Current Events: Skanska Barges Ahead

I’m beginning to wonder if anyone involved in Skanska in the Southeast branch has two brain cells to rub together. The latest mess on Tuesday involved a condominium manager looking out her window to find one of the supposed-to-be-secured barges… moored right off her building’s backyard.

This is, needless to say, nowhere near the sheltered bay the barges are by contract supposed to be in with TS (as of this posting Hurricane again) Zeta on the way.

On top of that this is a retirement condo. As the landlord stated on local news, she has residents from their 70s to over 100, several likely medically fragile. If the building is damaged they’ll need to find somewhere else to go and with all the various mask mandates, etc. that would be extremely difficult.

And did I mention the barge wasn’t supposed to be there?

She called Skanska. Skanska said it was fine, the barge was securely moored, nothing to worry about.

(I can just imagine her face. Something along the lines of, “You expect us to fall for that, again?”)

So she called one of our state senators. Who called Skanska and stated that something really needed to be done about this, right?

Skanska: “Oh sure, fine, we’ll move it!”

Well. It’s been moved. Where, the local news was not sure as of last night’s broadcast. But our Coast Guard has assigned an officer specifically to make sure of where the *bleeping* barges are and that they’re properly moored, which I would say indicates that even the Coast Guard has officially had enough of this… bull.

What I want to know is, what were the guys at Skanska thinking? That they could just illegally moor there, in everyone’s ocean view, and no one would notice? Did they think no one would care? Or did they just think the denizens of one condo wouldn’t have the legal pull to do anything about it, so who cares?

Has anyone told Skanska the first rule of holes: When you’re in one, stop digging?

35 thoughts on “Current Events: Skanska Barges Ahead

  1. Oh, they’re so firmly in the “double-down” phase, aren’t they? Headless chickens, the lot of them, sounds like.

    You have my enduring sympathies for the mess they’re throwing around everyone’s yard, V.

    …and as much as I would hate to see a company fold and all their employees cut loose sometimes the heads of a company really are just that stupid they run their own business into the ground at mach 9.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. One wonders…

    If Skanska don’t stop digging, they may well end up in India. Or China.

    Either way, these mentally challenged fellow citizens better dress appropriately, as the temperature is dropping quickly toward zero.

    … on the Kelvin scale.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Going off the stuff that popped up when I did a search for who the bleep owns and is runnign them, I’m not sure why they were hired for the bridge.

    These idiots used sidewalk cement as building cement. In a hospital.

    Pattern seems to be bribing charges and throwing a handful of employees under the bus.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Why they were chosen is probably really simple. They were the lowest bidder.

      In this country unless you go to college and studied business courses – as your major – there’s not a hope in hell you’ve ever been properly educated on how to actually conduct business…and even if you do have such a degree it’s only 50/50 you picked up enough of how it works to know your head from your *ahem* without a three page fold-out diagram to use as a reference.

      And we expect government workers and elected leaders, the majority of whom – Current President aside – almost assuredly did not study such to actually know how to evaluate a business deal beyond “They say they can do it for less than the other guys”?

      This is just business as usual. It’s only because Vathara posted about it that any of us know it’s going on I’d bet.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Considering some of the stuff that comes out of business schools, I’d contend that the ones who get a degree _and_ know which way is up, do so _despite_ the education, rather than because of it (kinda in a “if they said X, then probably anti-X is more accurate” sorta way). Unfortunately, I agree about those without the education, in general, so that’s not really saying much.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Apparently they bid that they could do the job for about 430 million – about 70 million below the next bid.

        Considering tolls alone for the Garcon Point Bridge will be somewhere near 100 million for the amount of time 3-Mile is out of commission, I think that was a bad, bad bargain.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’d think at least part of the required knowledge for business doesn’t actually require a degree- you know, don’t cut corners? Follow your contracts, after you throughly read and agree to it, because someone will go after you?

