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Dispatches from the COVID-19 Financial Front

 
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 08:39 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

OK, slick, explain how "remote" plumbing will work.

You really should engage your brain before slipping the clutch on you mouth (or in this case, the keyboard).

And like I said in my previous post, you should put your mind to the task of solving a problem before ridiculing others for suggesting it can be solved.

To answer your question about remote plumbing, I could explain it in detail but I won't because this is the internet and anything I mention would promote certain products;

but suffice it to say that people can indeed do their own plumbing and anyone who has tried would know which aspects of it are more and less difficult and what the hurdles are in terms of tools and skills.
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 08:45 am
@livinglava,
livinglava wrote:

No all imaginable solutions end up being viable, but you don't know that until you put them on the drawing board and figure out what bugs there might be to iron out.

Plumbers, carpenters, etc. can work remotely by coaching and walking people through skilled tasks in their own homes. If an experienced worker tells you step-by-step what to do to fix your own problem, it will get fixed that way.


Ok and how do the home owners get the expensive equipment and machinery that you need in these skilled professions? And you really think that an unskilled home owner would be capable of fixing a complex plumbing problem even while being guided? If that were the case everyone would just fix their issues via a youtube video. That is how I handle simple repairs or any other issue I have. I just handled an issue with the computer via a youtube video - but I sure as h*ll am not going to have the mold removed from my house via this sort of guidance. Sorry but we did hire and will have a professional mold remover come in and take care of it even during this crisis.

There are some things that you leave to the professionals. Even legally there are some things that are required to have repaired by a licensed professional so that us unskilled people do not blow up our homes or repair other things that could potentially cause a fire or make our homes unsafe.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 08:47 am
@livinglava,
Bullsh*t. What do you do if he tells you that you need an offset pipe wrench? What do you do if he tells you that you need a compound leverage wrench? What do you do if he tells you that you need to solder a joint? What will you answer if he asks you if you have a snake?

You're just dancing now because, as is almost always the case, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.
livinglava
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 08:59 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

Ok and how do the home owners get the expensive equipment and machinery that you need in these skilled professions?

It depends what it is. It could be possible to rent such equipment by selling it online and having it delivered and then refunding part of the purchase price depending on the condition of it when returned.

Quote:
And you really think that an unskilled home owner would be capable of fixing a complex plumbing problem even while being guided? If that were the case everyone would just fix their issues via a youtube video. That is how I handle simple repairs or any other issue I have. I just handled an issue with the computer via a youtube video -
Right, so the question is how much further can this form of remote skill-transfer be taken. I find that often when I use a Youtube video to learn a skill, I have to watch it multiple times and there are question I have where it would be useful to be able to videochat with the person who made the video, so there is a market for interactive consulting, but of course if you are corresponding with someone about what you know, they might be able to send you a video suggestion or otherwise give you advice without going live with you right away.

Quote:
but I sure as h*ll am not going to have the mold removed from my house via this sort of guidance. Sorry but we did hire and will have a professional mold remover come in and take care of it even during this crisis.

So what exactly does a professional mold remover do that you can't?

Quote:
There are some things that you leave to the professionals. Even legally there are some things that are required to have repaired by a licensed professional so that us unskilled people do not blow up our homes or repair other things that could potentially cause a fire or make our homes unsafe.

Well, a lot of those regulations assume that people are doing the work in the absence of supervision by a licensed professional; and they also assumed that there was no pandemic virus lockdown to deter people from unnecessary physical interaction in the same indoor area.
livinglava
 
  -4  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 09:00 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Bullsh*t. What do you do if he tells you that you need an offset pipe wrench? What do you do if he tells you that you need a compound leverage wrench? What do you do if he tells you that you need to solder a joint? What will you answer if he asks you if you have a snake?

You're just dancing now because, as is almost always the case, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Why don't you figure out what kind of soap is best for washing out your dirty mouth and what kind of yoga or whatever you can use to chill out and have a civilized conversational tone instead of barking aggressively?
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 09:53 am
@livinglava,
I don't own a circular saw and I ain't buying one right now. I also don't own specialized plumbing equipment and, again, that's not in my budget today or ever.

And, BTW, I'm working through all of this. I hire professionals to do stuff correctly and efficiently (and up to code, too) and because I don't have the time to do so.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 09:55 am
It's often cheaper to pay a high fee to a professional than to do it yourself. Quicker too. When my car needs almost anything at all, I pay my mechanic. It runs so much better and for a longer time.
livinglava
 
  -4  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 10:01 am
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

I don't own a circular saw and I ain't buying one right now. I also don't own specialized plumbing equipment and, again, that's not in my budget today or ever.

