Too old?

RJTravel

Member
Ran into a really 'old' flue cleaner the other night. Exhaust system cleaning is somewhat arduous with outside building ladders; lifting upblast fans; carrying supplies; climbing on appliances; etc. He seemed to do fairly well working alone, however I would be concerned if I were a property owner/manager. I mean, if I saw 'Geezer Degreasing' on his business card I would be concerned. Has anyone run into age discrimination when bidding accounts?
Richard
 

kmjt1021

Member
Well let's see, I'm to old to discriminated against for being to young, and I'm too young to be discriminated against for being to old. So I guess my answer would be no. How old was the guy? Does he stay busy?
 

RJTravel

Member
Bryan, you got it wrong - it your case it is not 'age' - you are too BIG to discriminate against!

This guy was early to mid 70s. He was staying busy with 3-4 jobs per week, but probably a moot point. That was several weeks ago - probably he is dead by now.
Richard
 

kmjt1021

Member
Wow! mid 70's I would think some of what needs done would be above the average 70 year old and he does it alone. I guess he didn't have a retirement plan
 

RJTravel

Member
I guess the lesson is - save now for retirement. On the other hand he might just be greedy. Perhaps he learned how to risk his life from one of the 'one-man' hood cleaning schools.
Richard
 

Grant

Administrator
Oh RJT now you've done it! I agree with you but it's all gonna start again, I can feel it startin to stir... This is going to become another one of those over active posts.... I think I will stay away from the computer for a few days and try to miss most of it!
 

RustyACE

President CHDCA
Hmmm...

Checked our list of people and the oldest that we have working is 61.

Must have come through one of the "old guy's school" being taught by someone else.

David's Word count equals= perfect post

Just as a side bar: This forum is so dead without my lively posts and comments. (this is sarcasm for those new to my posts)

Isnt' there anything of interest going on in the world of grease duct cleaning?

Rusty
 

Grant

Administrator
61
pulling hp hose?
on a roof?
at night?
by himself?

Good thing he works for himself, workmans comp insurance would cost him his retirement fund.
 

kmjt1021

Member
Grant
I thought you were going to stay away for a while, you were the one worried about it stirring up again, but you just couldn't help yourself could you?
 
Too old? What do you consider too old? I've always felt that the physical aspect of this job has helped keep me stay young and in shape. When customers comment about how hot I must be wearing coveralls, rubber boots, gloves and hat, I simply reply that a lot of people pay a lot of money to go to a gym to sweat like I do Being 50+ I scuba dive, hunt, fish ,water ski ,snow ski and golf and hope to do this stuff until I'm 90.
And while were on the subject, I've read with great interest the banter between Rusty, David, Bryan and all about the pros and cons of one man operations verses crews for hood cleaning. How can I put this politically correct, but to say your, all, right. Having had crews, led crews and being a crew I just want to say running multiple crews have been my worst nightmare. Hire and train, hire and train don't know how you do it David. With the labor pool being the way it is and the hours and glamor of the job we do, even the best suited guys last only a year or two. And if their too sharp they try to start their own business. That tied to workers comp. medical ins. vacations calls in sick, late to work ,transportation problems, girl problems, not to mention wear and tear on equipment, and customer complaints who needs it. I've been a one man show for a while now and make more money, more free time more vacations, with less headaches, less equipment problems, less overhead, and less paperwork. With all that said I realize that I can't keep this up forever. I almost was able to retire except for the market crash. And one major injury will eliminate the cash flow. I try to be extremely carful but who knows? Can we say disability insurance?
I would say what we have here is a conundrum, and maybe this belongs in the mindless babbling forum.
Gary
 

David Saulque

Senior Moderator
Gary is one of the good guys-he is not up lifting, and just when things are calm-Garys posts another reason not to sleep post.

I didn't think Rusty had any good points! Let the rant start.

David:p
 

kmjt1021

Member
See Grant you just couldn't leave it alone.
Gary I agree with and have had or am currently having, or will have all the problems you mentioned.
For the record I don't think I have said that one man could not do the job, just that I don't believe it is safe to be climbing around on roofs or in ceilings by yourself.
Question: Your are currently working by yourself, did you start that way or just decide one day to take your best accounts, let the rest go and service them yourself?
Having said that I have been known to do a few jobs myself, to help keep up, or I will start a job and have a crew come by after another job to help finish up. I can pick and choose the jobs that I do myself, and rarely do a job myself where the ladder comes off the truck.
Back to the how old is too old theme, I consider myself to be in decent shape, I work out, do several miles on the tread mill a couple times a week. A couple weeks ago I went to start a job and the crew that was suppose to come and help broke down. I was a few hours into a decent size job when I got this news, no turning back now. It took me six hours to finish two fans, two 15ft leaky ducts, two elbows with access, 20 filters. Dirty but not real bad. I was pretty tired at the end of that one, and I could not imagine doing that at age 70
 

RustyACE

President CHDCA
Ya'll are so afraid to get me going, like I'm some sensitive person that fly's off at the handle when I hear something that I disagree with and have fits of typing.

I think Gary has hit upon some of the main reasons that we have been very successful as a 1 man operation.

Eliminate the headaches (employees) and focus on the profit and spend more time doing the things that are enjoyable in life (boating, skiing, fishing, hunting, family time, etc.) and less time on things that we don't like (paying worker's comp insurance, figuring FICA taxes, covering for an employee that was jailed last night, etc).

The key to being a 1 man operation is:

SAFETY. SAFETY. SAFETY.

Knowing what you can do, when you can do it, and what restaurants to clean is a key part of our success.

Would I rather earn 85% profit of 120K as a 1 man operation a year or would I rather earn 10% profit of 1 million dollars running a multi crew operation a year.

It depends on how much of my self esteem is derived from the perception that others have about my company.

To some success is defined by how big of an operation that one has. To others success is defined by how good of a life that they live.

That's why it's so easy for David, Grant & I to completely disagree with each other, but still respect each other for what we do.

Age is simply a state of mind. I don't feel any older in my brain, but when I look in the mirror, I see my dad. His wrinkles, grey hair, and shape are settling on me too comfortably.

So if the "old" man wants to clean hoods, more power to him. Maybe he enjoys the satisfaction of a day's work and still getting paid at his age, when most of his friends are sucking off the welfare system.

At some point, one has to realize their limitations. Knowing this is what makes all the difference in the world. One day, he will wake up and know that, that is the last day that he will clean hoods. Hopefully, that happens because of his choice, not because some young whipper snappers thinking they know what is best for him.

Rusty
 
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kmjt1021

Member
Hey what's up with the occasional underlined words in the posts, I don't remember it being that way yesterday.
 

RustyACE

President CHDCA
I'm not sure what you mean. It appears normal on my screen. The only thing that is underlined are the hyperlinks below in my sig file.
 

kmjt1021

Member
I don't know either, I was at another computer and a few word were underlined with a thick yellow line. Must have something to do with the other computer
 

Phil Ackland

KEC Expert
I've been getting a little needed R&R before the "next round."

Rusty I hope (in your "Hmmm" note a couple days ago, you were talking about Hinderliter and his Deloc school and not Ackland. :)

As far as things being "Dead" (same tread) -- stay tuned.
 

RustyACE

President CHDCA
Dear Phil,

I've been meaning to give you a call to form some sort of strategic alliance between what we are doing and what you are doing.

Give me a call when you get a chance and we'll see if we can't work together on some things.

Our next "round" starts this Thursday and should push us through the next quarter.

Rusty
 
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