You Might Be A Trunkslammer If....

You might be a trunkslammer and not a real integrator if.....

You Work out of the trunk of your car! think I P is an acronym shorthand for a bodily function.

You might be a trunkslammer if your fabrication shop has wheels and a driver's seat.

You definitely are a trunkslammer if your engineering department works out of the passenger seat of you fabrication shop.

To elaborate without the facetiousness, what makes for a “real integrator” in my mind is high-level technical/engineering skills.

There a millions of installers that can pull cables and physically install the equipment. Many of them even sell/install fairly high-end equipment. The real integrators are skilled at system design, troubleshooting, commissioning/optimization, and documentation. Documentation is a key indicator for me as it is visible early in the project. A real integrator should be able to produce shop drawings and as-builts in AutoCAD. If I receive a shop drawing submittal that is nothing more than the contract drawings that I’ve issued with a few markups on them, I immediately stamp them with a big red “REJECTED”, send them back and buckle up for a very bumpy project.

I thought the real key to being an "Integrator" was the ability to seemlessly INTEGRATE different technologies. Surveillance and AccessControl. Burglary Alarms and Building Control, so on and so forth. Hence the name INTEGRATor.

Undisclosed (#2357332) = buzzkill

As mentioned in the thread that prompted this, one sign is selling products that are available from a mail order catalog, in today's terms non-name or relabeled cameras from an online store.

You own and use a 1992 Black & Decker non-reversable drill with the 8 inch long orange electrical cord...

you install cameras that come with their own cables preterminated

or your headend has 16 plug in transformers jammed into a power strip

you wrap an indoor 12vdc plug in transformer with electrical tape plugged into a power strip for an outdoor camera

HA! John you need to add a "like" button a la Facebook... So I can thumbs up Marty's & Michael's comments. Michael, sounds like you still own one of those drills. :)

We used to laugh like hell when somebody whipped one of those out of a milkcrate (hack term for toolbox) from the back of a beat up Ford Pinto. If ever I had one, it has long made its way to that great toolshed in the sky...;)

Hey! I've got one of those! It blows blue sparks out the vent hole when drilling through anything more dense than drywall.

Priceless!! And you have the deluxe model as well. That cord looks about 6' long!! The one in my "minds eye" had a cord of 8"....literally. The stuff of a real trunkslammer!! B&D should have printed on the body...."BYOC" (bring your own cord)

Great pic Brian. Thanks for the memory.

PROTIP: Tape the jaw chuck key to the cord plug, so you don't accidentally leave it in there and break the back window of your 'service' hatchback when pulling the trigger.

Man, this thread is funny and all, but nothing beats one of those corded beasts for knocking holes in some things, like masonry or holesaws through metal or multiple layers of wood. Things that kill 18v cordless drills. I replaced mine a couple years ago, but before that it was OLD. Like 60s old. Full of blue sparks.

SAVAGE! advise people to buy something cheap instead of a reputable brand, because they'd only be "paying for the name".

You might be a trunkslammer if...

-you've ever said "well, it'll hold until the check clears, I guess".

-you regularly offer to be paid "in kind", either in merchandise or business services.

-you give a significant discount for customers paying in cash.

-you still use your Blackberry Nextel Edition.

-most of your tools are from Black & Decker.

-you comparison shop cable.

-you price match cable.

-you haggle over cable prices.

-you've maxed out your credit at every equipment distributor in town, and are eyeing equipment distributors a few towns over.

-you've ever asked your customer to make a check out directly to your distributor.

-you've ever agreed to install equipment a customer picked up from eBay.

-some counterperson at a distributor ever pitched HDcctv to you using the sentence "it's like HD video, except you don't have to learn networking!"

-you bought a copy of Networking for Dummies, and are probably going to get around to reading it any day now, promise.

-you bring extra bags to ISC East in order to have room for all the swag you're planning on getting.

-the only test equipment you own is a tone generator, a battery tester, and your awesome sense of intuition.

-you've ever added 50 feet or more to a cable run becasue you decided to detour rather than move boxes or face a scary spider.

-you'v ever "accidentally" forgotten to implement a feature until a check clears.

-you've ever responded to a customer inquiry with "well, I've never done one of those before, but, hey, how hard could it be?"

-you've ever succesfully challenged a "no commercial vehicles" ticket.

-you've ever used the police blotter in your local paper for sales leads.

-you've ever given a talk on security at a church, PTA conference, or fundraising picnic in order to generate sales leads.

-you've ever stuck your business cards in every mailbox in a neighborhood to generate sales leads.

-you get a little giggly when the paper starts talking about "a wave of break-ins".

-you've ever repaired your car with electric tape.

-you've ever repaired your plumbing with electric tape.

-you've ever made a splice with packing tape.