And, BTW, I'm working through all of this. I hire professionals to do stuff correctly and efficiently (and up to code, too) and because I don't have the time to do so.

Being dead-set against doing your own work isn't going to get the work done unless you can get someone to come out to do your work for you, and if you can get the money to pay them.

I have been discussing DIY for years and there are always people who just dig in their heels against it because they like specialization and paying people a lot to do their work for them, and of course they always want more money to afford that.

The reality is that the more you do for yourself, the more you have left over to spend on the things you pay others to do for you.

Economic life is ALWAYS a combination of doing things yourself and paying others to help you. We cannot do everything ourselves and we could never afford to have other people do everything for us (nor would that be a good thing).

This coronalockdown just provides that much more of an incentive for people to do their own work and, if they need to, get supervision from experienced people. Doing so would be a good use of remote IT-based problem-solving.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  4  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 10:10 am
@livinglava,
Quote:
So what exactly does a professional mold remover do that you can't?


I do not have access to the chemicals needed during this process - not only do they remove anything impacted by the mold - they treat the entire basement.

They so things such as creating negative air pressure so that mold spores and dust is not blown into other parts of the house that are not contaminated by mold. They use blowers and dehumidifiers to dry up or reduce moisture in moldy areas and use vacuums with HEPA filters all these sorts of things I do not have and would take time and more money to acquire - I also do not know how to use these and even with him walking me through - which I would need to spend money on for him to direct me what to do - which would likely take much more time as cost more money for his time spent.

And likely I would still screw something up - might make myself sick and may not get all the mold up.

So I would end up spending more money, take more time and likely leave mold spores behind even if I could get the proper equipment and chemicals - so why wouldn't I hire him? He can walk right through the bulkhead in the basement and I have no contact with him?

What you say is plain old stupid and you are just doing this because you are bored.
Linkat
 
  4  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 10:16 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

It's often cheaper to pay a high fee to a professional than to do it yourself. Quicker too. When my car needs almost anything at all, I pay my mechanic. It runs so much better and for a longer time.


Yes typically hiring a professional is best for those reasons you mention. Unless it is something basic.

Also you are helping out the economy - you are hiring locals during this tough time so supporting the local economy. And many of these professionals you can have limited contact with.... I had my oil changed recently - it needed it. I called my mechanic down the street and he said he was twiddling his thumbs so come on down - I dropped the car off - left the key on the counter and kept my distance.

He took care of the car - I went back and picked it up - if I changed my oil myself - I would make a mess and then have no where to dispose of the old oil. Our local dump is not taking anything right now except regular trash due to this virus.

I would have to wait longer to get the new oil, make sure I have the right tools and then buy the tools - and take lots more time - in the end I would spend more money for all these products - would take longer and I would probably make an environmental mess with the oil. Instead he got it done much more economically and did it right which is most important.

Many people have tried to do more complex things themselves, end up making a bigger mess out of it and then it costs them more money to have a professional come back and fix it right.
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  -4  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 10:17 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

Quote:
So what exactly does a professional mold remover do that you can't?


I do not have access to the chemicals needed during this process - not only do they remove anything impacted by the mold - they treat the entire basement.

They so things such as creating negative air pressure so that mold spores and dust is not blown into other parts of the house that are not contaminated by mold. They use blowers and dehumidifiers to dry up or reduce moisture in moldy areas and use vacuums with HEPA filters all these sorts of things I do not have and would take time and more money to acquire - I also do not know how to use these and even with him walking me through - which I would need to spend money on for him to direct me what to do - which would likely take much more time as cost more money for his time spent.

And likely I would still screw something up - might make myself sick and may not get all the mold up.

So I would end up spending more money, take more time and likely leave mold spores behind even if I could get the proper equipment and chemicals - so why wouldn't I hire him? He can walk right through the bulkhead in the basement and I have no contact with him?

What you say is plain old stupid and you are just doing this because you are bored.

I'm just a person who starts by figuring out how to do something and only then begins looking at the reasons not to do it myself.

I think you are right to be concerned about the health risks posed by the mold.

