taped. And then everything said can be admissible in a court of law. This can be good or bad, be careful what you say.

Run one man short. Running a man short on a crew can accomplish two things: (1) save direct cost by having less people to pay and (2) reduce cost when the site conditions are not conducive to optimum production.

The first item above is easy – if you have less people, you spend less money. And a tip here, if you have the right crew and they’re running a man short today, they may just try to get the same amount of work done today as they did yesterday almost out of spite or “I told ya so.”

The second reason for running a man short is to minimize labor costs on a project in which the owner, or weather, or other condition, cannot keep you busy enough to justify running the whole crew. Your whole crew likely is designed for maximum production. If conditions are not right for maximum production, reduce manpower and run a man short.

Golden rule of bid forms. If you’re filling out a bid form and you have any inkling of a doubt as to whether or not you should put information in the blank, do it. Fill in the blank. “When in doubt, fill it out.”

My story. I don’t have any great stories for any of these but can relate to all of them as I’ve been to taped meetings, run a man short, and screwed up bid forms by not filling them out completely. Today was about laying down some simple and basic advice.

Work safe!