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Dropping from ASHI?


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As my renwal period approaches, I am not sure what I am going to do. I have yet to make it to an actual chapter meeting as it is a bit of a drive for me. I don't think that the ASHI presence is all that strong in this area of the country. I can't say that I like the way that my dues are being spent. This mold thing might be the icing on the cake for me.

As with Terry, I learn more from reading the posts/replies on this forum, than I have from any ASHI function. With state licensing in effect now, I am not sure that the organization membership is what it used to be. That and I am still a bit miffed that they(ASHI) are so behind the ball as far as continuing ed goes.

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Texas has 3 "state-based" inspector organizations.

With national affiliation there is: ASHI (with Lone Star ASHI), Nachi (with some local groups meeting about the state) and NAHI

There are many options here to choose from and only two of the state-based organizations offer reasonable in-depth meetings and CEs.

Membership in Lone Star ASHI is currently at 13 for the entire state. I think there are about 40 or so ASHI national members in Texas.

It is hard for a national organization with a local chapter get a reasonable foothold in this environment.

Ergo ... not a lot to gain currently.

I respect JK's comment about leaving ASHI if the only reason I'm a member is to get referrals; however that is "one" of my reasons as I get 15-20 job referrals from ASHI national each year.

My prime reason to join ASHI was the honor of being asked by some very prominent and professional ASHI members and I've always held ASHI to a much higher standard and related professionalism ... albeit that view has been pretty much dashed on the rocks this past year.

I may still "hang in" for one more year as one inspection from ASHI National pays my dues ... after that it is free. With the overall business fundamentally tanking over the past few months and the future not looking with any good recovery in sight ... bottom line economics may rule.

As I noted earlier or in a related thread ... the 'mold school' just sounds like a bunch of "slip and fall", "ambulance chasing" attorneys.

Not an honorable group!!

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Every year. . . same story. Should I or shouldn't I.

I, too, am interested in peeking at Katen's list. My list is:

1) Forum - While not as strong as TIJ, I think it's helpful. Hansen still taps in there every now and then. That's good. I've not experienced the vitriole to which other people refer.

2) I'm too lazy to remove all the ASHI logos off letterheads, templates, van, etc..

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As my renwal period approaches, I am not sure what I am going to do. I have yet to make it to an actual chapter meeting as it is a bit of a drive for me. I don't think that the ASHI presence is all that strong in this area of the country. I can't say that I like the way that my dues are being spent. This mold thing might be the icing on the cake for me.

As with Terry, I learn more from reading the posts/replies on this forum, than I have from any ASHI function. With state licensing in effect now, I am not sure that the organization membership is what it used to be. That and I am still a bit miffed that they(ASHI) are so behind the ball as far as continuing ed goes.

My first experiences on the ASHI forum were so unpleasant, that I never returned. As, Marc so eloquently depicted it, without actually saying it: too many silver-backs. Before one can begin to learn much there, you must first learn your place - at the feet of the gods there.

At least folks are tolerant and thoughtful here - testy sometimes, but always civil. That works.

I'm sentimental I guess, when it comes to ASHI. I have a reverence possibly for what it once was? (Or, what I thought it was?) As I got closer to it, I became a bit disappointed as I realized how terribly cliquish it was. That was a real turnoff. But, even now, a part of me wants to hold on the the notion that it is the Gold Standard of our profession (right or wrong). It's an institution in my mind that offered us a bar to get over - a right of passage.

So, even though I don't really actively receive that much from it, leaving is emotionally hard. It will take some pondering...

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There are a lot of reasons to be a member of ASHI.

I'd really appreciate seeing your list - seriously. My list keeps getting shorter. I started striking items from the list back when the peer review requirement for membership was eliminated.

Membership in ASHI allows me to support the national organization that aligns most closely with what I think our profession is all about.

I want to support the organization that blocks things like NAHI’s attempt to establish an ANSI standard for home inspections.

My membership in ASHI strengthens an organization that, while nowhere near perfect, is the only serious obstacle that prevents NACHI from dominating the profession.

