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greenmonster304
05-24-2012, 09:34 PM
I am not sure if this is a localized phenomenon but it seems like there are a lot of companies sending "techs" out without a clue. I had a guy helping me part time this spring that was probably just above a helper, maybe. He got a full time job with an big landscape outfit and they gave him a truck and a helper. I wish him the best of luck but I feel bad for the customers.
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Irrigation Contractor
05-24-2012, 09:47 PM
Unfortunately right now, all of the landscapers that throw the irrigation maintenance into their contract and they are out trying to get anyone they can to put on a job.

They offer a little more money, blah, blah then send Jr. down the road when done with him. Then Jr. comes back asking for his job saying "you were right, I am sorry, I really want to work here and I should have listened".

We work for a few of the largest landscapers in town, but the other big boys are constantly try to get us to work for them and this is where they learn that irrigation is not so easy. They also learn a good irrigation service staff can make them or break them.

It is kind of payback time right now and fun! We have that bids almost any HOA system at $150 for Spring Service and they sell it that includes repairs!! We normally get them back, and the management company has their tail between their legs at that point. Especially now with all the Backflow testing being throw in and all my guys are certified. Management managers love the one call /one email vendor.

Mike Leary
05-24-2012, 09:49 PM
I wish him the best of luck but I feel bad for the customers.

You're a better man than me, I've seen those little dorks come and go and realized they are going to try to get through life shucking and jiving; I have no use for them and do not wish them any luck. :nono:

txirrigation
05-24-2012, 10:02 PM
Irrigation Tech around here is a license. You have to go through a course and pass a test. Just like anything else though paper knowledge and practical knowledge are different things.

Mike Leary
05-24-2012, 10:13 PM
Irrigation Tech around here is a license. You have to go through a course and pass a test. Just like anything else though paper knowledge and practical knowledge are different things.

Not a big deal knowing little, it can be learned from the right contractor. The drugs (meth) were the worst ones for my (ex) employees. Alcohol and women problems came in second and third, and by then they were worthless.

1idejim
05-25-2012, 12:12 AM
A tech is no better than his education. if mentored properly he will be fine. the worst tech in the world may have been a contender if given good tools and instruction. i bet most of the older members were self taught and don't know any better when it comes to passing info along
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greenmonster304
05-25-2012, 05:54 AM
You're a better man than me, I've seen those little dorks come and go and realized they are going to try to get through life shucking and jiving; I have no use for them and do not wish them any luck. :nono:

The thing is I was just giving him work when I had it for him. He had been looking for full time work I just didn't have it for him. So he applied a this place expecting to just be a helper but they put him in a truck doing service.
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Sprinkus
05-25-2012, 08:15 AM
Irrigation Tech around here is a license. You have to go through a course and pass a test. Just like anything else though paper knowledge and practical knowledge are different things.

I sat in on the tech course to get CEU's for my irrigator's license. A little expensive but I did want to know what they were teaching the guys.
Not too impressed.

txirrigation
05-25-2012, 08:59 AM
I sat in on the tech course to get CEU's for my irrigator's license. A little expensive but I did want to know what they were teaching the guys.
Not too impressed.

I am not too impressed with the products of these courses either. They get to me with their brand new license more clueless then when they went in.

There needs to be a journeymen period added to the LI, and to the Tech. An unlucky home owner just had to pay be to come in and rip out their brand new crap system and replace it. You could tell the guy came in with decent intentions, but he messed it up bad. His LI was the highest # I have seen yet.

I would think around 2 yrs training at a minimum before they let you run your own company. Maybe 6mo. for techs since they work under LI's.

Kiril
05-25-2012, 09:07 AM
A tech is no better than his education.

