Saturday, August 25, 2007

Clear, Transparent Danger- and a saga

You've probably noticed that I've been making the time to blog on a daily basis. This despite having a house that is a wreck, and a million things to do. "How does she do it?" you may ask. Well, I do it while I'm taking significant breaks from my tedious, sweat-generating wrestling matches with the clear, sticky shelf-liner I purchased from Wal-Mart. Can you think of anything more taxing on your nerves than wiping down the shelves, measuring and cutting along the gridlines just so, and then sealing these pristine surfaces with nary a bubble in sight? Bubble-less? Impossible even after a half a dozen tries per shelf. Gawd!

And of course, hubby hasn't been in sight either, hence more face time on the computer for me. Muah-ha-ha!


The Saga

As I was trying to get the kids to bed last night at the early hour of 9:30 PM, the phone rings. Thinking it's the hubster giving me his nightly check-in call, I pick it up ready to be all cheery. Well, it wasn't the hubby, but my contractor. The one we hired to do everything for our reno except a) the floor (because we saw some of his work and it SUCKED) and b) the kitchen cabinetry which was custom. So we asked him to do all the electricals, plumbing, paint, and family room floor.

He wanted to come and complete the job today. We had told him we would call once the kitchen cabinets and floors were in; which was just completed this week. But I hadn't because our counter tops won't be installed until next week, so there was no point for him to come because we don't have sink, faucet, etc....and we hadn't finalized the colour for the paint yet or the family room wood floor choice for that matter. I said if he wanted to come and had time then he could do what he could, but it wasn't much at this point until we were further along.

That set him off. He said he couldn't just come for a few hours here and there, he had other jobs he had to do. It was a "waste of his time" to keep bringing his tools to set up, then leave, only to come back again. Which I could understand, but that's why I hadn't called him in the first place because there wasn't a huge chunk to do yet. He wondered why the paint choice was taking so long - I said we needed to have the cabinets and floors, and granite chosen to be sure of the colour (obviously, aesthetics aren't a huge concern for him). He said most people are in a hurry for their renos - laughed a bit sarcastically, then said that my mother had told him we were slow, but this was too slow for him. Yeah, basically he was saying he didn't know what our problem was and we were taking too long. Told me I should call him in OCTOBER to finish the job.

Well that set ME off. Who's the client in this scenario again? Can you believe this? I was livid. I said that I couldn't NOT have a kitchen for another month, and that I understood that he didn't like to be pulled in only every so often, which is why we hadn't called to confirm with him until we had everything set. I could have also (but didn't) mentioned that cutting two chunks out of my dining room wall wasn't part of the contract either (although they did patch them and I'm assuming will paint over it -if I can find the original paint).

Anyway, we left it that I'd go over everything with Ian and get back to him with our plans this week - that he should be prepared to come after Labour Day.

Now I don't know whether I should give him the benefit of the doubt that English isn't his first language; but his language skills are a lot better than he's ever let on to my mother (who referred us to him several times) or my siblings. Actually, she sends him a lot of work. I know he's given attitude to my brother and sister before, but he's always been OK with me, and he's always chuckling with Ian. I should have taken the paint job he did for my brother as a warning (he got the wrong hue of paint for them, only slightly off so they could live with it, but that wasn't the point - he never apologized or offered to get the original paint they had chosen).

I don't mind him asking about scheduling etc. and I fully understand that he needs to keep his jobs going and it is his busy season. But really, there's no need for him to raise his voice and say things which I found personally insulting. And we have already booked the job with him, as opposed to other jobs which he is still seeking.

So then I called Ian. Who agreed that Mr. C. was being a p#&ck (trying to keep this PG folks) but that he figured he was annoyed because we didn't hire him for more work. Told me to let him call him back and he'd straighten him out. Said if he ever gave me that type of call again, I should just say "Talk to Ian". Yeah, my knight in shining armour.

So you know where I'm going now... let's call in my henchwoman ... MAMA!

Well, no, I didn't do that. But mom coincidentally called me about an hour later about baby stuff. And then I mentioned my conversation with the contractor briefly. To which Mom jumped through the phone and said ... "Let me tell him off tomorrow". She's so funny!

I told Mom it wasn't necessary for her to contact him. I just want him to finish the job so I can get my kitchen completed, and completed nicely. THEN she can call and tell him off!!

I don't think she'll be sending any more work his way, though. And although I had initially considered him to do our next reno (basement), based on this conversation I'm not so sure. But maybe I'm just a hothead and too sensitive. Or maybe not.

Well, now that it's off my chest, maybe I'll get over it. Whatever -- just get this thing off my head!


bec said...

Oh how frustrating!!! That's awful for him to speak to you like that! I didn't think you were taking too long on this. It's important to do everything the way you want to because you are the ones who have to live with it!!! I hope your mom set him straight, too! You'd think since he's been getting so many jobs from your family he'd treat you with even more respect! Geesh! Renos are stressful enough and don't need additional sagas! lol! Hugs, my friend! You'll get through this and it will all be worth it in the end!

Karen MEG said...

Thanks Becs...I'm sort of over it. Letting the big man handle things with Mr. C from now on.
Cabinet guys coming over today for my list of issues...wish me luck ;)

Chrissy said...

Oh, Karen. Sorry it's been so frustrating for you. That really sucks.

On a more positive note, I really enjoyed reading your post! I just love your writing style. You've got quite the sense of humour and an eloquent way of writing...even if you are pissed! ;)

Beck said...

My comment didn't go through!
Renovations are HELL. My next house will be perfect before I move in. I don't know how this will happen, but oh, it WILL.

pinks & blues girls said...

Ugh, you are really making a case for being OK with the fact that my kitchen is a little out-dated!

I have to second what Chrissy said, though... you are an excellent writer!

Jane, P&B Girls

Karen MEG said...

Chrissy & Jane - Eloquently Pissed - has a nice ring to it - Thanks LOL!
Hi Beck - thanks for visiting! Sometimes it does feel like we're in the depths of ... but it's really not SOOOO bad.

Dina said...

Karen- i know that renos really suck and they can suck the energy right out of you too. My in-laws just had their whole entire house renovated and they were so frustrated by the end of it BUT the end results were fantastic!! Absolutely worth it...just remember the end justify the means AND if you need a great contractor theirs is fantastic- they use him often and have referred him to many people. We will likely use him to install a washroom in our basement and do some other work there too!!
(BTW, i am so happy i've had time to catch up on your blog today-it hasn't been overly busy at work)


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