Welcome to government regulation, contractors!

Broken Arrow Family Drug blog

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  • 22 April 2010
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    Welcome to government regulation, contractors!

    Dear Contractors,

    As you already know, the government has decided that they need to place a new mandate on you regarding how to handle remodeling homes that were built before 1978. It seems that fears of possible lead contamination in the paint of these older homes requires immediate action by the government in order to prove that they actually do something. You may believe that your own common sense is enough to handle the situation, but it’s possible that you may take the paint scrapings and inject them into puppies, and the government simply cannot risk more puppies with brain damage.

    As one who has had to deal with multiple new government regulations in the past few years, allow me to give you a primer on what to expect.

    You will be required to take expensive classes on how to properly scrape paint. Yes, I know that you’ve been scraping paint for 30 years, and that you’re no worse for wear, and that none of your customers have complained of brain damage, spasms, or metallic tastes after you’re done. I know that you’ve taken care to not get any paint stains or scrapings on the carpet, else you be fired. None of that matters. You’re not doing it right. And it’s going to cost you.

    You will be required to dispose of the paint shavings ‘properly’. Throwing the scrapings and dust into a heavy-duty contractor’s trash bag will no longer work. We can’t risk having those shavings end up in the landfill, and the lead back in our drinking water. The government is well aware that lead is a naturally-occurring element, and can end up in our drinking water anyway, but SHUT UP ALREADY. WE’RE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, AND WE KNOW BETTER. IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN. YOU DON’T HATE CHILDREN, DO YOU?

    You will be required to fill out all forms documenting proper paint scraping and shaving disposal in triplicate, and keep the forms for 10 years after the house you remodeled has been torn down. Fortunately, you are a contractor, and well suited to add a room onto your own house to store these forms.

    Your customers and the government will be stunned – STUNNED – that the prices you charge will go up in order to compensate for the extra expenses. You see, as an American citizen, the government expects you to follow every mandate without raising your prices to cover the costs. In the magical world of government, you can print your own money, so they don’t get it when you explain that following these mandates will cost money. After all, those same government employees have never held a job in the private sector before, so they’ve never understood that cause/effect thing. And you’re an independent business owner, so you must be rich anyway.

    Eventually, you’ll find out that there is no enforcement agency to make sure that you are following the rules. The government is great at requiring new laws, but lousy at actually funding some department to enforce them. The only time you should be worried is during sweeps week. The local TV station will set up webcams and watch you work on an older home. When you spill some dust while changing the filter in your new, industrial vacuum cleaner (it only costs $10,000!), the crew will rush out of the closet and ask how you feel about causing birth defects in kittens. The EPA will MapQuest Coon Holler, Oklahoma, fly in and arrest you to show how stringently they are working to save the environment.

    Fox News will eventually pick up the story and interview your cousin on Fox and Friends. Please ask him to wear his best overalls.

    You may notice that some of the larger contracting companies will get away with cutting the corners on some of these rules. That’s because they make campaign contributions, and you don’t. If they get busted, it’s nothing that a phone call and a little cash can’t fix.

    Lastly, when you complain about the new rules and the expenses of them, you will be reminded that as an independent business owner, you are rich, and you should “shut up you redneck, Bible-thumping, gun-toting, Palin-loving, tea-bagger.”

    Be prepared.

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