It provides an avenue through which I can contribute to the betterment of my profession. (I presently do this via my participation in the Technical Committee.)

It allows me to contribute to the maintenance of a national lobbyist. I believe that Randy Pence has done a lot of good for our profession and I’d have no other way to support him were it not for my membership in ASHI.

The bottom line is that ASHI provides an avenue through which I can contribute. At the risk of sounding self righteous, for me it's about giving rather than receiving.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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. . . My first experiences on the ASHI forum were so unpleasant, that I never returned. As, Marc so eloquently depicted it, without actually saying it: too many silver-backs. Before one can begin to learn much there, you must first learn your place - at the feet of the gods there. . . .

My reaction was exactly the opposite. My first exposure to the old, old, old ASHI Forum was a huge eye opener for me.

I was a complete newby and my only exposure to other inspectors was the guy who mentored me and the ancient old guard of the local association, which, at that time, had nothing to do with ASHI. The knowledgebase that everyone worked off of was based on poorly formed opinions, folklore, and superstition.

Then I got to meet leaders from both ASHI & NAHI. The NAHI guy came to speak at one of our local association meetings. I won't mention his name because his conduct was embarassing. He was inebriated, foul mouthed, and insulting to the women who were present. He thought he was being very witty, but none of what he said made any sense. His technical knowledge was very poor. After that meeting, I considered dropping out. If this guy was an example of a national ideal home inspector, I wanted nothing to do with it.

Then, at a subsequent meeting, Rich Matzen spoke. He was well dressed, well spoken, and extremely engaging. His technical knowledge was way, way beyond mine and he talked, answered questions, and debated issues like a true professional. He explained that ASHI was nothing more than a group of inspectors who realized that by joining together, they could create an aggregate that was bigger than its individual parts and that could steer the profession with confidence. I was impressed as all get out and decided that ASHI was the place for me.

After joining, I tried logging on to this discussion board thingy. There I found this guy, Noel McShane, who answered every question that anyone asked. Not only that, but he included references to back up his opinions. So far, I had never seen or heard of a home inspector doing that. *Everyone* else in those days just passed on what they had heard from someone else. And *no one* dared to cite sections of the code. Yet here was this guy McShane slicing & dicing anyone who disagreed with him because he was able to cite chapter & verse at will. Not only that, but he wrote eloquently and with great clarity -- something else that I had never experienced from a home inspector.

He also taught me this, "It ain't a bad gig. Better than punching a clock. But it'll never compete with a good painting, a well written story, or a well tended garden. It also will never buy back a day with your daughter on a softball field or a stolen moment to watch the little figures that appear from the heavy rain falling on the lake. I wouldn't swap one Poem for all the codebooks in the whole damn world."

Noel passed on 8 years ago, but he's still one of the reasons I stay with ASHI.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions in detail Jim K.

It alone was enough to clear any doubts about staying/leaving ASHI.

My other dilemma and staying point is that with no licensing or regulation to speak of in GA, it leaves me with almost requiring that I belong to a professional organization to have some credentials. I've always thought (without any chest thumping or soap boxing) that ASHI was without a doubt the best of the available organizations.

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. . . My first experiences on the ASHI forum were so unpleasant, that I never returned. As, Marc so eloquently depicted it, without actually saying it: too many silver-backs. Before one can begin to learn much there, you must first learn your place - at the feet of the gods there. . . .

My reaction was exactly the opposite. My first exposure to the old, old, old ASHI Forum was a huge eye opener for me.

I was a complete newby and my only exposure to other inspectors was the guy who mentored me and the ancient old guard of the local association, which, at that time, had nothing to do with ASHI. The knowledgebase that everyone worked off of was based on poorly formed opinions, folklore, and superstition.