Bingo .... and practical knowledge means nothing if that knowledge is derived from bad practices, unsubstantiated opinions/anecdotal evidence, etc ... basically built on a foundation of bullshiit. If I had a nickel for every "30 year veteran" that didn't have a f'n clue ..... :hammerhead:

1idejim
05-25-2012, 06:09 PM
Bingo .... and practical knowledge means nothing if that knowledge is derived from bad practices, unsubstantiated opinions/anecdotal evidence, etc ... basically built on a foundation of bullshiit. If I had a nickel for every "30 year veteran" that didn't have a f'n clue ..... :hammerhead:

kLquGAT7Pqg

CAPT Stream Rotar
05-25-2012, 09:56 PM
GM- its funny you say that..

we have a tech "20 years in the business" and he can't turn on a multimeter properly, troubleshoot anything other than a leaky pgp..Every day lately he has had call backs. He is lazy, bad with clocks, and has a no care attitude about everything..

Christ the guy can't even plumb a copper joint after 20 years...I could keep going but he is prob on the way out...no need to throw more dirt on his grave.

Sprinkus
05-25-2012, 09:59 PM
no need to throw more dirt on his grave.

Just bury him in the ditch with his hand sticking up.:laugh:

Mike Leary
05-25-2012, 10:01 PM
Just bury him in the ditch with his hand sticking up and a Marlex ell in his hand

They come and they go, don't they?

CAPT Stream Rotar
05-25-2012, 10:02 PM
sprinkus- he is burying himself...we have lost over 10 hours on his callbacks this week alone..my boss is at his wits end.

I could train a complete know nothing in 1 month and have him do more than this guy after his "20 years".

And in my opinion I feel I'm an average tech @ best. It takes years and years to get to hoss status..

Sprinkus
05-25-2012, 10:23 PM
sprinkus- he is burying himself...we have lost over 10 hours on his callbacks this week alone..my boss is at his wits end.

I could train a complete know nothing in 1 month and have him do more than this guy after his "20 years".

And in my opinion I feel I'm an average tech @ best. It takes years and years to get to hoss status..

High quality irrigation techs aren't born or made.....they are forged.
I've seen plenty of techs whose experience is basically the first year repeated 20 times over.
That's what's good about doing different jobs, like your tree work. It gives you a different perspective about how to approach things. Gotta be more meticulous and safety minded sometimes. Translates well into the irrigation service industry.
And you're already "hoss" status. You've got people that respect you and are willing to give you good advice that you will listen to without letting your ego get in the way.
That's the real difference between those that will always be hacks and those that will become true craftsman.
Wow, pretty good rant from an old tired drunk guy. :laugh:

Mike Leary
05-25-2012, 10:31 PM
Wow, pretty good rant from an old tired drunk guy. :laugh:

From one to another, I'd say that was a great rant. ROTAR is getting close to being "boss hoss", the more he does it, the better he'll become, as he has the passion, which we don't see much of. :clapping:

CAPT Stream Rotar
05-26-2012, 06:17 AM
You all are real kind...


I need to work on some stuff. Wells, plant knowledge, my plumbing just to name a few.
The only difference with me and most others is I just don't give up.

Kiril
05-26-2012, 07:35 AM
sprinkus- he is burying himself...we have lost over 10 hours on his callbacks this week alone..my boss is at his wits end.

I could train a complete know nothing in 1 month and have him do more than this guy after his "20 years".

Hey man, he's got 20 years of practical knowledge, which everyone knows means everything. :rolleyes:

1idejim
05-26-2012, 11:05 AM
Hey man, he's got 20 years of practical knowledge, which everyone knows means everything. :rolleyes:

Practically everything
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Kiril
05-26-2012, 11:29 AM
Practically everything

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 11:33 AM
I found it interesting (not) where after a few years, the apprentice, overnight, became the pro from Dover, and started mouthing off with the subs, and (gasp), the clients! :hammerhead:

jvanvliet
05-26-2012, 11:34 AM
Only way is to train them yourself, pay a little more than they can get elsewhere and keep them.

Too many "Hoss's" have a hire and fire often Harvard MBA mentality. Hiring talent is like hiring a pig in a poke. And everytime you've got to start from scratch.

If you want it done your way and to your standards hire a cherrie and treat and teach him like family.

