Ever BUILD a Kingdom Hall?

by Gregor 56 Replies latest jw experiences

  • uninformed
    uninformed

    I am a bricklayer and worked on lots of Halls before the quick builds and over a hundred after they started doing them, for a total of about 127 halls, from 1969 to 2005. (Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana)

    Here's the deal on the money as I understood it.

    Bricklayers: If you brought all the equiptment to the project you could let the brothes know that it cost you X amount of dollars to take the equipment off your secular job site and bring it to the project. Then you could estimate wear and tear on things like diamond saw blades, which are quite expensive, up to $300 or more. They could also turn in gas tickets for hauling equipment.

    I never asked to be paid, but it seemed fair to me for the local QB to pay for expenses like that.

    Cabinets: I knew a Brother in central Texas that owned a cabinet shop and used all of his facilities to build the cabinets, then stain them. I am sure he was paid for his material, transportation costs and maybe some shop time, especially if he had his employees had to do all the cut outs.

    You have to understand, if a person is involved ALL the time with the regional in their area, it can get very expensive to donate so much of your time and assets to the QB.

    I even went and worked on one a month after I quit the WT.

    I don't regret helping the brothers that I still love, but I do regret that the WT benefitted from it.

    u

  • Nina
    Nina


    So if a "brother" had a business or a skill that utilized certain machinery or equipment he could "volunteer" for a Quick Build and still bring home money? Interesting.

    I guess my definition of "volunteer" needs refining. http://www.idealist.org/if/idealist/en/FAQ/QuestionViewer/default?category-id=13&item=9┬žion=4

    I'm learning. I don't like what I'm learning but I'm learning.

    Nina

  • Gregor
    Gregor

    Nina,

    I think what everyone agreed that what was fair was that brothers who were in the construction field should not have to pay out of pocket for the equipment, gasoline, supplies etc. They were covered for their hard costs. Many of them refused even this reimbursment. Believe me, no one made any money on these projects except for a 'wordly' contractor or supplier. Can you imagine a brother who works in construction five days a week and goes to five meetings a week plus field service and then he gets peer pressured into all his weekends for several weeks? I think this is why the "quick build" projects got popular. Get it over with so you can get back to spending more time in prayer and Bible study so you could be spared at Armageddon and live forever.

    Meanwhile the Watchtower Society took title to a building and land that cost say $100,000.00 and was worth $250,000.00 the day it was finished. They would have only loaned maybe $75,000.00 with the local Congs. kicking in the rest to a building fund. Multiply this by several thousand properties. Not a bad racket.

  • juni
    juni

    My husband worked on bldg. halls and the quick builds also.

    I was assigned to kitchen duty - fixing meals. We had a blast!! That's one of my good memories.

    Juni

  • AudeSapere
    AudeSapere
    So if a "brother" had a business or a skill that utilized certain machinery or equipment he could "volunteer" for a Quick Build and still bring home money? Interesting.

    I didn't see that anyone said money was brought home. Reimbursed for materials is very different. Big machinery and heavy equipment is expensive to rent and expensive to transport. Some components have a relatively short life span. Usually the biggest expense in any project is labor. The organization rarely pays for any labor. That's the volunteer part. 'Materials' is a different story. (See the Branch Manual - posted the other day) -Aude.

  • Nina
    Nina
    I think what everyone agreed that what was fair was that brothers who were in the construction field should not have to pay out of pocket for the equipment, gasoline, supplies etc.



    Why shouldn't they have to pay out of pocket? Does "volunteer" here mean "uncoerced" and "unremunerated"? As I recall, when the matter of Quick Builds was brought up at meetings the context included terms such as "donation" "free" and "unpaid". Never did I hear mention of compensation such as has been discussed on this thread. "Everyone" didn't agree. The topic was not opened to discussion by "everyone". This is the first I've heard that any JW not specifically contracted to work on a quick build was financially compensated.

    Believe me, no one made any money on these projects

    Gregor, I'm sure you are a lovely person speaking in good faith BUT sadly, I do not believe you. I'm sure there were good guys, brothers who didn't "profit" from a quick build, but is that the point? The point here is that "volunteer" was interpreted by quite a number of JW's to mean both "uncoerced" AND "uncompensated". Dummy us.

    Can you imagine a brother who works in construction five days a week and goes to five meetings a week plus field service and then he gets peer pressured into all his weekends for several weeks?

    Oh, the poor brother...not! Can you imagine a mom with 5 baptised kids who works at supporting and taking care of her family seven days a week and goes (prepared!) to five meetings a week plus field service (x6) and then gets pressured into using weekends for quick builds *at her own expense* because one of her kids got invited to be on the roofing crew and another kid got invited to be on some other crew (it's been a long time ago, I've forgotten what they all did), and the rest of the family were given assignments elsewhere on the builds? They asked for our help. We weren't remunerated, not for gas, not for equipment, not for supplies. The mom had to find a way to produce what was needed from the household budget. Mom had to wake up early and drive to the builds, sometimes for hours, because the family lived in a rural area and no one else from the congregation went to builds. Mom had to take care of expenses, car repairs, everything...and she was willing because wasn't everyone else involved facing the same thing? And doing it with joy? Mom was, so were her kids. Discovering that conditions were not the same for all "volunteers" is having an effect.

    As I said in a previous post....I'm learning.

    Nina

    P.S. No regrets.

  • Cellist
    Cellist

    Yes, the trades that were paid were the specialized ones that were used repeatedly in quick-build after quick-build. I'm sure there were some honest ones who only asked for re-imbursement for expenses. However, I know a few who made money. It was all kept very hush-hush. We knew a couple of them personally.

    I have always felt rather unsure of how to feel about this. On one hand, it's only right that if they're going to ask someone to help out repeatedly they should reimburse them. But this wasn't done with all the trades, only some. And it was kept very quiet, which made me feel that there was something shady going on.

    There was an awful lot of cronyism going on.

    Cellist

  • Dimples
    Dimples

    Nope...never had the pleasure

    Dimples

  • Nina
    Nina
    There was an awful lot of cronyism going on.

    That would have been my next point of discussion.

    Nina

  • AudeSapere
    AudeSapere

    Volunteer refers to the actual labor and each person's incidental travel expenses.

    Donation would refer to equipment and materials. Surely you were not under the impression that all materials were donated?? If they were, what was the 'loan' for??

    Some materials were donated. Most were purchased. They were purchased either at going rate or a discounted rate. (Branch manual covers society guidelines for acquiring materials and supplies.)

    Many individuals donated various supplies and many were purchases. Sometimes purchased from witnesses, sometimes not.

    I don't think is an area where you can attack anyone for the roles they played or didn't play in getting the job done. It was nice of you to volunteer when you could. I hope you got something out of the experience. (If not, then I guess you stopped participating.)

    Most everyone I know enjoyed the opportunity and understood that most materials and equipment come with a pricetag.

    -Aude.

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