Contracting A Serious Problem

, , , , , | Working | April 27, 2021

I am having some remodels done to my home, and while I consider myself pretty handy, I simply don’t have the time to devote to the work, so I hire a contractor and crew. The problem is that the lead contractor keeps calling for countless questions. It’s not things like, “Do you prefer this color or the other one?” but rather questions like, “How are we going to build this?” It begins to feel like I am supervising the lead rather than hiring him.

Finally, I get fed up.

Contractor: “Hey, I tried to call you. Why didn’t you answer?”

Me: “I’m working. That’s why I hired you guys to do this.”

Contractor: “Well, I’m trying to figure out how to do [task], and it’s giving me a headache. I need you to come sort this out.”

Me: “Look. At the end of this, one of us is going to have a headache and the other is going to have a bill. Which would you like to have?”


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How To Lose A Woman (And A Contract) In Less Than Sixty Seconds

, , , , | Working | November 27, 2020

I am a housing officer in a mental health specialist housing group. I’m responsible for over 100 properties over a large city. I am responsible for maintenance and tenant welfare and am extremely busy because of it. I’m a woman in my twenties but can easily pass for an eighteen-year-old.

I need to find a new carpet supplier and have arranged for several companies to provide quotes. The successful company will become our exclusive supplier, and we are recarpeting 90% of our existing properties with new ones coming in the next few weeks. On this day, I’m scheduled to work from home but I’m coming in as a favour. I am dressed in workout gear — leggings, trainers, and a hoodie — with my ID badge on display.

As I pull into the street, a van cuts me off coming down a pedestrian walkway. The driver beeps and makes vulgar gestures at me, all of which is captured on my dashcam. He races off, breaking the speed limit, and parks across two driveways, blocking me from parking on the property.

I drive past and walk to the property, and I notice the driver standing on the doorstep repeatedly ringing the bell and hammering on the door.

As he drops a cigarette butt on the floor, he notices me and lets out a shrill wolf-whistle.

Worker: “Oi, oi! How’s it going, baby?!”

Me: “Hello, are you [Worker] from [Company]? I’m [My Name] from [Housing Organisation]. I believe you’re here to bid for the carpeting contract?”

Worker: “Err, uhh, yeah. Yeah, that’s right, love! I thought I was meeting the officer, not their assistant! I’m only gonna deal with the big boss, all right, sweetheart?”

Me: “Actually, you won’t be dealing with anyone. I am [My Name] and I’m the officer dealing with contracts. Your conduct has been disgraceful; you’re not coming anywhere near my tenants or properties. I will be calling your supervisor to confirm exactly why you won’t be getting the contract and to let him know about your behaviour. Have a wonderful rest of the week, Mr. [Worker].”

Leaving him speechless, I stormed back to my car and went back to my office. His company was apoplectic with rage when they heard what he had done and he was fired on the spot, due to this incident combined with previous issues. They sent both their other workers who would be carrying out the work to meet me and sign up for mental health awareness training, AND they gave us two carpet fittings free. Due to this, we gave them the contract and have had no trouble since.

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A Sudden Switch In Their Understanding

, , , , , , | Right | June 26, 2019

I’m on a job to, among other things, repair a light over a client’s front door. The issue as described by the client is that it doesn’t always come on every time they flip the switch.

I talk to the property manager and he shows me the switch — in a bank of about eight others — that controls the light. I turn it on and off several times and cannot replicate the issue, but to be thorough, I open the fixture and inspect everything. I tell the property manager that it seems to be in proper working order, but I can replace the functional parts just to be certain. He agrees and I proceed.

When I’m finished, I show him that it’s working properly by again repeatedly turning it on and off. He agrees that it’s good to go.

The next day, when we return to finish the rest of the work, he approaches me again and says they’re still having the same issue. This time the client is home so I speak to her directly. I ask her to show me what happens when she turns it on.

She proceeds to flip every single one of the aforementioned eight switches before coming to the one that actually controls the light, and then she says, “See? It doesn’t work.”

Containing my laughter, I show her that it’s only tied to the one switch and repeat the process of turning it on and off, showing her that it’s functioning normally.

The client says, “Oh, well, now it works!”

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Noodles And Woods And Caulk, Oh My

, , , , , , | Working | November 12, 2018

(My husband is a contractor for a rental company. He usually gets called to do repairs and repaint and whatnot between tenants. When he needs an extra set of hands, I usually offer to tag along and help out. This particular day, I’ve been watching him cut and replace the wooden trim on a door frame, and now he’s filling in the cracks with caulk, using his fingers and hands to get into the creases.)

Me: “Man, you are always playing with your caulk, aren’t you?!”

Husband: *smirking at me* “Got to make sure it’s smooth. Only way to do that is by rubbing my caulk with my hand.”

Me: “Looks messy. You’re going to get your caulk all over everything!”

Husband: “Good point. Maybe I should go back to playing with my wood.”

(We both start laughing. Then, the rental agent, whom my husband has been working with for nearly 15 years, calls.)

Agent: “[Husband]! That job done yet? I’m not paying you to stand around, yankin’ your noodle!”

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One Door Closes, Another One Confuses

, , , , | Working | May 12, 2018

(My mother is looking to have some major work done in our basement: adding heating ducts, getting new cabinets in the kitchen, and putting a shower in the bathroom, among other things. Her father and grandfather owned a kitchen and cabinet company, so she grew up around contracting and has more knowledge than the average homeowner on structure and fixtures. She has hired a contractor who was a recommendation from a trusted and close family member, and she liked the work he did on their house. He has been over a few times to get an idea of the work to be done, and he has come over today with written plans and to knock down a bit of the walls to get an idea of how much work it will be.)

Mom: *pointing on the plans as she goes along* “In the bathroom, we have the two doors here currently. We want to keep them there. I know with the shower going here, [door #1] won’t open all the way. That’s fine. It has to swing this way, because if it swings the other way, you can’t open this [door #2].”

Contractor: “Okay, okay. I see. No, wait. If the shower goes there, [door #1] won’t be able to open all the way.”

Mom: “I know. I’m okay with that. We are keeping [door #1] as it is.”

Contractor: “Okay, so, I’m going to move [door #1] to swing this way so it doesn’t get in the way of the shower.”

Mom: “No, you’re not going to do anything to [door #1]. Keep [door #1] the way it is. If you move it, we can’t access [door #2].”

Contractor: “Okay. So, the shower goes here. And we are moving the [door #2] down here? We can’t do that; it won’t open here! We’ll move [door #2] down here and make [door #1] swing the other way.”

Mom: “No, you’re not listening. Don’t touch the doors. Keep them the way they are. Just put the shower here.”

Contractor: “Oh, okay. So, you want the shower here, then you want me to make [door #1] swing the other way and move [door #2] down here. Got it.”

Mom: *fed up* “NO!” *sigh* “Should we just go down there and look at it in person?”

(He hasn’t started the work yet, but I’m sure she will be close behind him at all times during the project.)

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