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Doing Business With Brothers And Sisters.


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If you needed to employ the services of a tradesman and you had the option of using a brother or sister who is skilled in that trade, would you use their services ahead of someone else in the world?


 


I remember thinking about this when I first came in the truth and discovered how honest the brothers were compared to many I'd dealt with in the world. The answer for me was obvious. Down to this day, I still call on brothers who are plumbers, electricians, handymen, chimney sweeps, etc. whenever I need those services and I know they'll always be honest and fair.


 


That's not to say it's impossible to find anyone who's honest in this world. I still employ worldly strangers when I have a need for their services. But if I can help a brother out who's struggling to find work, I'll give him a go first.


 


Having said that, using a brother or sister is no guarantee that everything will be plain sailing either. I've had one or two bad experiences also, so there have been some lessons learned along the way.


 


If I could, I would like take a poll because I believe the results would be interesting to think about. But in the absence of any ability to take a poll on here, I'd simply be interested to know how you feel about this.


 


You could:


A. Agree


B. Disagree


C. Don't agree or disagree.


 


Depending on the answers you provide, I'll decide whether to elaborate further on my reason for this question.

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A. I agree...I have someone that is taking care of something for us on a regular basis and now that something has been said about there practices on a spiritual level they treat my unbelieving husband and myself differently.  The only reason this bugs me is that my husband hasn't a clue why the brother is treating him that way.  People in general can be sooo immature. ::o

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A.Agree. I prefer to hire a brother or sister but as you said, not everything will always be smooth sailing. Because my husband is an unbeliever I recently hired a worldy person to do our flooring work. I know a brother so does flooring,in fact he just did my parents home, but I was worried that if things didn't go smoothly my husband would find a way to blame him and the fact that he is a Witness. I choose to go with the worldy guy so there couldn't be anything negative to say by my husband against the friends. That being said I hire a local brother to wash our windows, I hate doing it and he does it great and needs the work usually. He is here and gone before my hubby ever gets home so I don't worry about it.

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I agree. Trust being a major factor. This is an imperfect system, that being the case...but what is curious, my husband, not yet in the truth, ( if the facts be known, he may be a long way from it!) nevertheless, his choice is doing business with the friends. Somehow, he feels that connection, and they, bless their hearts, know there is much more at stake then just the job.

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I prefer to hire brothers to do so called "men's" work, but only if I can't do it by myself. 

There were also several bad experiences, so I have one brother to whom I trust and I call him  when I need help. 

He can do any kind of  work, I call him "Andrey-golden hands" and I really thank Jehovah for this brother.  

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Most of the times I would call brothers. But unfortunately I did that already with bad results. Not that the others would do it better. The case is that when the brothers didn't do a good job I didn't have the courage to complain because they where my brothers :o

On the other hand the others made a bad job and I complained till the job was good...

Anyway, all and all, I would call brothers again... But would complain if need be

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Most of the times I would call brothers. But unfortunately I did that already with bad results. Not that the others would do it better. The case is that when the brothers didn't do a good job I didn't have the courage to complain because they where my brothers :o

On the other hand the others made a bad job and I complained till the job was good...

Anyway, all and all, I would call brothers again... But would complain if need be

 

