Intimidation and the Long Road to Overcome It.

When a young contractor of 27, I was awarded the concrete contract for our new municipal building. When the prime contractor's superintendent called that the basement slab was ready to pour, I went for a look. Inspecting the sub slab prep with the superintendent, I commented that, "Come spring this floor will be six feet below the water table and that granular A road-base fill will never handle the drainage needed - this will leak like crazy." The superintendent (super) looked at me with open rage and said to follow him through gritted teeth.

Following the super into the job-site trailer, he took his hard hat off and hurled it across the room into the wall. Turning on me, he said, WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE! The architects and engineers for this building are top notch. Don't you ever ... talk to me like that again! That clay hard-pan will never let a drop of water through! You will pour that slab when I dam well tell you to and keep you ... mouth shut! I was intimidated and I poured the slab. As ashamed as I was to have poured that slab even though I knew better, I was even more ashamed that I did not come forward when the municipality spent hundreds of thousands on lawyers and remediation from the flooding. 

Since that time, I would say that my number one pursuit has been to learn how to produce excellent work - without using threats and intimidation.