The text book knowledge is only foundational to experience.
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Kiril
05-26-2012, 11:34 AM
I found it interesting (not) where after a few years, the apprentice, overnight, became the pro from Dover, and started mouthing off with the subs, and (gasp), the clients! :hammerhead:

You just defined quite a few of the posters on this site. :laugh:

FIMCO-MEISTER
05-26-2012, 11:43 AM
Only way is to train them yourself, pay a little more than they can get elsewhere and keep them.

Too many "Hoss's" have a hire and fire often Harvard MBA mentality. Hiring talent is like hiring a pig in a poke. And everytime you've got to start from scratch.

If you want it done your way and to your standards hire a cherrie and treat and teach him like family.

The text book knowledge is only foundational to experience.
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Big time ditto. There are stubborn learners and there are eager learners and there are no learners. The older they are the more stubborn they are.

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 12:13 PM
The older they are the more stubborn they are.

True.........:rolleyes:

1idejim
05-26-2012, 01:24 PM
You just defined quite a few of the posters on this site. :laugh:

some folks will bury themselves alive to prove they can handle a shovel.
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1idejim
05-26-2012, 02:09 PM
~Only way is to train them yourself~, YOU ARE ASSUMING THAT THE EMPLOYER KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING. TOO OFTEN THE BLIND ARE BEING LEAD BY THE VISUALLY CHALLANGED. ~Too many "Hoss's" have a hire and fire often Harvard MBA mentality. Hiring talent is like hiring a pig in a poke. And everytime you've got to start from scratch.~ I AGREE BUT STARTING FROM SCRATCH IS OFTEN BETTER THAN RETRAINING SOMEONE THAT MAY BECOME RESENTFUL AND DO THINGS HIS WAY WHEN UNSUPERVISED FOR SPITE.

~If you want it done your way and to your standards hire a cherrie and treat and teach him like family.~
THAT THEORY WORKS BETTER IF YOU HAVE A FUNCTIONAL FAMILY. TOO FEW FUNCTIONAL FAMILIES EXIST IN TODAYS SOCIETY.
~The text book knowledge is only foundational to experience.~
TRUE TO A DEGREE. IF THE PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE IS BASED ON GITTERDUN TECH. KATEY BAR THE DOOR, YOU MAY BE PERPETUATING INCOMPETENCE. Posted via Mobile Device
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Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 02:22 PM
After a while, I really never cared. I tried to be a "guy" with my employees and was taken advantage of 'cause I was so easy going.Over the years, it was "screw you, little twirps, if you can't handle it and be honest , go elsewhere, now."

Duekster
05-26-2012, 02:36 PM
People who think they know it all; pisses off those of us that do :laugh:

Honestly, there was a manager at a distributors office telling me yesterday, how much more complicated Irrigation has become. Outside of the control technology, hydraulics have not really changed.

Funny part, every time I think I have seen it all, something jumps up and proves wrong.

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 02:42 PM
I've worked for many contractors in various gigs whose expertise and wisdom I respected. I kept my mouth shut and learned the trade. Easy as that. :dancing:

Duekster
05-26-2012, 02:52 PM
100% self taught / book learning with the exceptions of what I have picked up being around others in the industry. I have never worked under or for another irrigation company or irrigator.
Weird right.

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 02:58 PM
I have never worked under or for another irrigation company or irrigator.
Weird right.

Me neither, I taught myself the irrigation trade, had some great advice, bothered the REPS and the branch, did my research, and became a sprinkler guy. I had a plant background, but any gig is not a big deal if you've got the passion.

Duekster
05-26-2012, 03:05 PM
Me neither, I taught myself the irrigation trade, had some great advice, bothered the REPS and the branch, did my research, and became a sprinkler guy. I had a plant background, but any gig is not a big deal if you've got the passion.

One thing I would like to see and learn is some of the tricks of the trade on install jobs. I have done it, they worked great. No call back, no complaints but we were too slow to be competitive. I did see one of the install guys using a plow.... I think they could work in some areas of town but not sold yet.