I am a glutton for punishment.  I keep calling brothers who I know or who solicit work thinking that surely it won't happen again.  We needed a roof repair n an old farm house for one of our renters. This brother said he really needed the work and this was "right up his ally"  --home repairs and remodeling.  My husband spoke with him and received a quote --it was not the highest nor was it the least expensive--got 4 quotes and his came in 2nd high.  My husband went ahead and hired him.  We paid him all the money up front to buy materials and do the job.  It was a 7500.00 job from storm damage.  We did this because we were living in LA at the time and had to return home (the house was in Oklahoma).  Two months later our renter called and said he had yet to see the man.  I thought the renter was daffy or wanted to cause problems.  I have no idea why he would say this--the point was I just had so much trust in this brother that I could not believe what the renter was saying.  I called the brother (because I did not want my husband to know and become alarmed)  He told me that he had not had time to get out there!  I said could you have at least informed me where I could tell our renter.  Then he came up with multiple excuses--he had to go in field service on weekends with his family, the DC took three days, and everything seemed t be related to "carry out Jehovah's will".  Very awkward.  Then he said he promised to do it the following week.  Nope.  Didn't happen.  I now was keeping close track to his delays.  Finally the renter told me someone came out to fix it but it was not the one (brother) that we hired.  When I called to ask him about this he said that he was just to busy and he had to sub it out!  My sister in the mean time had just became a witness and he attended her congregation.  She hired him to install a 8 ft privacy fence around her backyard.  She paid all monies up front.  The job was not good.  Fence line uneven and the trim he painted around her roof line and to match her fence was all over the new roof she had installed the year before.  When we went back to visit my husband looked at her fence and the fact that it was less than two months old and had began to warp!  The brother had bought untreated wood yet had charged her for a higher grade of wood.  My husband found a tag on a piece of the lumber and took it to Home Depot and found out the wood was untreated.  The contract said treated wood would be used.  There were several sisters that found out that he was hired by others in the congregation (these were widows and divorcees--and they said they could never get him to complete a job on time--he keep using "service" excuses as to all the delays.  Yet since he was a MS no one would go and tell the elders about all the problems.  Lesson learned? NO.

 

Hired a brother to give a bid on lawn care and cutting back a really overgrown hedge.  My sister said would you give me a comparative quote.  She was kind enough to give him $20.00 for gas to go look.  Even though he does not charge potential customers for estimates (his mother told us this) he took the money without even so much as a thank you.  He did the job and charged her as per his quote.  He did not credit the 20.00 to the work he had done.  We went out to her house (it was to be rented) and found that he had not cut back the hedges or trimmed/edged the flower beds and around the curbs.  He said that he ran out of string for the edger.  He did not have a ladder tall enough to cut the hedge.  Margie asked him to please go back and cut the hedge --it was way to tall--approx 10ft and she wanted it cut down to about 3 ft.  He never did it.  Always "I've been meaning to" or I haven't gotten out that way yet.  Did we ever use him again? No.  Would we recommend him? No.

 

Had a brother install security cameras at the bar.  He said it would be around 300.00.  Then his brother interupted him and said between 300-500.00.  Since it was all labor--no materials to provide I figured it would be on the low side.  They were plug and play cameras--not alot of wiring.  My husband was not able to because of his knee and back problems.  They said they wanted to "help" us any way they could.  I went and bought them both BBQ dinners and gave them a cold beer and it took them less than 3 hrs to complete--and that was even including the time they sat down to eat the dinner we had bought them.  End price?  $450.00.  When they left they said thank you because they did not know if they were going to have enough money to make it down to Texas for the races that weekend but that job made it possible!

 

This same brother (security camera) was helping at the bar and (no longer here--can't afford his help) our customer said that he charged her for a beer--$2.25 then turned around and put $1.25 in the register and a dollar in his tip jar!  She called him on it--"Hey, you just put a dollar in your tip jar"  and he said "I did?" and did not remove it.  He was always coming up short.  Just had to get rid of him.  My husband was not impressed with him.  Rick said a young woman came in late one night -he said she was very attractive and the brother kept staring at her.  She excused herself from the bar and went to the restroom.  The man she was with noticed that the brother kept eyeing her and he said "she's quite a looker, huh?"  He agreed she was "stunning" and the man said she was Miss Playboy/ January 1996 and gave her name.  My husband said he noticed --------- going behind the bar and picking up his ipad and Rick went over to see what he was doing.  He does not like for anyone to touch his personal belongings (ipad, apple computer etc) and he said that ------was searching for the woman's picture online!  Rick said to me that "you guys think you are so holy yet he could not even wait till she left the bar before he was trying to see what she looked like with her clothes off".  Yes it is very hard when our spiritual family disappoint us.  It is even worse when he have unbelieving mates that are privy of it.  

 

No, my sister and I discussed it and we have agreed that while it sounds wonderful to be able to help out the friends that since we have not had good experiences and know so many that have not either, we will not do it again.

