Re: site supervision to protect land & contractual penalties
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 10:57:38 -0600
When my children were little, I had a hard time convincing them of the
danger of crossing streets, particularly in the middle of the block, or
walking along the edge of a road to the beach. I finally started reminding
them that you never know who is in the car--it could be a teenager. 

Since they knew several teenagers who were completely untrustworthy and
probably knew more about it than I did, "Be careful, it might be a teenager"
became a warning they gave each other for years, in many situations. Even
after they were teenagers themselves.

A lot of people working construction are teenagers--Senior Teens but still
teenagers. You may have signed the contract with a mature, licensed, careful
person, but that person works in the office. The senior teens have the
equipment and are much more concerned about which foot goes on which pedal
and how cool they look than whether your tree gets flattened or a neighbors
property is damaged.

(This is not intended to be a criticism of teenagers, just a fact of life
when young people are not supervised as well as necessary and when their
most desperately serious concerns are not the same as yours.)

On contracts: I have a friend who got a free sea wall because she had the
wisdom to put in an "unnecessary" clause that said if the wall wasn't
finished by a certain date, the contractor would pay penalties. The wall was
finally finished the week she reminded him that his penalties had now paid
for the wall and she was going to start collecting the penalties in cash to
pay for the inconvenience of having his equipment on her property.

Sharon Villines
Synergy Cohousing, Delray Beach, Florida

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