        That doesn’t even get into loopholes and Exact Words, which even a child can be (and frequently is) well versed in. And how well it doesn’t work out for the rules lawyer.

        You’d think self-preservation would be enough motivation to do things right…

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Yeah, no, the business majors don’t know either.

        There are more general skills, and then there is very rare information that can be very specific to a small area of activity.

        My understanding of engineering schools is that for an ABET BS program, the skills training is very general, and basically only proves that someone can learn engineering arts. The actual skills/specific information is learned on the job, for a very specific area of practice. The academic training, and the experience, are both needed to develop an expert in the design of a specific kind of pump, or valve, or analog circuit. For example.

        For a business of under two hundred people, people who have ‘grown up’ inside the organization may have enough of the specific information to know that specific business. That narrow slice of industrial sector, suppliers, and market during a specific period of time. There’s a management book that recommends sending those experienced at lower levels to business school, instead of hiring business school graduates new to the company.

        Larger than 200, the bureaucracy necessarily prevents people from having access to as mucj information.

        MBAs come new to a business situation confident that they can just use a ‘skill’ ‘learned’ in school, instead of needing to really soak in information from the business first.

        The government bureaucrats are likewise clueless, but more so.

        The general public is more as a rule misled, due to trusting teachers they were around in the public schools. Public school teachers train for a credential, and their employment and business does not depend on their decisionmaking, or the information they collect about how the business operates. Spend time around people living that way, and it is very tempting to believe it holds everywhere. I’ve learned from bitter experience that schooling does not actually work the way public school teachers would suggest it does.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. A bid difference of 14% on a job that big… the people who are awarding that bid had better take some very hard looks at exactly what is listed.

        I am employed in the waterworks industry, and bidding on massive commercial and residential development is the majority of our business. And we’ve been underbid, of course, but whenever we get told that a competing business is underbidding us (and by how much), we take a hard look at our bidding to see if it’s something we can match, or find out why the other guy is doing that.

        About a third of the time, the lower bid is because the other guy is skinning pricing nearly to the bone. That’s bad business all around, drives prices down artificially and can lead to going out of business because your profit margins go so low that you can’t pay operating costs, like salaries to your employees.

        The rest of the time we can usually start pointing out things like “they left out this section of the job, either deliberate (they don’t do that but we do) or accidental (this is phase 1, phase 2, here’s our phase 3 but they seem to have not included phase 3 of the job, when the construction plan clearly marks out all three phases)”.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That would have been exactly my reaction. “You can offer it for that much less? What aren’t you doing?”

        But then, I’ve dealt with a loooooot of people who promised pie in the sky by and by, and delivered crumbs.


  4. So this actually makes me wonder about the logistics.

    You’re on a barge, and you’re going to moor it, why would you pick some random location?
    Disregarding the potential hazards, how would you get home?
    Did some other boat come by to ferry them back?
    Did they go ashore and hitchhike?

    It doesn’t seem like they’d be coming out ahead.

    Often “shortcuts” end up being less useful than they initially seem.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The weed of crime bears bitter fruit.

      Criminals wind up in prisons because they are disordered thinkers, and have chosen the path of being idiot losers. They commit crimes again, and again, because they think abiding the law is for suckers, and are in the habit of taking ‘shortcuts’. Gambler’s fallacy, and not taking the long careful view, for many many many choices.

      They get away with it when people aren’t making the effort to push back, and never expect push back. They are going to feel that the push back wrongs them, rather than being something to watch out for, and avoid by taking precautions.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Looks like Zeta is just hitting the panhandle with some rain, with the worst going through New Orleans. Is that about right?

    As far as business goes, my amateur guess is that you want about 5-10 years of experience in a field, _then_ go get a business degree, or independently study for the equivalent. At a bare minimum you have to know how your field differs from the generic assumptions.