Then I got to meet leaders from both ASHI & NAHI. The NAHI guy came to speak at one of our local association meetings. I won't mention his name because his conduct was embarrassing. He was inebriated, foul mouthed, and insulting to the women who were present. He thought he was being very witty, but none of what he said made any sense. His technical knowledge was very poor. After that meeting, I considered dropping out. If this guy was an example of a national ideal home inspector, I wanted nothing to do with it.

Then, at a subsequent meeting, Rich Matzen spoke. He was well dressed, well spoken, and extremely engaging. His technical knowledge was way, way beyond mine and he talked, answered questions, and debated issues like a true professional. He explained that ASHI was nothing more than a group of inspectors who realized that by joining together, they could create an aggregate that was bigger than its individual parts and that could steer the profession with confidence. I was impressed as all get out and decided that ASHI was the place for me.

After joining, I tried logging on to this discussion board thingy. There I found this guy, Noel McShane, who answered every question that anyone asked. Not only that, but he included references to back up his opinions. So far, I had never seen or heard of a home inspector doing that. *Everyone* else in those days just passed on what they had heard from someone else. And *no one* dared to cite sections of the code. Yet here was this guy McShane slicing & dicing anyone who disagreed with him because he was able to cite chapter & verse at will. Not only that, but he wrote eloquently and with great clarity -- something else that I had never experienced from a home inspector.

He also taught me this, "It ain't a bad gig. Better than punching a clock. But it'll never compete with a good painting, a well written story, or a well tended garden. It also will never buy back a day with your daughter on a softball field or a stolen moment to watch the little figures that appear from the heavy rain falling on the lake. I wouldn't swap one Poem for all the codebooks in the whole damn world."

Noel passed on 8 years ago, but he's still one of the reasons I stay with ASHI.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

One thing is for sure, which is very much my own problem - I am definitely guilty of forming an opinion set, pretty much, in stone and not being very graceful about giving it another try. I do owe the ASHI Forum or anything (and anyone) that much.

I've been a NAHI CRI for as long as I've been an ASHI Member - passing the two very similar tests (both four hours, I think it was and equally challenging at the time) within a week of each other. You hit the nail on the head with NAHI. As a vendor, I went to their national conventions two times. There just wasn't any real fire in the belly there - pleasant folks knowledgeable folks, but a very different uncharged atmosphere.

As for mold, this too shall pass. I did a seminar on it probably a decade ago, and thanks to my experiences in the home owner's insurance industry, was turned off to the very obvious "mold is gold" mentality that I recognized immediately even back then. I never pursued it. And, I'm glad that the public seems to have calmed some regarding it.

Clients DO ask now and then if I perform the test and I always have to say no. Because of that, last week a NACHI inspector (whom I like just fine) showed up on one of MY inspections as the Mold guy. That was a bit annoying. I'm still on the fence regarding what to do about that.

But, I'm not sure leaving ASHI is the way to best voice strong negative opinions about mold? Maybe our calling (and yours Kurt and Bill, is to be the very strong and respected voices of reason that you are, from within where you actually enjoy a respected pulpit? I know I hear you guys and have shared your concerns for years.

Obviously, I've got a lot of your polarized thoughts bouncing around in my head. I hadn't really, prior to this thread, given much thought to leaving ASHI and will probably remain with the organization for some time to come. I DO, as you can tell from my previous posts, recognize and appreciate the fact that there IS an ASHI. Leaving the world to "the other organization" would be tragic, since ASHI is the true original champion.

Maybe, I'll even sneak into the forum and see how a second chance goes. It could be that they've missed me - a reenactment of the Prodigal Son!... NAH!!!!... (Steve Martin) [:-party]

PS. Since this has drifted slightly in the direction of mold, I came into the kitchen this morning to discover a HUGE menacing patch of stachybotrys has sprung up on my counter top next to the range.

Click to Enlarge
tn_20108110431_DSCN9724.jpg

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I've got my respirator on and the remediation team is on the way to set up the containment area. Oh.. wait a minute.

Click to Enlarge
tn_201081104615_DSCN9728.jpg

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It's just one of my grandson's toys. Never mind..

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The problem with Katen is he always comes up with good reasons for inter-professional understanding.