-you've ever walked into a service call with nothing more than the tools and supplies you could fit in your pockets... and you'ce successfully diagnosed and repaired the problem.

-you've ever rented a car to complete a service call.

-you've ever taken public transportation to a service call.

-you still aren't sure how you got a Little Giant ladder on the subway but aren't eager to repeat the experience.

-instead of buying new drill bits, you sharpen your bits.

-yes, even spade bits.

-not using a Drill Doctor, either. If you could afford a Drill Doctor, you wouldn't be sitting here, sharpening bits.

-you inventory your car a couple times a year.

-you have a selection of rolls of spare cable ranging from a few inches to 20 feet.

-you get excited when you get a job in an old house being refurbished because you might be able to find old copper pipes or doorknobs to resell at the junkyard.

-you are really good at diagnosing installation errors because you've made and corrected most of those errors yourself in the past.

-you have no idea how one goes about filing plans with the AHJ.

-you've ever agreed to install a surveillance system "to catch the ghosts who keep rearranging my kitchen".

-you would love to wear protective gear on the job but are afraid your boss or coworkers would make fun of you for being a wimp.

Please note: I'm only putting things down that I've personally done or seen in my long career working for a viariety of trunk slammers.

Ari, man I am dying here... I am printing those off and posting them in the office today... Brian and John well done also!

There are so many good ones here, it would be unfair to pick!

In fairness, I'd still add 50 feet to a cable run to avoid spiders. You pick your battles.

I will admit, I did the public transport to a service call once, but in my defence I had lost my drivers license and could not find another tech to take me there! Nor could I trust another tech to do it lol

That looks like my business plan.

ever used electical tape as a bandaid after slicing hand on drop ceiling grid pulling cable ;)

Electric tape and Dunkin Donuts napkins.

you tell your customers to submit invoice payments to directly to your bank rather than to your company...

You Might Be A Trunkslammer If....

You think that the 'finish carpenter' must have been born in Scandinavia

Notice the phone number on the signs. This particular business is also a 'mail mart'. The cameras are hanging on the backside of the business.

there is a company in my town that installs phone systems does septic service and taxes...

imma guessin that those nosedivin box cameras are really fitted with 180 degree wide angles, right? Slick..

Yes sir, here at 9900, all systems come with our standard tail light guarantee. When out tail lights are out of sight....the guarantee is over. Any problem with that? Yes sir, that guarentee is free also..Free is our middle name here at Absolute Advantage. Now , about that leaky roof...........>>

.... (in the US) None of your product manuals has an English version.

.... Qoutes are done in Office 97.

... Your phone number changes on average of once every 6 months.

... Your business name changes on average of once every 6 months.

... You have "CEO" as job title in your 1 to 3 man operation.

... You ....... I give up. Ari's were just too good.

I hope I didn't kill the thread. Come on, there are plenty more!

You saw a homeless guy pushing his belongings in a shopping cart and thought to yourself how much more efficient your guys would be if you got them all shopping carts.

You've ever built a ladder with scrap wood found on a job site.

You've ever built yourself a scaffold with scrap wood found on a job site.

You've ever used reclaimed scrap wood to build a mount for a camera, a shelf for rack mounted equipment (racks are expensive!) or an equipment enclosure.

You've ever removed equipment during an upgrade, and taken it back to your shop for refurbishing, so you can sell it to another customer.

The refurbishing process consists of vacuuming, spraying with Windex, and coloring in any scratches with a Sharpie.

Your "shop" is also your kids' playroom.

You make your kids help you refurbish equipment and call it "daddy daughter time".

When your customer asks you if the camera you're about to install is weather resistant, you say "not yet!" and get a big tube of silicone and a grease gun out of your trunk.

You've ever had a service call from a customer complaining about camera glare, and solved it in 20 minutes by sticking a folded up Chinese resturaunt menu into the camera housing. (Me. I did this. So far as I know, it's still working.)

You've ever charged a customer for " Excessive Light Exclusion Device, Asian Sourced, Manufacture and Installation, $125". (This is the only thing I've made up, so far. I swear.)

You've ever installed rack mounted equipment by twisting a bit of UTP in the screw holes (why do they make those little screws so tiny and hard to lose?)

You spend half a day making 60 or 70 patch cables from a big box of CAT5 and RJ45 connectors rather than buy them premade, because your labor is literally cheaper than the $1.50 or whatever a good patch cable costs.

And they all worked! The first time! Just because you're a trunkslammer doesn't mean you can't take pride in your work.

I mean, my boss didn't own a speed tester, so I don't know how well they worked, but the colors were all correct, at least...

All your wiring diagrams, installation notes, and other documentation is writen on fast food wrappers.

I'll try to think of more...

"You saw a homeless guy pushing his belongings in a shopping cart and thought to yourself how much more efficient your guys would be if you got them all shopping carts."

