Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Your contractor, yourself

I have a somewhat troubled relationship with my contractor.

It's not anything he has done.  I think he's perfectly competent -- he's fast and everything looks nice when he's done.

It's our communication skills that are lacking.

Like when I went over to the Casa to inspect the new bathroom and discovered that one of the walls doesn't reach all the way to the other wall.  He'd left a little crawl space available for anyone who wanted to enter the bathroom via a more unconventional route.  (Or, as I immediately thought, allowed for some overly involved couples to listen to each other pee as one was in the bathroom and one was in the bedroom.  It's the new big trend in icky design.) 

When I asked him why the walls didn't meet, he replied, "Because you said you wanted to leave access to the window."

What I thought: "Why is that mutually exclusive?"

What I said: "Yeah, but I want the walls to touch.  Can't you do that and still leave access to the window?"

And what he replied: "Oh, yeah.  I did think it was weird that you didn't want the walls to touch."

Upon careful inspection of the previous conversation, you'll notice that at no point did I ever ask for the walls to not touch.

I think the problem is partly that he's good, and therefore really busy.  We have the same conversation over and over because he forgets what he has and hasn't told me.

Him: "Are you coming over to the house today?"

Me: "Yes, after work."

Him: "What time would that be?"

Me: "4:30 at the absolute earliest."

Him: "Oh, we'll be gone by then."

This happens roughly three times a week.  I will offer to come over early in the morning, late afternoon, evening, lunch hour, or weekend, and inevitably D will ask if I can be there are 10:30am or 3:00pm.

Or when he'll ask me to get him something for one of the projects and then get annoyed when I get the wrong thing.  I don't want to blow anyone's mind here, but believe it or not, I don't know the difference between ceramic glue and whatever glue it was that the fellas at Home Depot recommended.  Perhaps if there was a giant difference, the CONTRACTOR should have gone to get it.

Or he'll text me to apologize for the giant mess the contractors left in the house over the weekend because they forgot their vacuum.  I will text back, "No problem, but the vacuum will be here on Monday, right?"  And he will respond with, "Maybe LOL."

As a point of clarification, I just want to say, fine, maybe I was wearing an inappropriately short dress when I met the contractors (for the record, I was on my way to a bachelorette party) and maybe I offered to buy them pizzas once and maybe I have done my best to respond to every hiccup and problem with a cheery, "No worries!" and maybe I don't have a husband to glare when things go awry, BUT.

I work all day for some very high-strung clients and I just mortgaged the next thirty years of my life to this house and remember two weeks ago when I handed you a rather large stack of cash money to do what I want? THE ANSWER IS NEVER GOING TO BE "LAUGH OUT LOUD."  No, the answer is, "Definitely, and I'm going to bring you a freshly baked pie and a six-pack of Diet Coke to make up for the inconvenience."  Ok, not really.  "Definitely" alone will do just fine.

One more week, boys and girls.

One more week.


  1. Make your contractor grow up and stop texting.

    Texting is never appropriate in this high dollar situation and it needs to end.

    Funny how people had to face their issues face-to-face or via phone calls before texting.

    Texting is for friends and to say "Hey - getting a bite to eat at - wanna join us?" Or "Going to be 10 minutes late for dinner honey." Not "Maybes" from a guy you are paying a large amount of money to when you need your investment fixed.

    Stop texting him, responding to his texts and tell him to stop too.

  2. "LOL"? Okay, maybe I'm a weirdo, but "lol" always feels weird when I'm texting friends. But in a business situation? Yikes.

    Also, I never knew that not having walls meet in bathrooms was a thing. Really, "bathroom" is very high on the list of places where I want as much privacy as possible. Is this somehow less common now?

  3. I think that the rule is that if you are not a 14 year old girl you should stop using "LOL" in text based conversation, but I'm a giant snob ala Niles Crane and George Plimpton.