My disgust with Vendors runs deep.  By vendors I mean anyone who provides FM'ers with services under the auspices of saving them the trouble of having to do the work themselves.  Obviously with salesmen who, if they had any morals at all, wouldn't be salesmen.  But also with architects, Engineers, service departments, and even business owners themselves.  I have come a long way in realizing how few knowledgable vendors there actually are out there.  
At first I was naive enough to believe that when you hire a vendor, you are hiring an "expert" in the field who will not only perform the duties you have contracted to do, but also act in a way as a consultant, to help you understand the various codes and requirements and to help steer you in the right direction.  To perform all tasks in full compliance all the while making your job easier by giving you more time to do other pain in the ass tasks.  I couldn't have been more wrong.
One of the first big disappointments I experienced was with fire sprinkler system inspectors.  You would think that anyone claiming to be able to service sprinkler systems would practically have to sleep with a copy of NFPA 25 under their pillow, however, I have yet to come across a sprinkler vendor who reads, not to mention, understands NFPA 25.  One who can explain to me what a supervisory device is and what the requirements for testing them are.  I cannot seem to find a sprinkler vendor who understands the requirements for a pre-action system operational test and the required documentation associated with the test (despite the fact that there are several samples of these provided in the Annex section to 25).  The blank stares I have often receive when asking about a full flow trip test to many of these vendors makes me want to quit my job as an FM'er and become a vendor myself, just so I can be the only MF'er that knows WTF they are looking at. 
Upon taking over the FM duties at one facility I spent some time reviewing past sprinkler inspection sheets from the vendor we were currently using.  Aside from having a handmade inspection form I wouldn't use to wipe the fermented sweat from my balls, I noticed there were several discrepancies with the inspection results.  For one thing, the main drain test full flow pressure was higher than the static pressure.  WTF?  I questioned the resident plumber about the results and he seemed to indicate this was the "way we always did it" and "we never had a problem before".  I get that a lot. Drives me fucking BANANAS.  Anyway the next time the vendor was in to test the system I followed him and the plumber to our dry-pipe system and asked him to explain to me how the system works.  After listening to a few lines of BS I interrupted, "You're full of shit."  The vendor looked at me, astonished both by my vulgar language and the fact that I might question his authorita on these extremely sophisticated and complex systems with which he was a certified expert.  "You're full of shit," I repeated.  Even the plumber had to look at me with one eye cocked.  "You're telling me that if you open that valve, water is going to come out?"  "That's right" he said.  "But I wouldn't do it unless you are off-line because the alarms will ring and the fire department will come.  You'll also trip the system and have to spend all afternoon draining it"  he generously elaborated.  "Are you willing to bet your contract on that?" I asked.  At this he perked up a bit.  He had to think about this for a moment, tracing out the system with his hand and whispering to himself as though he were solving some complex mathematical problem.  "Yep" he finally answered.  "Go ahead" I said to the plumber.  "What?  Are you sure?"  He was amazed I had the audacity to question authorita.  I nodded.  The plumber opened the valve slowly, shoulders raised and looking away wincing like it might explode.  And........nothin.  Nothing happened.  Both the plumber and vendor looked at each other.  "You can finish your inspection if you want, or not, doesn't matter.  Don't come back for any more inspections.  Thank you."  Except he did come back and finished inspecting almost all of the buildings on our grounds before I had to inform him, again, that he no longer worked for us and would not be getting paid for his day's services.  I'm sure he somehow blames me for this.  I must have rigged something (I didn't) or I'm just an arrogant shithead (I am) who doen't understand the in's and out's of today's complicated systems (I don't). 
In some ways I feel bad for people like inspector dumbshit.  I'm sure, as was explained to me, that he really had "always done it this way" and never did "have a problem before."  So why would he take the trouble to see if he was doing thing's right.  I will discuss my problem with AHJ's at a later time.  The bottom line is I look forward to hiring "experts" perform testing and provide accurate, sensible reports with the ability to elaborate on the procedure or purpose without having to look it up, and be able TO look it up if they did have to.  Most of them cannot.  This goes for our trusted architects and Engineers as well.  I can't count how many times I have found that they had "rubber stamped" submittals and/or are working with the wrong edition of the LIfe Safety code.  These are respected experts in their fields, and nothing more than stuffed shirts.  It absolutely sickens me to my core and after many many MANY times of dealing with the same incompetencies, I am pooped.  I must succumb to the ignoramous and settle on doing the work myself.  The cost is too great for non-compliance.
If you are a vendor reading this don't get all bent out of shape and send me hate mail or post petty comments.  There's a chance you may be one of the few vendors who actually does a good job.  More likely you're just too stupid to realize how stupid you are.  So don't take this personally.  Just pack your bags and get the F out of my facility.  I'll do it myself.  PTB.

Your comment will be posted after it is approved.

Leave a Reply.