Tyrel Jackson Williams: Hello all. Welcome to another edition of the Wednesdayer. Peter, we were doing good there for a couple weeks but it’s all kind of gone to hell in the past few Wednesdays. Where have you been?
Peter King: Been scrounging for work. Sorry I haven’t had time to be doing your little show here. It’s a feast or famine industry sometime and you gotta be about priorities. You know what priorities are, Charles?
King: Being a contractor is tough. You aren’t just showing up and naming your price. You fix a window and it’s fixed for good. You aren’t getting repeat calls to reglaze or reseal the frame. You’re on to looking at the next job. You’ve got direct costs, indirect costs, contingencies, overhead – and what’s your time worth?
Williams: Well, mine is worth nothing when you don’t show up on Wednesdays and I’m left here holding notes with an empty chair across the table from me.
King: Exactly! Charge a fair price, show up on time, do what you say you’re going to do – it shouldn’t be that hard. But with everyone watching house-flipping shows, tariffs artificially inflating the price of materials, and youtube teaching every millennial hipster how to weld a swing gate on the front of their brewery, it can be a tough time for some of us.
Williams: I have a hard time believing you can’t get work. You’re a national name. Even without The Wednesdayer, I’m sure some other Patriots homers would hire you just for the opportunity to be able to have you inside their homes where they can you show their New England memorabilia and Nazi tattoos.
King: You’d think that but I’m not cheap. Sure, specialized work is almost always in demand because underwater welders and terrazzo tile setters are the left-handed closers of the contracting world. But when you’re talking about installing new plumbing fixtures or patching some drywall, these are handyman tasks. You know how long a contracting expert lasts in a trade area where a journeyman level competitor can cover their scope? 2.57 years.
Williams: Interesting. So what do you do as a qualified veteran in these fields? How do you convince potential clients that you’re worth more than the competition? How do you prove a journeyman is not going to give them the results they want. Yelp? Angie’s List?
King: It’s a delicate dance I’ve been making the last few weeks. You just need to hold out on your price though. It’s your value. Yeah, things may be lean today but you go take that contract for bare-bones pricing and you may miss a lucrative opportunity while you’re over here doing Mr Jones’ guest bathroom renovation for cost. Like I always say, the work is the easy part. It’s everything else that’s a pain in the – hold on. I gotta step out take this call. Potential client, you know.
Williams: Yeah sure I’ll just fill this time alone. No problem. Well, all, so I guess Peter is kind of showing us a little of the more grueling side of his industry. And, uh, I mean we will have to ask when he gets back in but, uh, —
— Door Flies Open —
Alfred Morris: Hey Tyrel, how you doing?
Williams: Oh crap, Alfred, I’m so sorry. I meant to call you when Peter actually showed up today and it just slipped my mind.
Morris: Oh, so you don’t need me to fill in and help you out? Because, if I may ask, where is Peter?
Williams: He stepped out to take a call. Actually, so we have some time, would you like to join us and fill some dead air time?
Morris: Oh yeah man. I gotta admit, I was pretty excited to come talk with you today. You know, in the midst of the Ezekiel Elliot holdout, I scored myself a nice one-year deal with Dallas. So I’m looking for a new place and, now that I know the area better with this being my second time around with the Cowboys, have been looking in some older areas around the Big D where I might want a project house. So I’ve been totally binging on The Wednesdayer while getting my place in SF all — I’m…I’m sorry but I’m getting some feedback here and it’s pretty distracting in my —
Williams: Oh that’s this damn chair. It was Peter’s old one. Said he’d preserved it from his typewriter days. He kept the wood oiled — might be french fry grease, actually — good but the mechanical components are shot. Like this one wheel has no bearings. And then there’s this squeak every time I lean forward if I need to work the board or something so sorry about that.
Morris: Oh man, Is that a George Kasparian executive wingback? I thought I saw the companion desk in one of the offices while I was walking down the hallway! Those things are sweet! The nice thing about the bearings is you can just pop in some replacements available on Amazon but — hey, would you mind if I take a look at the swivel?
Williams: Sure, I guess. I didn’t bring you here to put you to work though.
Morris: Nah man, I love this kind of stuff. Oh yeah, see? I think it’s the aluminum base that causes this connection at the adjustment lever to catch and get all funky. I love these older styles but, insofar as chairs goes, they take a lot more maintenance than what you’d find at OfficeMax these days with all the plastic components. Good thing I always carry my multi-tool because you just gotta scrape off this gunk and tighten any loose — oh yeah, see, the gunk was keeping this washer from settling into place. Lemme just…..yeah, here. Try this out now.
Morris: It’s no problem. I didn’t do anything special here. I snagged a cup of coffee from craft services on my way in so we can just call it square. I just love to do things I love to do — like playing running back in the NFL.
Williams: You aren’t concerned about being relegated to the bench once Zeke gets his contract though?
Morris: Man, I love football. You know how lucky I am to be in the position to mentor a potentially great back? Average running back’s career lasts 2.57 years. I’m a sixth round pick entering my eighth year in the league. Yeah, I think I’m okay holding a clipboard while Zeke takes most of the hits while I put my attention towards building a new deck.
Williams: Wow, I didn’t know you had such a wide array of talents.
Morris: It’s just little honey-do stuff. It’s not like I’m a welder or do asbestos abatement. But I’ve built a few decks and I’m good at it. But, you know, I’m a running back. I’m good for nine or ten touches a game and I’m good at picking up the blitz. That’s where I make my money. This other stuff, I do it because I enjoy creating. I enjoy preserving old structures. I’m not interesting in taking my elderly old neighbor to the bank by overcharging on painting their bathroom. But I’m also not going to shrug off my NFL obligations for, what amounts to be, a hobby.
— Door Flies Open —
King: Ok, sorry about that. Hey, what’s Alfred Morris doing here? Don’t you have some more player negotiations to interfere with, Al?
Morris: I was actually getting on my way, Peter. Tyrel, let me know when we can hang out again. I’d love to talk some more in the future. This place I got a line on in the West End could be a season in itself man. We’re going to be doing everything from plumbing to plaster. But we can talk later. Good to see you guys. Later.
King: Can you believe THIS GUY? Coming in here and messing things up.
Williams: Well I….it’s not important. So how’d that call go, Peter?
King: Oh that guy’s a dick. I’m glad to not be working with him. I mean, I told the guy I’m busy on Wednesdays for this and he said he wouldn’t move his closing date to accommodate. So screw him.
Williams: Should we get back to the agenda I outlined then?
King: You know, I would love to but I’m too distraught. I can’t be doing this today. I’m gonna go grab a flat white and rewatch the Hall of Fame game. See ya later.
Williams: Well, I dunno. If anyone is still out there, we’ll see you next time on The Wednesdayer.
It’s summer and everyone’s out grilling. Are you getting the most out of your meat? You might not be if you aren’t cooking on a Traeger. We want you to join the wood powered pellet grill revolution so sign up to order your brand new grill and be the BBQ master by Labor Day. Just use promo code: PETERKINGTHEWEDNESDAYER at checkout to join the revolution. That’s code PETERKINGTHEWEDNESDAYER at checkout.