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yeh we have had brothers do shonky jobs and you can't complain you just have to suck it up.

then we have had brothers do really good jobs at a very easonable price.is the

 

I think this is the reason why many brothers and sisters get upset at each other.

one is they expect the brothers to do the work for free or almost for free

one is the brothers do a really bad job and charge the earth.

just because we are JW doesn't ive any one the right to impose on others I feel you should treat business as business

but that means so many differant things to different people

there is a pioneer elder who lives in a multi million dollar house a poor widow sister who was very elderly and dying of cancer no JW rellys fridge had stopped all the problem was was that the plug at the powerpoint had come out. she didn't live out of the way he passed her house he thought he gave her a reduced price by charging her $50 for putting the plug in.

then others brothers will work all day for $200 so this is a very difficult subject

have to gowill finish this post later.

 

if in doubt leave the brothers out.

so you don't have an angry bout.

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No, my sister and I discussed it and we have agreed that while it sounds wonderful to be able to help out the friends that since we have not had good experiences and know so many that have not either, we will not do it again.

Wow Leslie... You had your share of bad experiences :o

However sharing some of my own (didn't put the details before) I try not to block the brothers. I know some go way ahead their position of brothers and think they can do (or not do) everything and it will be alright because we are all brothers... What I did recently was give a small task to a brother and analyzed the outcome. Because I liked very much I gave him a major restoration of my house and everything went wonderfully. I know now I can trust this brother.

I advice you to not give up because there are lots of trustable brothers ou there :wink:

Personaly I suffer from the opposite. As I am the tech guy around, everybody calls me for their tech needs. Be it, to install Windows on their computers (because they did I don't know what and the solution is just format and reinstall) or check the printer or the tv or the new phone they bought. I'm constantly being called and of course I don't charge money (although sometimes I take a whole weekend with some jobs) I have a very stressful job and I just don't know how to say NO... And some brothers just think I have to be always available... Sometimes my wife speaks in my behalf and sais No, he can't... Please go to this or that technician...

So there are the two types of brothers that thake advantage of others

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I have a general rule. I treat my brothers and sisters like family. Ill try and explain what i mean.

If I am asked to do some work for a brother or a sister, I decide if I can afford my time and expences. I have it in my mind that what I am doing is a gift. IF, something was to go wrong then I don't feel slighted at all. IF I get paid, then I thank them.

Now if I ask a brother or sister to do some work, I get a quote or 2 from someone else. Then ask the brother or sister if they are able to do as I ask for the quoted price. Its up to them if they accept it or not. I dont feel bad or upset if they say no.

I find its definately my attitude.

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I'm starting to regret that I started this topic. It seems I may have opened a can or worms here. My greatest fear is that this thread is publicly visible and not a very good witness.

Although I have had one or two negative experiences myself, by far the majority of my experiences have been very positive.

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A... I always feel those who do not hire brothers are not very spiritual ( am saying that that is the way i feel not the way it is).

Galatians 6: 10 is clear. We want to do good to all, ESPECIALLY our brothers.

I start with brothers and if i cant find any, i switch to the world.

 

Do i sound blunt? oh!! sorry.

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Contract, Contract, Contract. With or without the brothers. When you have one you are much more sure to get the work done the way you want it done. I have learned the hard way that the contract is needed, from brothers and from the world. I would prefer to use the brothers and sisters when I can.

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We have a local car repair run completely by brothers ~ have used them many times as do many of the friends and all of us

single sisters... especially for a checkup prior to a DC... they have always been straight up & fair priced  

 

we are SO thankful for their honesty & work ethic ><img src=<'>

 

many of the friends present me with work opportunities...yard chores, window cleaning, mowing, etc... I'm very grateful & always do my BEST for them... also keeping in mind that their neighbors are watching, I'm mindful that it is a witness for the kind of people we are

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Yes, we have been told time and time again, from the platform - (so do not worry about a publicly forum) that we should always "put it in writing".

 

This said, I have also heard, from the platform, that when doing business with a brother/sister consider these two things

  • When having work done - do NOT expect a discount just because it is a brother/sister
  • When doing a job - Do not take "shortcuts" in the job just because it is a brother/sister
  • When doing a job - Do not charge extra just because it is a brother/sister
  • When having work done - do NOT hold a brother/sister to a higher works standard than anyone else for the same job
Edited by Qapla
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Yes, we have been told time and time again, from the platform - (so do not worry about a publicly forum) that we should always "put it in writing".

