I choose to nod
I was on the Number 6 New York City subway train the other day when I spotted a billboard that read, “Cynics may shake their heads, but cynics never really do much anyway – except shake their heads.” I like that.
I like that because it’s January and anything seems possible during January. This is when the hawk comes screaming down from
I read in the newspapers that
You don’t have to participate in this recession either, unless you’re a cynic, of course. Then you’ll probably want to take part in this craziness, perhaps even revel in this. It’s just not for me.
This January brings us a new administration and I’m happy to see it, especially since our new president is talking about making all of these government buildings more energy efficient. What a big, juicy plum that is! I see such opportunity for all of us who are in the business of keeping people warm and safe. And I imagine that some of this coming work will involve more than just heating equipment. Much of the money will probably go to weatherization, and there’s no reason you can’t be involved in that business too. It may be time to examine how you go to market, and how you present yourself to the world.
I also think that much of the coming work will involve fixing older heating systems, and many of these systems run on steam. This is a fine time to get up to speed on things like steam traps, how to balance the venting of air from an old steam system, and how to select and properly pipe a replacement steam boiler.
I was in a luxury apartment building in
Now think of all the big government buildings all across
I think this is the very best time to be in this business. All the planets are aligning and I’m smiling. There is absolutely no reason to participate in this recession unless you really want to, and I mentioned that on The Wall at HeatingHelp.com recently. Steamhead, one of the guys who regularly visit our site, wrote that he and his partner, Gordon, had just finished a job in
Dave Brunnell from Amboy,
There is a time a place for the application of new, high-tech condensing boilers. However, I also have many projects where I made relatively minor upgrades to the system, leaving the existing equipment in place, and properly tuning it. I’ve seen savings of 20-to-40 percent. Payback on the investment came in less than two months for one of these jobs, and we just about eliminated all the issues of unbalanced heating. I am in the middle of two other projects that are very likely to demonstrate this same pattern. Getting our old systems working properly can result in enormous energy savings with a small investment. I am also looking into taking full advantage of this low-hanging fruit in the near future.”
See? Dave isn’t participating in the recession either.
Then Mike, another regular visitor, wrote, “We, as a nation, in government buildings, businesses, as well as in our homes, could do a lot to conserve energy with very little investment. I teach part-time at a
And as I mentioned, the planets are aligning. It is a mighty fine time to be in this recession-proof business of ours. At least I think so.
But on the other hand, I can always use some yin to my yang, so lets hear from some cynics. Here’s Scot:
“Stop dreaming. Don't forget they are all politicians! They lie to their families, so why should they tell us the truth? You can't change politicians, and you can't change D.C. They are hand in hand corrupt and wasteful. Regardless of who is in office, the waste will continue and we will continue to pay.
Nice yin, don’t you think? But wait, there’s more. Here’s Ron:
“It's deja vu all over again. Like a reread of 1933 – massive public works programs, with massive numbers of new folks on the public (and taxpayer-financed-private) payroll, a huge increase in bureaucrats, and more regulations to screw up even more that which was already screwed up. The economy and the country, were worse off in 1937 than they were in 1933. It took a war to turn things around.
“Proposals to upgrade government buildings must be taken with a five-pound bag of course salt. Gold-plated specs will be passed out to lots of contractors. The contractor they accept will be the one with the best connections (read dollars contributed) or a qualified minority. He or she, like many of the others, will lowball the price (still three times what it's worth) and make a killing off the change orders.
“When it is done and the first year is gone, government clones will take over. Their idea of preventive maintenance is to wait for the last backup to fail and then let their fingers do the walking. They’ll call a contractor who will charge top dollar for the special parts (the government hates off-the-shelf stuff), airfreight, and massive amounts of overtime, to make the repair. All on your dime and my dime, times millions.”
So there you have it. Choose your outlook and your attitude. There are two major ones available: Either you see what’s going on right now as a fantastic opportunity, one that will allow you to not participate in this recession, or you can see it as a really nasty thing, one worthy of your contempt.
Shake your head or nod your head. It’s that simple, and it’s your choice.
I choose to nod.