Monthly Archives: November 2012

When Is It Okay to Hire Someone You Know?

When is it okay to hire someone you know?  In the latest chapter of Good Guys, Wise Guys, and Putting Up Buildings, Florman describes a time when he gave a competitive bid to a good friend of his from grade – school.  Unaware that his friend was experiencing financial issues, his friend went out of business and he was partially to blame for it.  However, Florman did nothing wrong in the situation.  It is better to hire someone you know who does good, quality work and is someone you can trust than to hire someone you know about only from outside resources.  

In an essay by Cynthia Sommer, Sommer explains how she believes in intuition.  intuition is a powerful and quick insight.  Sommer has used intuition throughout her life to help her focus on her goals in life.  Like Sommer, Florman used his own intuition to make an obvious choice to choose his good friend to complete a project because he was emotionally attached to him and knew that he would do a good job.  

Recently, I have discovered that I use my own intuition skills when asking for helpImage on calculus.  I’ve found that I usually go to the same person to help me understand something in my calculus class.  I go to the same person and never try anyone else because I am already comfortable in getting help from this person. Even if occasionally, it is not beneficial to the person helping me because it takes away from their study time that they may need, but I don’t realize it.


Fair Evaluation

In chapter 10 Samuel Florman’s, “Good Guys, Wise Guys, and Putting Up Buildings”, Florman discusses construction estimating and how to calculate cost based on productivity.  Productivity is estimated by productivity i.e. how many bricks a worker lays down in a day.  The contractors have to make decisions as to how much they should pay the workers fairly, while trying not to run out of money.  This is why it is important to hire General Contractors that not only know what they’re doing, but will treat people fairly as well.

In Craig Newmark’s essay, Newmark explains how he used to believe people were generally malicious and opportunistic.  After doing full-time customer service for Craigslist, he now believes that people are trustworthy and treat other people fairly.  These are a few qualities that are very important when looking for a contractor.  However, Newmark does have to deal with people that try to be sleezy and think that it’s okay to rip people off.  Finding contractors that are going to pay the workers fairly may not always result in getting the most profit, but it is the right thing to do.

In my own experiences, I have had to do group projects in which my group members and I had to evaluated each other. I remember in some instances, some people would go above and beyond in their workImage, while others would hardly work.  I made my best judgments and graded the ones that worked on the project the most with the best grades and the ones that hardly did anything with lower grades.  In this case, I was the contractor and I had to make a judgement call on the quality of work and how much each person was worth.  I think I made a fair assessment.  


In the 9th chapter of Samuel Florman’s book, “Good Guys, Wise Guys, and Putting Up Buildings”, Florman describes how the empoyers of his company, “Kreisler, Borg, Florman”, came together as a family throughout the years due to the employers instinct to treat people well, share prosperity, and three significant people who held the “family” together.  Joe Blitz, on the other hand, believed in Belligerence.  Two of his employers would constantly fued in which he stated that he preferred it that way.  This could have been fairly destructive to his workers and to his fueding employees.  It was bad for his people no matter how much he wanted it that way.  What he should have done was seperate the two and keep them from working near each other.  They were obviously not a good fit for his company and distracting to the other employees.  However, Blitz made it work out for him, even though it is unethical to make a few people’s lives miserable in order to make your life easier.

In Frank Miller’s essay, “That Old Piece of Cloth”, he talks about how, when he was a teenager, he  rebelled against his parents when they tried to teach him to be patriotic.  He believed that it was just an “Old piece of cloth” when he was growing up during the aftermath of the Vietnam War.  It wasn’t until 9/11 when Miller began to understand the meaning of what his parents were trying to tell him.  Terrorist killed his neighbors, and made the lungs of every New Yorker filled with the chalky dust that filled the air.  Miller saw patriotism as “self – preservation” and “central to a nation’s survival”.  He quotes Ben Franklin in saying, “If we don’t all hang together, we all hang sperately.”  It is important to treat each other like family and fueding should not be tolerated in a workspace because it could split the workforce into pieces just like the country did in the 60s.  America needs to be a family if we want to help our country survive.

I remember my middle school baseball team that I played on when I was in 8th grade.  We were a small team of about 14 players and we all came together as a family and would hang out together outside of baseball, much like “Kreisler Borg Florman” employees.  As a result, we had a very good year and only lost 3 games the season.  On other teams that I played on that had fueds between one teammate and another, resulting in poor performance.  For example, on one travel team that I played on we would all yell and point fingers at one another and our record that summer was sub .500. I believe in teams that are united and that work well with others are the most successful, not necessarily the ones that have the best players.