I don't like it when he does that; it makes me feel like I should too.

No worries, Boyo

You've always got me around to get things all discombobulated again.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If one is to be involved in a profession one has the choice of the level of involvement desired. A lack of support for any organization is the right path for the inspector who is not fully engaged in the profession. A full-time professional has an obligation to himself and his profession to support the professional advancement organization of choice. My choice is ASHI, though I do now and have in the past supported others as well.

For all of their foibles they stand taller than the rest, in my experience. So, sit on the sidelines if that is your choice, but if you really want to be looked upon by your peers as a professional, your support is needed.

Get involved.

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If one is to be involved in a profession one has the choice of the level of involvement desired. A lack of support for any organization is the right path for the inspector who is not fully engaged in the profession. A full-time professional has an obligation to himself and his profession to support the professional advancement organization of choice. My choice is ASHI, though I do now and have in the past supported others as well.

For all of their foibles they stand taller than the rest, in my experience. So, sit on the sidelines if that is your choice, but if you really want to be looked upon by your peers as a professional, your support is needed.

Get involved.

Jeez,

It never occurred to me that the 2/3 of us who don't choose to participate in interorganizational squabbling and ego flogging were a bunch of unprofessional ner-do-wells.

I'm going to go out in the woods now and have a good cry at what an awful unprofessional person I've become.

Jimmy, care to join me?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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If one is to be involved in a profession one has the choice of the level of involvement desired. A lack of support for any organization is the right path for the inspector who is not fully engaged in the profession. A full-time professional has an obligation to himself and his profession to support the professional advancement organization of choice. My choice is ASHI, though I do now and have in the past supported others as well.

For all of their foibles they stand taller than the rest, in my experience. So, sit on the sidelines if that is your choice, but if you really want to be looked upon by your peers as a professional, your support is needed.

Get involved.

Jeez,

It never occurred to me that the 2/3 of us who don't choose to participate in interorganizational squabbling and ego flogging were a bunch of unprofessional ner-do-wells.

I'm going to go out in the woods now and have a good cry at what an awful unprofessional person I've become.

Jimmy, care to join me?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Normally, I'd offer to come join you guys just for support, but I find myself suddenly overwhelmed by a curious sense of professional entitlement and empowerment... [:-batman][:-tophat]

No, Mike, to continue Kurt's kudos - You sir, obviously have "a home, a brain, a heart and dah neuve." [:-graduat

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If one is to be involved in a profession one has the choice of the level of involvement desired. A lack of support for any organization is the right path for the inspector who is not fully engaged in the profession. A full-time professional has an obligation to himself and his profession to support the professional advancement organization of choice. My choice is ASHI, though I do now and have in the past supported others as well.

For all of their foibles they stand taller than the rest, in my experience. So, sit on the sidelines if that is your choice, but if you really want to be looked upon by your peers as a professional, your support is needed.

Get involved.

Jeez,

It never occurred to me that the 2/3 of us who don't choose to participate in interorganizational squabbling and ego flogging were a bunch of unprofessional ner-do-wells.

I'm going to go out in the woods now and have a good cry at what an awful unprofessional person I've become.

Jimmy, care to join me?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Wait, Mike, 'twould seem there's another option: We could attain Aaron's peerage by membership in NACHI as well. Wish I'd known that a few years back when they were offering me free membership. Shoot, I know an inspector who hasn't spent more than 5 minutes on their bulletin board in his whole life, and they offered him the Presidency of the whole danged club a few months back! Lamentably, I don't think that option is open to either of us.

I was a member of ASHI national and ASHI NE until I left the field a few years ago. I received a tremendous amount from my many years of membership. When I got back into home inspections not quite 2 years ago, I just never got around to rejoining. I was increasingly heavily involved at the chapter level toward the end, so I suppose that burnout may have something to do with that.

I'm not anti-ASHI and don't know anything about the current controversy. I still strongly believe that ASHI is -far and away- the best HI org out there, and it is the only one I would join if I were so inclined. I'm just trying life on the outside these days and all I can tell you is: the water's fine.

