Friday, September 11, 2015

A Clogged-Sink Story

I sat last night and watched a regional newscast.....HR (my local Hessen state-run network).  It was a five-minute layout of a Hessen immigration center, the visit of a Hessen state guy, and the problems of the 'camp'.

It was a curious piece.  Somewhere in the middle....here's this Syrian guy who has a clogged-up sink in his room. The HR guy couldn't go up into this area.....but the Syrian had a picture of the clogged sink on his smart-phone (handy thing to have these days).  A brief discussion occurred between the two.  The Syrian had gone to the center support staff and reported this.....he figured that they'd send someone up that day to unclog it.

Well.....things don't work that well in the immigration center.  They basically said that it'd take a week before someone would come by and unclog it.  Unacceptable.....as the Syrian put it.  He has no sink for an entire week.

I sat and pondered over this.  The setting?  It's an former military post (either Bundeswehr or US Army).  Probably six barracks buildings and then a couple of fest-tents set up in the back for over-flow folks coming in.  I would make a guess that the operation has no handy-men on the site and everything is contracted out (it would be the usual attitude for quickly assembled operations like this).....as needed.  This means that they call up some guy after the event occurs, negotiate with him, and he puts them on the schedule.

With the military background I have.....the best method is to have two handy-men and a plumber on your staff and do morning walks each day to aggressively go after problems.  You replace light-bulbs as you go through....unclog sinks....look over electrical issues....repair doors....etc.  The longest that you allow a problem to last is a weekend.

I don't see this preventative or reactionary type attitude.  These operations....whether the political figures realize it or not....will be up for several years, and lagging behind on minor repair issues....will just get frustrations higher among people who are waiting six months to get an approval or disapproval for 'status'.

Cost of a handy-men crew?  Probably 90,000 Euro or more a year for three guys.  I'd put it up as a contract job.....temporary in nature....note that you will get a sixty-day notice when the operation is shutting down, and accept bids.  Expensive?  Yeah, but there seems to be billions out there for support of the refugees.....so use the money as needed.

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