I always wanted to sell and install the near perfect job. I often would have more in equipment/materials than some sold complete installs. I gave up and focused more on repairs. Mostly a maintenance company anyway, with commerical accounts you have to be able to do repairs and such so... :waving:

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 03:38 PM
I always wanted to sell and install the near perfect job. :

You may get damn close on the smaller systems, but on megas, there is ALWAYS something you could have thought out and done better if you'd not had everyone breathing down your neck. :cry:

1idejim
05-26-2012, 03:41 PM
100% self taught / book learning with the exceptions of what I have picked up being around others in the industry. I have never worked under or for another irrigation company or irrigator.
Weird right.

i am guilty of this method of education, trial and error, learn by your mistakes, follow the path of common sense. that's all great if it's on your own dime and not the general publics. i watch a ton of videos and read a manual a week

1idejim
05-26-2012, 03:52 PM
High quality irrigation techs aren't born or made.....they are forged.
I've seen plenty of techs whose experience is basically the first year repeated 20 times over.
That's what's good about doing different jobs, like your tree work. It gives you a different perspective about how to approach things. Gotta be more meticulous and safety minded sometimes. Translates well into the irrigation service industry.
And you're already "hoss" status. You've got people that respect you and are willing to give you good advice that you will listen to without letting your ego get in the way.
That's the real difference between those that will always be hacks and those that will become true craftsman.
Wow, pretty good rant from an old tired drunk guy. :laugh:

sprinkus my friend, you're not that old........nice rant Thumbs Up

Duekster
05-26-2012, 03:52 PM
i am guilty of this method of education, trial and error, learn by your mistakes, follow the path of common sense. that's all great if it's on your own dime and not the general publics. i watch a ton of videos and read a manual a week

I studied the IA Auditor text, flew to SC and took the test. Could not find anyone local that would supervise my audit. I have also taken the TAMU version twice. The first time was before the watersense accepted it.

I really wish TCEQ would allow a little more cross over to landscape management, maybe 8 hours of the 24 CEU's required.I get tired of taking the same pesticide and Irrigation classes.

Tom Tom
05-26-2012, 04:01 PM
kLquGAT7Pqg

that guy is a doofus, he says at the end...."we just changed out a diaphragm on a solenoid"

whats he gonna do next, start replacing carburetor belts?

I'm prolly more of a doofus wasting 11 minutes watching that long arse video that should have been compressed into 20 seconds.

Happy weekend :drinkup:

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 04:02 PM
As far as I'm concerned, plant knowledge is a given for proper irrigation. Cripes, I ended up knowing more about plants and their needs than my LA, who I ended up going toe-to-toe with about his designs. :hammerhead:

Duekster
05-26-2012, 04:17 PM
As far as I'm concerned, plant knowledge is a given for proper irrigation. Cripes, I ended up knowing more about plants and their needs than my LA, who I ended up going toe-to-toe with about his designs. :hammerhead:

What exactly do they teach LA's anyway? It seems more like general design school to me.

Kiril
05-26-2012, 05:09 PM
As far as I'm concerned, plant knowledge is a given for proper irrigation. Cripes, I ended up knowing more about plants and their needs than my LA, who I ended up going toe-to-toe with about his designs. :hammerhead:

Plant, soils, and water ..... and how they all related to one another. Without at least a solid foundation in those areas you are poking your peeter into a hole in the wall at the gas station on the corner.

Duekster
05-26-2012, 05:17 PM
Plant, soils, and water ..... and how they all related to one another. Without at least a solid foundation in those areas you are poking your peeter into a hole in the wall at the gas station on the corner.

Would you be so kind as send this statement to TCEQ so we can explore other options for CEU's for Irrigation. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) (MC-178), P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087. TCEQ’s web site is: www.tceq.state.tx.us
Thanks

:dancing:

Kiril
05-26-2012, 05:27 PM
Already ran off one of those yahoos from the site. He couldn't stand the heat of reason. :laugh:

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 05:51 PM
Worked with a lot of designers who understood plant placement according to water/sun/shade needs, but NEVER a L.A. They have their own little self-absorbed, self-important personas. Like we are way down on the totem pole compared to them, screw 'um. :hammerhead:

Duekster
05-26-2012, 06:08 PM
I worked with only one via a large project. The whole thing was a cluster. Sadly a lot of fairly high profile folks in our area were on that project.

