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Contractor Surprises: Good & Bad

16 December, 2021

Hiring Contractors


Mike Rowe Helps Painter with Hiring Woes

Celeb sightings at airports can go horribly wrong, either because of disdainful celebrities or overzealous fans trying to break into showbiz or take selfies. But for paint contractor Mike Chambers, sharing his hiring difficulties during a chance meeting with Mike Rowe at the Louisville, KY airport gave him what’s become his favorite Christmas present of all: job applicants.

The owner of Chambers Painting, Sellersburg, IN, was waiting for a flight when he spotted Mike Rowe, star of the popular TV series “Dirty Jobs,” and known by many as a supporter of the trades. Chambers called his son to report the celeb sighting. As the company VP, his son smelled some opportunity, and urged Chambers to approach Rowe with his hiring issues.

Thus began a discussion between the two of them about the need for more apprenticeship programs, and more to the point, Chambers’ need for some painters. Rowe posted Chambers’ predicament on social media, and with six million followers, the deed was done. The post was shared 25,000 times and Chambers had nearly 50 calls the next morning, more than enough, he reported, to fill his vacancies.

And while it’s a great holiday cheer, it also speaks to the wide net that often needs to be cast by contractors looking for qualified individuals.

Chambers Painting is a commercial and industrial painting contractor serving the Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky region, as well as Florida. Services include painting, high-performance coatings, epoxy floor coatings, dustless sandblasting, faux finishes, and more. Chambers posted to Facebook thanking Rowe for his intervention, saying, “We’ve been struggling with the labor and paint shortage. The painting trade is a dying trade and demand is only going to skyrocket! We need to get more people in our trade and it’s a great trade to build a career in!”



Street Painting


An Strange Painting Workaround Resulted in Surprise Parking Tickets

Speaking of Christmas surprises, here’s one from England that was a lot less heartwarming. From a painter’s perspective, though, this might have been some serious fun. Determined to turn a city block into a no parking zone, the city council of Wokingham, Berkshire hired a contractor who, one by one, lifted all the cars parked on the street with a crane, painted the “no parking” yellow lines underneath and then lowered the cars back into place. As the cars were now in violation, the city slapped them with a fine the equivalent of $92.65 USD.

The residents were none too happy about the surreptitious paint job, and while they had requested these lines be painted, they stated that there were no warnings beforehand. One young resident commented that his mother called him to the window at about 10:30, where he watched the relatively quiet operation of lifting the cars, painting underneath, and lowering them to the ground. Less than an hour later, the city had already issued the tickets.

Was the Paint Even Dry?

A spokeswoman for the city council stated that parking cones were supposed to be in place the day before, and that the painting contractor acknowledged he didn’t place the cones. Further, the council stated that it was purely coincidental that the parking enforcement brigade happened upon that street just after the lines were newly painted. In any case, they’ve agreed to tear up the tickets, spreading a trifle of holiday cheer back into the annoyed neighborhood. The city also will discuss the issue with its painting contractor.

This block is no stranger to ridiculous parking enforcement. In October, “no parking” lines were painted on the other side of the street. The street was resurfaced the next week, obliterating the lines, which had to be repainted. 


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