Editorial, Items of Interest

A Dog Story by Paul Stehle

December 01, 2022

Everyone loves dogs!  OK if not everyone, most people like dogs.  Have you ever noticed that many dogs chase their tail and some catch their tail in the process.  Silly habit, eh?  This can be very painful and we seek to help “man’s best friend”.  When your pet does this many people wind up putting a device on the dog’s neck which resembles a lamp shade.  Now it looks ridiculous but evidently it is effective. The desired end result is that once you remove the lamp shade your dog will no longer chase its tail, therefore making his life better.  You might be wondering at this point where am I going with this (many people have the same question with my everyday conversations…but wait the answer is coming).

Paul Stehle

Contractors are the “loveable dogs” in this analogy.  We often “chase our tail” in trying to complete our daily, weekly. monthly or annual projections.  Take this moment in time to demonstrate the craziness.  I believe if we questioned these contractors, they would all say that they are so busy that hiring employees is one of the top 3 priorities.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard something in the realm of….”If I could hire 5 more people, I could get so much more work”.  Yet they spend most of their day “chasing” more work even though they do not have enough employees to do what they already have.  Lamp shade anyone?

Now the government doesn’t want to be left out of this dog story so they allow almost 3 million migrants to cross the border with little to no intention of what to do with them.  Just for the record, whether we should be allowing this or not, might be a subject for another article.  For now, let’s just go with they’re here.    Obviously, many of these people need jobs to support themselves.  We have the ability to train these people in many different trades or professions so that at some point they could support themselves instead of relying on the government (who by the way is really YOU).  Sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it?   But on the “tail end” of this if you will, is we can’t legally hire them because the government will make us “E verify” them and we can’t because they are here illegally.  I hope Walmart has a huge supply of lamp shades!

So here we are, a problem, a possible answer and a lamp shade.  Come on people, even the dog gets better after time and learns that chasing his tail is stupid and painful.  So, I suggest we, as contractors, encourage our state and national organizations like the Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRACCA) and national ACCA to work with our lobbyists and politicians to assist us in getting our “lamp shade” removed.  But these organizations NEED YOUR input and assistance.  Help them help you!

About Paul

Paul Stehle cut his teeth in the HVAC industry at an early age, helping his father operate a sheet metal shop out of the family’s basement in Long Island, NY. He joined his father and older brother when they opened Climatic Conditioning, Inc. in Sarasota, FL in 1972. They all earned ac contractor’s licenses and built the business successfully, at one point employing 65 people. Paul and his brother recently sold the business and retired.

Paul has served on local and statewide air conditioning contractor associations and has consistently been among the first to defend the industry when it has been threatened and been an advocate for unity, apprenticeships, professionalism and fairness. He has supported other trade associations as well, most notably the Gulf Coast Builder’s Exchange. Though “retired”, Paul continues to be involved in the HVACR industry and his community. Stay tuned for more literary contributions.

Contact Paul by emailing pgs1953@aol.com.