As a result I have seen a lot of the same designs around now. There are improvements. Granted, this project is now 7 years old so lots learned. I am now the longest standing Joe on the site.

Having said that, he was cool, real nice too but not much help on technical stuff even if he was the owners rep. I think he just wanted off the job after a few years.

He was big on mirco-climates and holistic design.

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 06:20 PM
He was big on micro-climates and holistic design.

Nothing wrong with either, any of you guys read "Secret Life Of Plants" or "Secret Life of Soil"? That being said, with heads on 5' centers and enough zones, in plantings, I can water anything, and have. :cool2:

Duekster
05-26-2012, 06:42 PM
Nothing wrong with either, any of you guys read "Secret Life Of Plants" or "Secret Life of Soil"? That being said, with heads on 5' centers and enough zones, in plantings, I can water anything, and have. :cool2:

One or two of those on a 25 AC site and you made enough to buy a motor home to pull a trencher. :rolleyes:

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 06:52 PM
One or two of those on a 25 AC site and you made enough to buy a motor home to pull a trencher. :rolleyes:

Hey piker; the high rollers have a coach which holds the trenchers and crew. Another coach for the principal, wife and dog. One has alcohol on board , the other does not. :rolleyes:

Duekster
05-26-2012, 06:56 PM
Hey piker; the high rollers have a coach which holds the trenchers and crew. Another coach for the principal, wife and dog. One has alcohol on board , the other does not. :rolleyes:

Guess which one I want to be on :weightlifter:

greenmonster304
05-26-2012, 07:12 PM
I find it very frustrating when talking to the local LA's about proper design. It seems like all they care about is price even if it compromises the project. There was on project that comes to mind that was next door to a place I work at. Over the past 2 years they demoed the house and re-did the landscape. This is a 3 acre +/- property on the ocean in southampton ny, big money. They had a well known LA do the design and he hires one installer exclusively. But the thing that pisses me off is along the road outside the privet hedge the sprinklers spray 4' into the road. And I spoke to the lawn cutting company and they say there is nothing but problems with the watering. I can't understand with the money these people have why the system sucks so bad. I have taken over sites that this company installed and they put #7 hunter nozzles in every head and throw water into plantings from the lawn instead of a dedicated zone.
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1idejim
05-26-2012, 07:27 PM
Guess which one I want to be on :weightlifter:

the one with the dog?
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greenmonster304
05-26-2012, 07:36 PM
Hey piker; the high rollers have a coach which holds the trenchers and crew. Another coach for the principal, wife and dog. One has alcohol on board , the other does not. :rolleyes:

i have been wondering who makes the chassis under those sleds?

Mike Leary
05-26-2012, 07:51 PM
i have been wondering who makes the chassis under those sleds?

That's a GMC/Chev "P-30" chassis, modified to Airstream specs for the extra weight of the coach and the diesel. When the diesel was being considered, in the late seventies, no one had built a small-block (400 cu) diesel that worked worth a damn, so GM bought a piece of Isuzu, which were (are) famous for fishing boats and stationary applications, turbo-charged it and had the first diesel-powered m.h. on the road. The trans and rear end were Chev, though we have a "hot rod" Allison trans w/overdrive in her now. What a coach: "Bess".

1idejim
05-26-2012, 07:58 PM
that guy is a doofus, he says at the end...."we just changed out a diaphragm on a solenoid"

whats he gonna do next, start replacing carburetor belts?

I'm prolly more of a doofus wasting 11 minutes watching that long arse video that should have been compressed into 20 seconds.

