Saturday, April 17, 2010

Take my money, please

Mom is still picking up the pieces from her recent burglary. She is supposed to have a dusk to dawn light installed in the back yard. She's got the 16 foot tall pole and the fixture, just not the electrician to install it. He keeps putting her off. Bad economy or no, I assume that work up there is so good it doesn't matter whom he ticks off. There will always be another job around the corner. Pitiful.

And now she's trying to have the siding replaced on an outbuilding. It's like standing in the middle of the street waving a big stack of bills that no one want to take. She's called three siding installers and can't get anyone to commit to do the work. The first guy quoted the job and now won't call her back. The second wouldn't even come out. The third was there today, came up with an outrageous figure and couldn't tell her when he could get to it. When she tried to negotiate, he just jumped in his truck and drove off. Another case of his figuring there's a sucker on every street corner waiting to be fleeced so he doesn't have to deal with the ones that actually expect work done well, for a reasonable rate, and on time.

My sister-in-law claims this is a peculiar trait of the area; there are fewer of all kinds of craftsmen in that little town, so they get used to calling the shots due to lack of competition. I'm not so sure. I live in a metropolitan area with half a million people. The phone book is full of every type of resource you'd want, and you can't get a job done here either. When I remodeled my kitchen six years ago I must have called twenty contractors. Only two even came out to give me an estimate, and one of those wouldn't call me back. I finally latched onto the father-in-law of a co-worker, who was sort of a pain but at least finished the kitchen. I took a grim enjoyment out of the fact that several of those nonresponsive contractors aren't in business anymore. Gee, wonder why?

The trim on the outside of the house needs painting this spring, and I'm already dreading the search. If it didn't involve ladders and painting over your head twelve feet off the ground, I would do it myself; unfortunately, I don't have a death wish. What I do have is the phone number of a painter at the business where I used to work. I think he moonlights.


*karendianne. said...

Now what we need here is one of those EASY buttons they promote at STAPLES! If only, eh? I empathize my friend, I truly do. ...and I am sending you some "cosmic lift" in this note in hopes it'll help support all the efforts going on around the cat house where you just live. Warmly and with DD support, *karendianne.

Elaine Adair said...

My gosh - I'm sorry you had to deal with all the "I don't give a darn" attitude.

Do you remember I called "John" last summer when it was time to paint the deck? John is a kinda devil-may-care fellow, no roots, not car, no regular job, but he worked hard painting my deck, was polite, punctual, and I was glad to pay him for his assistance. I still feel guilty that he did not ask for enough $, and so I helped get the job done. I will be glad, again, to find him for the next job. He came, he worked. Jeeschhhh - don't your contractors need any money?????

Tanya said...

Hmm. I think we get better service in Japan. Now I'm not sure because we try not to call anybody to do anything and everything doesn't get done or we do it ourselves. But polite is right. Whether capable or not at least in Japan everyone is polite...