 

This said, I have also heard, from the platform, that when doing business with a brother/sister consider these two things

  • When having work done - do NOT expect a discount just because it is a brother/sister
  • When doing a job - Do not take "shortcuts" in the job just because it is a brother/sister
  • When doing a job - Do not charge extra just because it is a brother/sister
  • When having work done - do NOT hold a brother/sister to a higher works standard than anyone else for the same job

 

Everything John says. :wub:

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yeh we have had brothers do shonky jobs and you can't complain you just have to suck it up.

then we have had brothers do really good jobs at a very easonable price.is the

 

I think this is the reason why many brothers and sisters get upset at each other.

one is they expect the brothers to do the work for free or almost for free

one is the brothers do a really bad job and charge the earth.

just because we are JW doesn't ive any one the right to impose on others I feel you should treat business as business

but that means so many differant things to different people

there is a pioneer elder who lives in a multi million dollar house a poor widow sister who was very elderly and dying of cancer no JW rellys fridge had stopped all the problem was was that the plug at the powerpoint had come out. she didn't live out of the way he passed her house he thought he gave her a reduced price by charging her $50 for putting the plug in.

then others brothers will work all day for $200 so this is a very difficult subject

have to gowill finish this post later.

 

if in doubt leave the brothers out.

so you don't have an angry bout.

 

We have never expected anyone to work for free--but we do feel they should be in the ball park of worldly contractors.  And when they offer to help you out because they know you are in a bind  (not neccessarily financially but time crunch or because of health issues) then they charge the highest quote (when it was labor that was done--as in the plug and play security camera system--you figure 450.00 for just under three hours is quite high.  My husband who is not in the Truth and did not like the older woman that I was studying with--knew she was a widow and went to her house to fix her leaky fireplace and chimney.  Which is his speciality--fireplace and chimney construction, rebuild, and repairs.  He fixed the roof flashing, added a new spark arrestor and rain cap, and then repaired her back wall in the firebox which had deteriorated and was a fire hazzard due to the water leaks).  She had already had estimates of $2500.00 range and he did the job materials and all---NO charge.  He did not even charge her for the materials.  She told me that she could not believe this because many of the brothers knew about her problem and kept telling her they would try to make it by and check it out for her.  Never happened.  She said she also was aware that Rick did not like her because he felt she was interferring with our marriage and I was not buying his cigarettes or spending holidays with the family as I had always done.  She said this was a testament to how much Rick loved ME to do that for her.

 

So I have not been as truthful with Rick as I should have been concerning work that some of the brothers have done.  So it does make me wonder why my husband, not in the Truth,  has gone to peoples homes and found out on arriving they were witnesses (literature laying around) and then did not even charge for his $75.00 inspection of their fireplace. 

 

Just sayin'.

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There are some who do the things like both Leslie and Clez are saying. I know some of them, some even go to my KH. But there are many that are willing to help out too. The ones who do shoddy work or charge an arm and a leg for what they do, give the other brothers and sisters a bad name. I say shame on them. When Grumpy or I do things for others, it is usually free and from our hearts, minus the cost of materials, because we just don't have it. We are supposed to take care of our own, I believe that means our brothers and sisters too. When we see someone that needs money for groceries or more important going to Convention and Assemblies, we should be helping these ones. If we don't, shame on us.

 

Part of being a good witness is to be charitable. We expect Jehovah to hear our prayers and He does, but if we are not doing good things for our brothers and sisters when they are in need, and we have the means to help them, what does Jehovah think of us? That's my 2 cents.

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Contract, Contract, Contract. With or without the brothers. When you have one you are much more sure to get the work done the way you want it done. I have learned the hard way that the contract is needed, from brothers and from the world. I would prefer to use the brothers and sisters when I can.