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The oddities in this whole mess go to the weirdness of the profession.

In other professions, one learns at an accredited school, and advances in those professions comes from erudition.

In other professions, the professional society is at the intersection of commerce and the profession, providing lobbying, educational coordination, social, and civic involvement for the members.

In our profession, the professional society wants to be the profession, not the liaison. They are in competition with local chapters and several knowledgeable private educators.

In our micro-universe, our professional societies are the one's setting the bar, not the university. The bar is set at is (pretty much) a jury rigged vocational center level, cranking out bumwads for the economy. It's a school organized to keep students churning through; it's not an educational organization devoted to development of competent practitioners.

Talk to related professions, i.e., architects, engineers, skilled trades, and ask them what they think of "home inspectors". I don't know about elsewhere, but around here, we're pretty much a joke to those guys. They acknowledge that there are a few competent practitioners, but the near endless refrain I hear is they think we're near worthless.

ASHI has stepped into it all the way. They are attempting to define the profession, not facilitate the interaction of practitioners and the public.

For all the good it's done, ASHI is now actively doing bad things. We have a professional society that actively works to keep code referenced reporting out of the SOP. Think about that. Think about that really hard.

Then, go here

Click around once you get there, and see where we're going with ASHI and the ASHI School.

Pretty much the opposite of professional, as as I'm concerned. They're taking us places we really, really don't want to be.

So, I don't think I can be a part of that. I'm thinking it's the duty of anyone that's serious about this profession to get out of our professional societies, and actively educate the consumer about what a pile they all are.

Or, is that stupid too?

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Again, I have mixed feelings about every aspect of home inspecting. Both the public and professional perception of who we are and what we do has always been clearly out of focus (no pun intended).

We can't possibly be certified specialists in every field, although it would be fine to see the bar raised in areas. I suppose I see us relative to certified specialist as similar to what mediators are to attorneys - capable of helping people make educated and grounded decisions and yet knowing when it's time for the specialist.

I find myself curious - wanting a better vision of the more regulated and educated home inspector - not a question of SOPs, but in more general professional image terms. We've hammered away at what we should not be, but how about a more defined image, inspired by the afore mentioned woes and concerns regarding what we might be would be both insightful and inspiring. The vision of a home inspector has, even in our own minds, has, at best, always been murky and open to considerable debate.

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I had to re-read Jim K's excellent post and then Kurt's post again a couple times. I offer that when you quit an association, you are not necessarily removing your influence from it. The association values it's membership. If you quit, they feel it and it's a problem for them.

Marc

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Well, frankly, it was first teed up in jest, but based upon the caliper of guys running and moderating this outfit and the seasoned vets that loiter here, if you all formed a society, I'd DEFINITELY join it. [^]

Uhh.. that is if I can muster a passing grade for ya'll's brutal certification test. [:-graduat

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Nor should it necessarily be the case with ASHI. Depending on ASHI's current goals and philosophy, they may very well be better off without me and maybe some others. Part of the complex reason I didn't feel compelled to re-up is: Several years ago, the ASHI BOD made the decision that they wanted to be the biggest HI org in the universe, and not necessarily the best. It was a complicated gamble and it remains to be seen whether or not that was the right call. When I went to my first ASHI meeting (The national convention in Chicago, Jan. 1989), I was taken with how bright and unassailably ethical the folks I met were, not how large the group was. Today, the (market and consequently, ASHI's) emphasis has clearly shifted, but that shift puts some of ASHI's goals at odds with my own. No blood, no foul. We parted as friends and whenever noobs ask me, I tell them that ASHI is the only HI org I'd consider joining. Still, it would be dishonest if I didn't say that their promoting Mold Testing didn't bristle the hairs on the back of my neck.

Choosing an HI org is a lot like choosing a religion to me: it really doesn't matter. Like Pythagoras, I say: First, do no harm. Most of the rest is details.

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