The Fechino Files: So Much Has Changed

Words: Steven Fechino

Steven Fechino

My buddy is a mason contractor near me and is having the same issues with hiring folks as everyone else. Last month he hired a 23-year-old young person who was to start on the following Monday. Well, Monday came and gone, and on Thursday he finally made contact with the new hire and was told by the new hire that he was going to wait for two months until his unemployment ran out before he was going to go to work. Now, that is just wrong every way you look at it.  

You can work, learn something, and have self-respect in your accomplishments. Then, I was traveling recently and stopped to pick up a cup of coffee at a Mcdonald’s, the dining room was closed because they did not have employees to man it. The thing that really got me was the sign at the drive-thru $500.00 quarterly retention bonus. Now, I like to work because it is easy to do, I never sat still as a kid and I do not do it well now, so I work. A retention bonus?  You must be so desperate to offer such a thing. What have we come to as a society?  Guess the folks that work like us will be paying for this lazy behavior for a long time to come.

Our trade is by far the best. Ever notice that lazy and masonry are not usually two words used in the same sentence? It is because the industry is filled with the most dedicated, respectful, and hard-working individuals. The World of Concrete was early last month, and it was held in Las Vegas. Set up is typically performed the week before the show and the show continues into the second week for three days. This year we were at the Las Vegas Convention Center Silver Lot. It usually takes about 40 folks from all across the country to set up the SPEC MIX Bricklayer 500, The Fastest Trowel, and the MCAA Skills Challenge, the three main events for the masonry industry. 

To say it was hot this year would be accurate, some commented on the heat, but I did not hear a single complaint. We had a job to do, we had a time frame to have it completed, and we all got on it. Learning to work with mortar in Las Vegas with a drier and less humid environment, typically around 12% humidity was a new experience for those that traveled from the east where humidity can range from 50 to 70%.  

It was challenging but worthy of our invested time and money. Our show this year did not have big attendee numbers that are typical for this show, but the folks that attended were decision-makers.  We need to remember that supporting the Mason Contractors Association of America, World of Concrete, other manufacturers, and all of the training programs across the country is what keeps our trade strong.  If you chose not to attend this June, please consider making the trip next January.

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