 

 

This is a huge issue. A very sore topic for me but one that cannot be ignored nor left free of discussion. Vernalee is spot on, here is what I can add to that;

People are people are people. We all have our natural tendencies and being the truth is supposed to dictate correct action. However it will not be the case. When in business in the US you need a License, Liability Insurance and a Performance Bond. I expect, when getting a bid from a contractor, to have a copy of these three items included in the Bid/Proposal pack. I myself do this. I have worked with/for brothers and been run through the gravel as well as been honored to include their name my rolodex of contacts; additionally I have worked with/for non-witnesses and the same exact thing happen. Then I worked with/for family and been taken to court by my own sister. So, keep you paper work in the forefront, always work with a contract. In the contract always have a clause that 'if additional work at additional expense is required it will be done after written permission is granted" protecting homeowner and contractor alike.

If you trust that someone is going to have your best interest at heart you're only fooling yourself. We are all prone, but we don't all succumb to, the sinful tendency to get away with something. Many can easily convince themselves that 'it's not really that wrong' HUH I say. 

Please don't let my overly cautious words make you think I don't have love for my brothers. Most assuredly I do, but anything to do with money requires due attention. My wretched experience with my sister shows that even blood won't stop someone. I didn't have a contract with her, her home turned out beautiful, stunning. But because we didn't have a contract she was free to sue me, she lost but the negative physical effects will be with me until the new system. At the same time that she did this a brother did a similar thing, didn't involve the courts but the anguish was no less painful- and I had a contract with him, he chose to dismiss it and do what he wanted. I chose to walk away.

We will not go through this system without extensive war wounds. The brothers help us to learn how to lessen the wounds but they will be there none the less.

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...in the US you need a License, Liability Insurance and a Performance Bond. I expect, when getting a bid from a contractor, to have a copy of these three items included in the Bid/Proposal pack...

 

It may be that where you live this is the case. But, to say "In the US" is not quite correct. In my locale you are required a license if you are a business, but it is not strictly enforced. Depending on the business, you may also be required to have Liability Insurance (it is not required for certain Artisan and Service businesses). The performance bond in not required for most businesses here.

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In Oklahoma general contractors are not required to have a license as in California where we came from.  You see many times on the news where contractors have taken the deposits and skip town.  We always carried liability insurance and workers comp along with our general contracting license and mechanical licenses.  The insurance was through the roof because it was rated on the likelihood of injury and the risk--which working on rooftops and with fireplaces and chimneys  is considered high risk.. I think I remember our agent saying that deep-sea fisherman/ commercial fishing was the highest rated risk.  

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I was mostly referring to ones who do construction or similar work. Do the contractors in your area work without License, Ins., Bond? I thought it was not legal to do so.

 

Construction covers a WIDE range. When I used to do flooring, that was considered by the State to be a Construction business and, yes, I needed a license and Insurance ... but NOT a bond.

 

A brother I know holds a "General Contractor" license, so he can build a house or building (up to three stories) from beginning to end. He is required to have a license, pull permits and have insurance ... he is NOT required to offer a bond - unless it is a Government Contract.

 

He may have a prospective customer who wants a bind and he may have to get one to secure that job, but it is NOT required by law that he do so.

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Construction covers a WIDE range. When I used to do flooring, that was considered by the State to be a Construction business and, yes, I needed a license and Insurance ... but NOT a bond.

 

A brother I know holds a "General Contractor" license, so he can build a house or building (up to three stories) from beginning to end. He is required to have a license, pull permits and have insurance ... he is NOT required to offer a bond - unless it is a Government Contract.

 

He may have a prospective customer who wants a bind and he may have to get one to secure that job, but it is NOT required by law that he do so.

 

Yes I agree with covering a wide range. I do VCT tile work and building maintenance and my insurance is rated along with brick layers and concrete workers. My Bond is because, as has been brought out, it's a Government building. I forgot about that. However, in the last few years because of contractors taking off, I've been asked if I have a Bond. So I just carry one now. It gives the customer, at least in Oregon/Washington, a  feeling of security. Like if I do 1/2 the job and leave they at least have somewhere to go to get money to finish the job with another contractor.  

So yes, you straightened me out. I didn't express myself correctly. A bad habit for me because I fear talking too much thus I leave out pertinent details. :unsure:

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