Who makes it run?

So there’s 2 guys at the Range that actually do the day-to-day fixing and maintenance of the building and it’s systems….water filters, furnace filters, salt for the softener, Indoor air handler filters, oiling the target turners, general maintenance, caulking, fixing the toilets and door seals, and light fixtures and that sort of handyman stuff.

One of them is a guy named Larry. The other is me. We are volunteers and do it because no one else does and it needs to be done….aand we do it as we have time to do it.

Both of us have been somewhat busy and honestly, we fell down on the job.

The regular competitive shooters came to me and said that they didn’t think that the big air handler for the indoor range was working….and they were right:

The unit has three sets of filters…2 with indicator lights and one without. The first is simply a standard (cheap) furnace filter that is changed monthly… 25 x 25 x 1 inch. It gets the big soot (this filter housing was added after the original installation) The second is a thicker 25 x 25 x 5 filter that pulls most of the rest of the soot out of the air. The third is a large HEPA type bag filter. The second and third filters are original equipment on the air handler and they have indicator lights for when they are clogged. The first filter is an add-on to let a cheap filter do most of the soot filtering before it hits the expensive,  bigger filters.

Last month, I was unable to make the first week at the range (Thursday)… (which is when we change the first  filter….either Larry or I do it). But Larry was unable to make it to the meeting as well, and so the pre-filter wasn’t changed…It filled with soot and eventually collapsed and was sucked into the next filter, the 5 inch thick one…..leading to that filter being mostly clogged as well. So that filter indicator light was on, and there wasn’t much airflow happening. But everyone else just ignored the indicator light….So they were shooting indoors with, essentially, no ventilation.

The crew that complained wanted (sorta demanded) to know why no one had made sure that the filter was changed…I asked them if I or Larry was gonna get our pay cut for failing to ensure that the job was done….silence….”How much do you get paid?”

“Nothing”, was the reply. “I don’t get a dime and neither does Larry. We just do it ’cause no one else does it and it needs to be done…. If yer gonna bitch, then I suppose we can stop doing it altogether.,, Guess it’s your problem now. ”

They were all apologetic and asked if I would show them where the filters were kept and how to change ’em. They just assumed that someone was responsible and that the maintenance just happened.

‘Tis interesting…these aren’t stupid people. But they just assume that stuff is done, with no idea how it happens or who does it…or what needs to be done…and that it happens when it needs to happen because someone does it.

It is, I think, indicative of our society at large….No one knows, really, who makes sure that the power works, or that the water pipes are maintained…that the sewers are kept flowing and the natural gas lines have gas in them at the right pressure….Nor are they in any way cognizant of what has to happen to make sure those systems work.

And when those people stop doing their job, or are simply unable to so so for whatever reason, society, like the Range, will grind to a halt.


8 thoughts on “Who makes it run?

  1. Ya but….I’m really good at putting tons of lead downrange…..

    On a similar note; that’s one of the reasons for letting in all those ferriners…they will do the jobs that ‘muricans won’t do.

  2. Good on both you and Larry for stepping up.
    ‘Tis a rare thing.

    You assumed everyone else knew you guys were doing it, and out of sheer public-spirited goodness.
    Which they obviously did not know.

    Maybe take the opportunity to publicize how things work more widely among the user-base, and get a deeper bench going on the volunteer maintenance team?
    Sounds like you already have a bigger pool to use to make a phone tree already.
    Many hands make light work, and all that.

    Volunteers make a lot of things work, and most are far more qualified at the things they do than paid staff, because they do it for all the best reasons. And are therefore the exact people frequently too busy to help in the first place.

  3. I did the gun club secretary trick for 20-years before I ran out of soap and handed the satchel to somebody else.

    During my tenure, I learned the best way to shut somebody up was to listen real intently to their modest little suggestion and then reply, OOOOH! Really good idea! Now why don’t YOU take ownership of that idea and make it happen?

    Worked nearly every time, except for the exceedingly rare occasions when somebody did in fact take ownership of their idea and made it happen. Them what can, do. Them what won’t, think up stuff to do for them what can.

  4. First question…does this range charge people to use it. If it does than those laying a user fee are logical in assuming said range has employees who are supposed to take care of things. If it’s a free to use range than such an assumption would be irrational.

  5. Maybe it’s time that you and Larry become *compensated* employees, and I use “compensated” deliberately, rather than “paid.”

    The club I belonged to in (location redacted) maintains a large cadre of RSOs and to that end, pays the class costs to become an NRA-Certified RSO, eliminates the membership fee (but not the per-member insurance fee) for those RSOs working a certain minimum number of hours per year, and offers mileage reimbursement if an RSO is driving to/from the club for his RSO shift (most RSOs don’t ask for reimbursement). I used to frequently shoot a match in the morning and work an RSO shift in the afternoon, which often led to having multiple RSOs on duty on weekends. Which was good, because that was when it was most busy.

    It would seem a similar arrangement would work for you and Larry – mileage compensation for the monthly maintenance day, and a partial reduction in membership fees. A mere pittance, to be sure, but acknowledgement of the necessity of the tasks and deferment of some of the personal expenses incurred.

    And, a question – do you and Larry do the maintenance stuff “seat of the pants” or is there a published schedule for the regular stuff and an “activity log” for everything that gets performed, and by whom?

    Anon 2

    • The maintenance schedule is being developed, as there wasn’t one. I started creating one about 2 years ago, and it is being refined.

      We do the same for our RSO’s and instructors, as well as officers. I’m already a life member (awarded to me a few years ago for all the stuff I do for the range) as it Larry.

      The point I was trying to make is that it takes people to make any operation work, even out modern society. Most folks assume that it Just Happens.

  6. That is the best abbreviated description of what society has devolved into that I have read in over two years, Phil could have not described it better, and he is very descriptive in how the decline has happened, as you are.

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