I'm dying.

-you've ever taken public transportation to a service call.

Nothing more pathetic than a trunkslammer without a trunk to slam. Goes along with:

you ever gotten a lift from a client rather than wait for 'your guys' to get back with 'your rig'.

your first stop is at the day laborer kiosk at Lowes, to pick up your 'crew'

your custom dining room set is made from wooden wire spools. (have seen personally)

you laugh a little too hard at trunkslammer jokes.

My brother has a very nice patio furniture set he built out of wire spools. Looks nice, lasts forever, and is free if you can carry it away (or your crew can...)

you laugh a little too hard at trunkslammer jokes.

I do, not because I am a trunkslammer, but because I spent nearly 4 years working for one.

...sticking a folded up Chinese resturaunt menu into the camera housing...

FYI, competitively priced American alternatives are available from both Jerry's Deli and Ray's Pizza.

Nah, I already got burned on Ray's Pizza once.

You've bought a 30' extension ladder at Home Depot, with explicit instructions to your crew to 'not scuff it up' because you intend on returning it tomorrow.

if you are a company of any size that installs systems of any size and then don't provide any service. Even if you produce the best shop drawings and install a reputable product. If you have more salespeople than installers or service techs in a specific area. Anyone who sales a product they cannot or do not support. finish writing your quote on a yellow pad and go back to your car to get the equipment already inside to install it. tell the distributor counter person to charge the customers card (which you supplied) at a higher price and then wanted a rebate for your cost. (yes, that's real)

"You've ever used reclaimed scrap wood to build a mount for a camera, a shelf for rack mounted equipment (racks are expensive!) or an equipment enclosure."

To be fair, I have a rack in my garage; I just didn't want to drag a 42U into my basement. I swear I'll get around to cable management some day....

Edit for one a coworker had:'ve ever been paid in a brown paper bag full of cash.

...if your company pitch is "Your warranty's not up 'til the lid comes down!"...

...if this is your momento from "Bring your wife to work day."

A door-to-door salesman for a national alarm company just offered me a 'cash for clunkers' (his exact pitch) deal.

According to him, for every old panel I give him, he will give me $200 cash today and a new premium alarm system monitored by his company.

Only when the garage door flew open,  did the clunker realize he'd messed with the wrong 'slammer that day...

Guys, thread over. I just found this.

Pucker Factor = Zulu

You are proud of the fact that two teeth on the right side of your mouth create a 'natural' 22 gauge gap, which enables you to strip insulation off wire, sans tools, with ease.

You brag about your 'free throw' percentage at sinking waste-can baskets of insulation shells ejected from your mouth at great distances, averaging more than Steve Nash at the line.

 You have a ladder rack on your 1983 Toyota Corolla.

You always purchase your gear in 'kits', and that is what you use.

You once put a little giant ladder in A frame ontop of a scissor lift to reach between the dang electrician’s conduit to pull your lines...

You have ever ridden on top of a pallet while someone drove you around with a forklift to pull your lines because the boss was too cheap to even rent a lift...

You and/or your “techs” sound like orc peons from Warcraft: “Ready to work” “I’ll try” “Me can do that” “Be happy to” “Okidoki”...

You actually believe/tell others that the cameras you install can really do the things seen on tv shows...

You have multiple small holes burned into a couple of your wiring tools from cutting energized lines...

You install perimeter beams using garden stakes...

You find your leads on Craigslist/Home Advisor/etc...

You hang motion detectors/cameras/other devices with half the number of recommended screws to save cost...

You still install cameras measured in tv lines...

You install bullet cameras inside of old box housings...

You think a CAD drawing needs to be drawn by a man named Cad...

You don’t know the difference between margins and markups...

You don’t know the difference between a 1099 sub and W2 employee...

You don’t know how to statically set the IP address on your own laptop...

For that matter you don’t even know what a static IP is...

All but the CAD one I have either witnessed or done myself... poor wiring tools... zug zug

EDIT: corrected spelling thanks to U4

You don’t know how to staticly set the IP address on your own laptop...

You don’t even know how to spell statically ;)

You don’t even bother using spellcheck when you post on integrator forums...


Half your income is bartering.

Half your income is bartering

and the other half is bartendering...

...You defend your right to sell Hick-vision during your month long trial membership.

Wish I still had the picture of it but having an extension ladder strapped to the top of your mid 80's Cadillac. Well at least it was a nice vehicle, back in the day maybe.

you can't afford to install a $30 patch panel for a $13,000 installation.

Here's the after shot.
BTW, the previous install was from a famous big box store, they seem to be the mother of trunk slamming.

you charge a flat price for any tv installation.

Tie wraps and duck tape are your idea of integration...

You offer the ‘taillight warranty’...warranty is up when the taillights are gone...