That said, as difficult as it might be you could consider talking with an expert about how to go about doing it yourself in a safe way, if you can find someone who is willing to consult you in a way that doesn't just try to discourage you into hiring a professional, which is what many professionals do as it is their business to get the job for themselves, not teach you how to take their job away from them.

But in general I see it like this: a couple generations back people did just about everything for themselves. So if there was mold back then the same as there is now, what did people do about it? Did they clean it out themselves and just get sick and die? Did they abandon their house and find someplace new to live? I'm not suggesting that the answers to these questions are what you should do but they will give you some more food for thought in designing a solution to your problem.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2020 10:18 am
On the financial front - Fidelity announced it is hiring another 2k people. For some reason during this crisis people are opening more accounts with them.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2020 07:02 am
@Linkat,
We've gotten more people interested in our services (they have the time to check), but prospects don't always translate into sales, of course.

The Commerce Department's preliminary report showed retail sales in March dropped 8.7 percent. Given that groceries and the like had huge increases in demand, and there was such an overall offset, the losses in retail for places like clothing stores are of course higher than that. Plus, with the patchwork of closures, this isn't the end of it.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/business/stock-market-covid-coronavirus.html

FYI, here's the definition of a depression:
Investopedia wrote:
A depression is a severe and prolonged downturn in economic activity. In economics, a depression is commonly defined as an extreme recession that lasts three or more years or which leads to a decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 10 percent. in a given year. Depressions are relatively less frequent than milder recessions, and tend to be accompanied by high unemployment and low inflation.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/depression.asp

So it's too early to claim it's a depression. But it's looking an awful lot like a recession is on the horizon.
Investopedia wrote:
The NBER defines a recession as a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/recession.asp

NBER = National Bureau of Economic Research
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2020 07:18 am
livinglava wrote:
The reality is that the more you do for yourself, the more you have left over to spend on the things you pay others to do for you.

Right. Like paying a plumber or mold mitigation contractor. Think if I had to pay a valet to pick out my outfits, help me dress, and tie my shoes — every day! The money I've saved by not having domestic help allows me to pay for other professional services when needed.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2020 07:36 am
I am paid well for being a good engineer. I do set up my own linux server and network on my own. If I did my own plumbing.... I guarantee you it would not save any money, it would likely end up costing a lot more than what a plumber would charge.

A while ago my daughter wanted to have her hair dyed. I actually told her we should go a a salon... but she insisted. So we looked it up on the Internet, bought supplies and started with the bleach.

Short story short... we ended up at a hair salon on a Sunday morning, and paid a premium because we didn't have time to comparison shop for the best price. (It was expensive, but the purple hair my daughter wanted ended up looking awesome). But we would have saved a fair amount of money if we skipped the software engineer dad pretending to be hair stylist step.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2020 07:36 am
We each have to determine the level of help needed. For instance, if one is in the late 70s in age and does not see well, one naturally messes up more than the younger and fully sighted, therefore needs more help.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2020 08:44 am
@maxdancona,
And it depends on the complexity, your own personal skills - some people might have a natural talent with working with hair or are more mechanically inclined - the risk involved and the potential additional cost if you screw up (for example if you felt inclined to fix a minor drip, you have little or no diy skills - and the little drip could end up being a flood in your home if you screw up).
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2020 12:00 pm
@Linkat,
I do as little as possible that doesn't involve a keyboard.

I don't cut my own hair or change my own oil or plant my own vegetables or raise my own beef. As Clint Eastwood put it, "a man's got to know his limitations."
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2020 12:12 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I do as little as possible that doesn't involve a keyboard.

I don't cut my own hair or change my own oil or plant my own vegetables or raise my own beef. As Clint Eastwood put it, "a man's got to know his limitations."


And sometimes your time spent not doing it is worth it. If you make $100 an hour on a keyboard; does it make sense for you to spend a day doing some repair work at home when you can hire someone to do it for $200? You would lose $600 in salary. Basic economic principal of opportunity cost.

maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Wed 15 Apr, 2020 12:23 pm
@Linkat,
It isn't just the time... it is the skill. I don't know how to fix my car.

Remember the old joke; hitting your engine with a wrench to make it work again costs 5 cents. The knowledge of where to hit... that costs $200.

A while ago I called a guy to fix my furnace. He must have been down there for 10 minutes (he probably fixed it in 5). I paid him the agreed upon amount, and it was worth every penny. Some of that money was for his trip over, but what I was really paying for was his expertise. He knew how to fix my furnace. I didn't have a clue.

0 Replies
 
 

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