Happy weekend :drinkup:

sadly people believe this guy. :confused:

1idejim
05-28-2012, 01:08 AM
perfect example of miss-information http://sprinklertalk.com/wbb/index.php?page=Thread&postID=17488#post17488

jvanvliet
05-28-2012, 08:58 AM
Originally Posted by jvanvliet
~Only way is to train them yourself~, YOU ARE ASSUMING THAT THE EMPLOYER KNOWS WHAT HE'S DOING. TOO OFTEN THE BLIND ARE BEING LEAD BY THE VISUALLY CHALLANGED. ~Too many "Hoss's" have a hire and fire often Harvard MBA mentality. Hiring talent is like hiring a pig in a poke. And everytime you've got to start from scratch.~ I AGREE BUT STARTING FROM SCRATCH IS OFTEN BETTER THAN RETRAINING SOMEONE THAT MAY BECOME RESENTFUL AND DO THINGS HIS WAY WHEN UNSUPERVISED FOR SPITE.~

If you want it done your way and to your standards hire a cherrie and treat and teach him like family.~
THAT THEORY WORKS BETTER IF YOU HAVE A FUNCTIONAL FAMILY. TOO FEW FUNCTIONAL FAMILIES EXIST IN TODAYS SOCIETY.~The text book knowledge is only foundational to experience.~
TRUE TO A DEGREE. IF THE PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE IS BASED ON GITTERDUN TECH. KATEY BAR THE DOOR, YOU MAY BE PERPETUATING INCOMPETENCE.

REMEMBER THE PRICE THEY PAID :usflag:

In cascading order of response.

1: This is the way it works for my firm, but we are not a by definition "large" service company. 9 employees and an ogre.

2: Employees being resentful and insubordinate has been a minor problem in the past. They don't work for me anymore; we will start from scratch with another cherry.

3: We have a functional a family such as it is. We know birthdays, anniversaries, children's names and have regular "family gatherings". We pay bonuses on jobs completed under budget at the end of the year. The men, tech or not feel that they belong.

4. Book knowledge is important, one cannot not disregard experience. I would rather have someone with a lot of on (my) site experience, common sense and a good amount of book knowledge than someone all book knowledge.

I agree there are certain fundamental facts as it relates to irrigation hydraulics and mechanics that are empirical and must be understood in order to be an effective tech. My experience has been that the guy who is all book is often inflexible when flexibility is a requirement. One can't make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. There are a lot of pig ear systems down here. ;)

However, at least in SE Florida, irrigation remains as much an art as it is a science.

Mikegyver
05-29-2012, 04:07 PM
kLquGAT7Pqg
I got a good laugh at that one...but how about this comment below!!!!

Excellent video, thanks. Question: I have a fancy back flow, brass flush out valve, how come your's looks a lot simpler and probably much cheaper. I'm in Colorado so perhaps that's why it's brass?

Reply
Sounds like yours is better. My new house has backflow protectors, but the old one didn't need them.

Mikegyver
05-29-2012, 04:10 PM
that guy is a doofus, he says at the end...."we just changed out a diaphragm on a solenoid"

whats he gonna do next, start replacing carburetor belts?

I'm prolly more of a doofus wasting 11 minutes watching that long arse video that should have been compressed into 20 seconds.

Happy weekend :drinkup:
LOL...exactly the way I felt.

Mdirrigation
06-01-2012, 09:33 PM
The best tec to send out is the one with the least experience . Thats whats happening around here , 1 or 2 days training and send them out and bill the regular hourly rate , the owners dont care if it thaes a guy 3 hours to change a head , they are billing for it . Why train a guy on your dime , when the customer will pay for on the job training .

Last week during an install , a kid working for one of the largest companies around here changed 5 heads on a zone cause they were leaking , (weeping valve ) He came up to me and wanted help ( he thought I worked for the same company ) . The customer walked over while he was talking to me . (Kid was 19 or 20 customer was my age 50)
The customer also thought I was with the same company , I told the customer , sorry no , I am the owner of my company I could help this young man but that would be counter productive since he doesnt have a clue and I am not getting paid to teach him .BUT I do know whats wrong with your system , your heads were fine and didnt need replacing . I can take care of the Problem for $ 150 . I could hear the valve leaking water by , showed the customer and fixed it in 20 minutes . He refused to pay their bill .

Mike Leary
06-01-2012, 10:05 PM
I could hear the valve leaking water by , showed the customer and fixed it in 20 minutes . He refused to pay their bill .

Justice!......:clapping::drinkup::waving: