15 thoughts on “Random Pic”

  1. First thought — What is a vacuum truck doing sucking something from a high elevation? Portapotty on the 4th floor?

    Second thought — Will people who do the critically essential jobs, like operating a vacuum truck, ever be able to work from home?

  2. Epic code brown? Cooling tower? I’ve seen them used to control water from concrete sawing and drilling.

    I wonder if realizing that so many can work from home will cause management to realize how little value that sort of paper shuffling adds? Certainly not in government where every single employee is absolutely essential and inhumanly over worked but out in the real world.

  3. MCS: “I wonder if realizing that so many can work from home will cause management to realize how little value that sort of paper shuffling adds?”

    And if working from home does add value, then surely that home-worker can be at home in Manila or Bangalore, earning Philippine or Indian wages. Women & minorities hardest hit!

    In the meantime, people who cannot work from home, like vacuum truck operators, will become increasingly valuable. A retired master electrician I met at a barber’s shop mentioned he was going back to work — he could not say no to a job offer with total compensation approaching $200 K. Chatting with a plumber, he mentioned that a competent trained plumber can now earn 6 figures — which probably beats many of the graduates of law schools. And about time too!

  4. MCS…there are indeed a lot of jobs that can be done and done well from home….but it is also true that there are some downsides when the non-physical workplace trend goes too far. I’ve personally observed several very innovative business & product initiatives that had their genesis in casual interactions. Historically, it seems that the development of the pioneering computer was brought about–or at least accelerated–by a casual conversation between an electrical engineer and a mechanical maintenance engineer, and a subsequent conversation between the mechanical guy and his friend, the Army liason to Penn State.

    I’m opposed to company-wide edicts on this matter, such as the no-working-from-home rule promulgated by Marissa Mayer when she was running Yahoo, or the similar rule edicted by what-was-her-name at IBM. Let the managers & executives reasonably close to the work make the decision.

  5. I just had an electrician over a couple weeks ago when a light switch in our kitchen started a small fire (fortunately I caught it right away with no damage). He said they were swamped and have never been busier. The sudden shift to remote work has resulted in a lot of repairs and upgrades.

  6. My thought was along the line that added scrutiny would cause managers to realize that a lot of people weren’t doing much when they were at work. Then there are the ones who’s absence makes the whole organization more productive.

  7. Grurray: “He said they were swamped and have never been busier.” In HVAC wholesale we are putting up historic numbers for, I assume, the same reason. Everyone is home and the heat is certainly helping. The trick right now is getting product for our contractors as just about all of the OEMs have had production disruptions due to covid. I’m exhausted, but gotta make hay when the sun shines.

  8. We’ve been trying to get quotes on adding a 6 ton and replacing an only 5 year old 15 ton and haven’t even been able to get someone to quote. We managed to get the 15 ton fixed and will probably get a couple of split units that we can install ourselves.

    Pro tip, don’t buy Axiom.

  9. MCS – I am not surprised at all by your tale. All of the manufacturers of HVAC products for the US market (there are only 7, believe it or not with all of those brand names) were affected in Spring by covid related shutdowns. Spring is when they all build up for the Summer season. So out of the gate there is not as much product as usual for sale. Couple this with all of the commercial accounts being closed during March through May, doing no maintenance on their HVAC equipment and then all of the stuff breaking at once when offices were back in motion and they just “turned the unit on”. Add to this a lot of heat in a lot of the USA and everyone at home. Add to this covid related component shortages from China and Mexico to feed those plants in the USA and Mexico that make these finished products. It all equals a calamity. Whoever can get the stuff right now wins. The gloves are off and all favors are being called in. We are viciously protecting our longtime loyal customers with product allotments and telling people who never bought from us before “too bad” (politely, of course). There are no price negotiations – the question is “do you have” not “how much is it”.

  10. Dan,
    No doubt you’re right. I have different people fighting to sell me anything packaged. We can do our own electrical work, so that’s the way we’ll go.

    Hopefully, the big one will limp along until things get less strange. Very frustrating to have 4-5 figure repair bills on a “top line” unit, including long delays for parts and that was last summer.

  11. It’s air/air, They seem to have a problem with the condensers and evaporators developing cracks, probably from poor mechanical layout.

    More to the point, I clicked on your handle instead of the comment by mistake and went somewhere I wasn’t expecting. Looked like some sort of “exotic” Japanese language site. Might want to look into it.

    [Jonathan adds: Do not click that link. The site may be malicious.]

  12. That’s interesting. Thst site was an old personal blog of mine long since abandoned. Thanks for letting me know. I won’t use it again.

  13. I hope you haven’t lost anything important to you. It looked like a search engine optimization link farm. It might have been more but but couldn’t do any java script shenanigans because of noscript.

    It looks like the great ’20 twitter hijack netted the perps more than $100,000. More than 100 people that believed that Elon Musk was so hard up for ways to give away his money that he was running a send me $1,000 and I’ll send you $2,000 back deal. I still feel cheated that I never got a genuine Nigerian Prince letter.

    I wonder if the twitter nerd that was bought thought that ze was safe because ze was working from home. Presumably a rather painful HR interview with FBI waiting to take ze in hand. I wonder if they used Zoom?

    The cyber security most places wouldn’t withstand a blow from a powder puff. I wonder how many work from home desktops are sharing a browser with all sorts of dodgy tabs open? The number of porn sightings in screen shots seems to have declined, I wonder if that’s because people are being more careful or the media have just lost interest?

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