Unhappy carpenter

The Happy Carpenter is unhappy, because he has to spend five hours and 50 minutes online to pass a course for his Florida general contractor’s license. Answering the questions is the easy part. The trick is to do it slowly.

1.) You must spend at least 5 hours and 50 minutes of actual time on-line to get 7 hours of credit. Furthermore,
2.) You must be active on the site. If you’re inactive for more than 10 or 15 minutes (honestly, who can remember this kind of stuff?) you’re timed out.
3.) If you’re timed out, then the time you put in up to that point is erased and you have to start over!

The content of the course bears no relationship to the skills contractors actually use, he adds.

About Joanne


  1. That sort of thing can be gotten around in a snap, if someone with the requisite programming skills were to put his mind to it. There was once a “WebAdvantage” thing (I can’t remember the exact name), brandishing the slogan “get paid to surf,” that paid people to browse websites by having an activity meter installed. It wasn’t long before a “MyAdvantage” program was created that simulated active websurfing activity so as to fool the activity meter, which simulator was duly adorned with the slogan “get paid to sleep.” All THC need do when faced with a license renewal test of a similar nature is fill in the questionaire properly as normal then fire up some activity simulator. Voila, tedium reduced. I can’t vouch for the legality of such an approach, though, even despite properly answering all questions.


  2. Greg Williams says:

    Working slowly isn’t a useful skill for a contractor? Since when?

  3. chris haynes says:

    CBT rears its ugly head. write the program to simulate the activity(could be as simple as going back and forth between web pages) some might even respond to keep alive messages. Or hire your kid to click a mouse after your done. The developer of this great CBT course probably did not spend much time thinking about who would spend over 5 hours at a terminal without a pause. Or you could point out that carpenters never work 5 hours and 50 minutes without a break or they get double time.

  4. Walter E. Wallis says:

    As a licensed Professional Engineer since 1969, I have had ample opportunity to observe Continuing Education programs as they are proposed and as they function.
    For a corporate employee, CEU courses are an excellent opportunity for a paid vacation to Vegas, Oahu or on board of cruise ship, all frequent CEU class sites. For an independent, they are an expense.

  5. Chris: But carpenters don’t take the test, their evil exploitative employers do. (sarcasm off)

  6. Jeez you guys, here I type my calloused fingers to the bone, and what do I get?
    Abuse, that’s what.
    I’ll have you know I sometimes work 6 or even 7 hours a day, as long as it’s not too hot.

  7. Roger Sweeny says:


    “We are out in force. We want to make sure no one gets scammed.” – – Kristen Ploska, press secretary for Florida’s Business and Professional Regulation Department, explaining why department investigators gave a cease-and-desist order to a man who was helping his friend repair his hurricane-damaged roof. State law defines such help as unlicensed contracting, subject to fines of up to $5,000.