I have hesitated about telling you what’s going on because I have not made a single decision about what my next step will be. GAH! But, this will be as it stands now, with all my rambling thoughts.
Part, the first. In the contract that I was asked to sign to be sponsored, he states that he wants a large sum of money up front. He wants a monthly “maintenance” fee. And he wants a per report stipend for reviewing my work. (He would also pay me an hourly wage to do the reports, so basically, I give him an hour for free for each report.) Plus I have to carry my own Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance. All told, to start working for him, I have to come up with roughly $4000 – I’m not really concerned with the monthly maintenance fee or the per report fee; that money will come with the money he will pay me for the reports I write. It’s the up front fee and the E&O insurance premium. I do not have $4000. Period.
I can probably scrape together enough for the insurance, but I certainly don’t have the up front fee he wants. I do not know if he’ll finance it, but it’s something else to ask him. Although I feel like a doofus when I ask for what I consider to be special favors. “Hey, I know you’re making everyone else do this, but I was thinking maybe you’d let me…not. Or let me do it some other way, which is not what you want, you know, BUHCUZ I’M SPESHUL.” Needless to say, I’m not a special conditions asking type person.
Part, the second. He also has a non-compete clause. Which, if I were to work on windstorm inspections with my dad, I’m not sure if that falls in the same category as competing, but it’s not something I’m willing to give up. So that’s another thing to ask him.
Part, the third. In a 2 hour “interview,” he said both “I’m 78 years old and I’m looking to retire, so what I think would be ideal is that if I can train you, I will then eventually be able to hand the keys over to you and the business will be yours.” And not 10 minutes later he said “My house sits on 5 lots, a few of which back up to [This busy road right out front of where his office is now]. What I’d like to do is build a house on one lot and sell it, and then build an office for the business on another lot.” So is he reitiring “soon”? Or not? Knowing what I know about him (based on the 3 classes I’ve taken from him) I’d bet money that he’ll die before he retires.
Part, the fourth. Also in the contract, he wants me to join a couple organizations. Which have membership fees, so that’s even more money. Although it’s somewhat delayed, because I would start as an apprentice and am not required to join the organizations until I’m at the second tier.
So here’s where I need to decide where to go from here. I am still waiting on my PE results – historically we’re looking at late December, or early January. I do not have high hopes for that, mostly because I was so sick before the test, and I know I did not do the best I possibly could have if I hadn’t been queasy the entire day. So…to do: wait.
There’s a guy here at work that is also eligible to sponsor people as inspectors. Last time I spoke to him I felt like he didn’t really want to sponsor people (which I can understand, it’s a liability) and was also discussing the possibility that due to the new rules where an inspector has to carry E&O insurance, and being that it’s so expensive and this is not his day job, that he was considering doing inspections as a PE instead of as a TREC inspector. I need to set up a time to talk to him anyway, whether he’ll sponsor me or not. I want his opinion on whether this whole large sum of money up front for sponsorship business is a normal thing. So…to do: get second opinion.
I do have questions for the first sponsor guy, but before I ask them, I want the second opinion, so I’m tabling that.
My other option is to complete the 300 hours I have remaining. But, because they changed the rules so drastically, almost no one can become an inspector without a sponsor, and almost no one is willing to sponsor people. So no one is taking those classes, and they aren’t making, per the conversation with the possible sponsor who teaches said classes. There are other options out there, take home courses and such. I will have to repeat some of the hours, but it’s actually cheaper than the sponsorship with this guy. But then I also lose out on the field experience. This is a harder decision to make than it seems. It’s cheaper, yes. But, the hands on experience may well be worth the extra money. Also that I might inherit a business out of the deal thing could be a huge bonus. This is also a tabled decision until I talk to the other inspector.
A large part of me is just of the opinion that I wait to get my PE. When I do, I can do the windstorm inspections with my dad. And maybe I can do some of the other work he’s been turning away, because he doesn’t have time for it. Maybe that will work out to a way for me to work from home. Because, honestly? That’s the ultimate prize. That’s what all this crap has been about.
I’m ending this now, because my brain has melted from all the pontificating.