    That said, if the company strips hiring/firing decisions from the managers and hands them off to the HR karens, the company culture has a poisoned well and is going to self-sabotage no matter what.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. That Skanska rep is missing the point.

    It doesn’t matter that the barge is securely moored, if it’s not supposed to be moored there, at all

    You’d think they’d want to keep track of their physical assets a bit more closely in any case. Those barges can’t be cheap…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My bet is that it was the ‘oh it’s a small condo of retired people… they have no clout/power.
    Rest of the barges are probably at similar places. wherever they think they can stick them quickly instead of ‘wasting’ the time and fuel to get them into where they should be.

    …actually, given an incident where I grew up 3 or 4 decades past…
    I wonder if they’ve got something in the bay that is taking up the space that should go for the barges. …Something they were sliding under the radar :/

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The way this year is going I wouldn’t be surprised if we got a sudden report of the Navy divers uncovering a submerged cargo container loaded with drowned drug mules, AK-47s, and a truckload of rocket launchers. It’s 2020, why go small?


  8. OMG, they’re in Cincinnati. Building things. (Cold sweat.)

    Searching…. well, apparently things are going okay on most of their projects in Cincy. But Skanska apparently got big by acquiring tons of other general contractor companies and staff, so I imagine there are mixed results if they acquired any firms that were horrible.

    Found a new hotel that they built, which went well. It’s got a “post-bedbug” design, which just happens to feature very little carpet. Coincidentally.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Per wiki, in 2015 Construction Global magazine said that they were #5 of the top ten biggest companies in the world. Construction Dive gave them awards in 2019.

      Per Skanska’s website, they operate in the UK, US, Scandinavia, and eastern Europe.

      They also make a big to do about saying that they think sustainability is important, and three of the five items on their sustainability list are green, community investment, and diversity and inclusion.

      US branch is purportedly hiring a lot.

      Wiki’s page has details that fit the pattern. 1. Corrupt activity, they left South America after being caught at bribery in Brazil 2. the Consulting Association thing 3. Focus on things that may be a distraction from the core business activity, like the big data thing 4. Consider the list of countries operated in from an influence perspective. Interesting questions why they left South Africa.

      Obviously, the local yahoos are the result of everyone leaving who wasn’t of the crooked idiot alignment.

      Local government seems to think if they make things financially painful enough, the parent company will come in and replace the idiots with people who will stop screwing up.

      I’m suspicious of Skanska USA, and of the top company, which trades on the Stockholm NASDAQ.

      Being a paranoid, and a political junkie, I’m wondering if the higher level strategy includes stuff like election calculations, or ceasing to do business in the US.

      Current head of Skanska USA is Richard Kennedy, a lawyer who appears to be from New Jersey or New York. Might not be one of those Kennedys.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Leaving South Africa is not, in itself, suspicious. Frankly, that’s currently one of the most dangerous and murderous countries in the world, and I wouldn’t want any investment there whatsoever, until they clean up their act.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Very true. Which is why the circumstances would be interesting.

        Eastern europe is probably a place where honest and dishonest work could be done.

        The thing in Brazil could have been a shakedown, or an honest investigation.

        I’m no fan of the trade unionists, but that technique could be used for filtering out likely whistleblowers.

        Why aren’t they doing business in Japan, India, Germany, France, etc? I could see protectionism, and difficult business conditions being the reason, but there are other possibilities.

        That said, Skanska may simply be too big to draw full organization pattern of behavior conclusions from.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. They are huge. That’s one of the things that makes me cranky. I’ve dealt with enough people building things/taking things down, you need someone watching to be sure your crews stay sharp. Company gets too big, too many layers between management and the guy with the hammer – bad.


      1. Yeah, sheer size is a warning sign.

        But look how fast the top executives have been to position themselves in the best cosmetic light where recent fads are concerned.

        Tells you some of where they are and are not spending time and attention.

        I’m not exactly inclined to voice pleasant suggestions wrt remedies.

        Liked by 1 person

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