Bye George

by kfrego

Boliden Minerals had an engineer named George Shepcoff at our mining project in Silver City. George was one of those arrogant, obnoxious people who thought the whole world was out to mess over him. I always considered myself pretty good at making ends meet with people, but George made a believer out of me. He constantly complained about every thing. One of his duties was to reconcile my monthly billing prior to submitting it for payment. We would walk, count, measure, and argue over every single pay item in our bid. George was constantly finding excuses or reasons to withhold payment on the bid items. When I submitted my monthly billing George would act like he had been gut shot, even though a few days previously we had agreed on quantities and payment percentages of lump sum items. The further the job progressed the more our ability to work together deteriorated.

One of the project specifications required us to stockpile ore samples at George’s direction based on mineralization in the tunnel. Once a pile of sample was complete we would “cut and quarter” the pile at George’s direction to obtain accurate samples. Our loader did the cutting and mixing while a miner filled and tagged sample bags for George. George was never happy about how the sampling was done, even though he directed the men and equipment. George and I had been bumping heads a lot. He came to my office trailer and stated he needed a pile sampled. I opened the specifications and asked George to look at them. I pointed out there was nothing in the specs stating when I had to sample, only what I had to sample per his direction. He acknowledged that was true. I told him my loader was extremely busy. If he wanted to sample, the only time my loader was available was between midnight and two in the morning. He nearly went into cardiac arrest from holding his breath so long. He slammed the door and threw dirt and rocks all over as he left the site. All I could do was enjoy getting one on him. You can make me do it, but you can’t make me like it. George came out in the middle of the night and got his samples.

Two weeks later George came stomping into my trailer again. He said he wanted to walk and check bid quantities right now. I nonchalantly threw my spec book on the table and was going through the payment section. I told him I didn’t think there was anything in the specs about when I had to walk and check quantities. He spun on his heel, slammed the door, and ripped off the site again. I called his office in town and left his boss a message stating anytime tomorrow was good to check quantities. His dust was still settling in the parking lot.

George made us money in Silver City………..his belligerence opened the door for some significant claims.