Confronting Compliance

bacon stripsThe picture has nothing to do with this post.  I just like bacon.

I’m still working on the shelter project.  No, I’m not finished on it yet.  Thanks for asking.

Hypothetical scenario:  A certain subcontractor’s bookkeeper didn’t like me correcting her on the laborer rate, of which her company paid the state rate:  $26.02.  The federal rate is $40.76.  That’s a difference of $14.74/hr.  It adds up pretty quickly when you work a couple of 40-hour weeks. It’s a little confusing, figuring out how to pay folks.

Her point? The rate seemed low to her also. She did some digging. She talked to the L&I personnel at the state of Washington.  She visited their website.  She said they told her what to do.    She kindly included both the phone number and the site address in her email responding to me. I offered clarification on the rates and why. Since I’ve now contacted her 3 times regarding this, my patience wears thin. And just to be fair, other subs have voiced the same confusion.

While I applaud her initial tenacity in looking for the correct answer, I can’t in her reluctance to do the right thing.  I need neither the phone number nor the website to know what to do.  In fact, my job entails telling others what to do, at least in this arena.  I’m the one ensuring compliance with the federal grant.

You know what?  I’m sure this gal means well.  She doesn’t want to do extra work.  She also feels like rocking the boat this late in the game would be a bad thing.  I get that.  Nobody wants to say “I screwed up” and bask in the temporary red spotlight of shame.

To me, it feels an awful lot like parenting. Someone has to stand up and say, “Do it this way.”  “Take out the trash before you play on the computer.” “Don’t put that in your mouth!”  “Changing your underwear is a good thing.  Trust me.” The resistance feels the same, too: “I don’t wanna!”

So, I understand.  I don’t always want to park between the lines or brush my teeth or shower.  Especially not all at once.  But the rules and regulations are there for the health, safety and sanity of all of us.  Just do it.



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