Hey, gang, how are ya’all? Doing good, I hope! It’s been great weather here in the Valley of the Sun…at least, great for me. I love colder weather and we’ve had a cooler than usual winter this year. YAY! Not everyone is happy about it, but this is my story, so I’m gonna call it a huge WIN. 😊
Okay, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I’ll admit that. But I’m also reasonable and don’t expect perfection from everyone I meet. That would just be stupid. But I do miss the days when you could hire someone to do a project and they would do their best to give you what they said they would deliver…when you did business on a handshake and their word was their bond (and they valued it)…when they took pride in a job well done.
All too often these days we run into the wall ‘o greed…that burning desert zone where it’s all about getting the biggest profit margin you can, even if it means short-cutting the process or lying to the customer about what you will deliver…or maybe setting up a help desk process manned completely by AI. Okay, I got a little excited and got us off topic.
Well, I’m sittin’ at the edge of that hot zone with my feet dangling over the edge, wondering if I’m gonna finish this week pissed off as a wet rooster under a bucket, or if someone is going to restore my faith in human nature. Why? I’m glad you asked.
I had a leak in my patio roof that was leaving a wet spot on the floor when it rained…then that leak turned into two leaks and two wet spots…then those wet spots became two rivers that eventually merged into one and ran the length of the enclosed patio wall every time it rained. Bottom line, I needed the roofing over the patio replaced. The house roof is only about 3 years old, but the patio roofing got a 2nd layer put on about 20 years ago, so it was time.
So I got a referral to a roofing company and asked for an estimate to replace the patio roofing. Now, the house roof that was replaced about 3 years ago was twice the amount of the quote for the patio roof. Twice. That might sound reasonable until you realize that the house roof was probably 2300 square feet of roofing, all new drip cap, several lengths of fascia board, several pieces of plywood, working around 2 AC units and various exhaust vents with architectural shingles, and the project took a full crew 2 days to complete. The patio roof is less than 400 square feet with nothing to have to work around with peel and stick roofing, required no wood replacement whatsoever, and took about 10 manhours to complete…at half the price of a full roof replacement just three years prior.
So, here we are in hyperinflation and using a different roofing company (because the previous company whom I LOVED went out of business during the pandemic), and I find that the pricing for roofing work has jumped to mind-boggling levels. Okay, I have a conversation with them to understand exactly what I’m getting for that price, how they will match colors, etc. I sign on the dotted line.
Now they have me.
The bottom line is that the two-man crew finished up by about 3pm and hurried away as I was rather loudly questioning why the hell my patio is now four different colors. I let them go. After all, they were not the guys who would be looking for the final check. Nor were they empowered to make any conciliatory offers.
But they were the guys who did the work. So, where’s the pride in a job well done? How could they look at a house with a medium brown roof, a sand colored patio roof that is nowhere near the color of the roof, and dark brown trim that is supposed to be the same color as the rest of the trim on the house, which is gray…and call it good?
Okay, this is where I came smack dab up against the loss of pride in a job well done. Oh, don’t get me wrong…it does appear that they did a good, solid job of applying the roofing. (We’ll see how it holds up if the predicted rain hits tonight.) But I was told the drip cap and any fascia board that had to be replaced would be painted to match the trim. Nope. Half of the back side of my house has dark brown trim, and the other half has gray trim. I’m sorry…this does not scream pride in my job to me. No one even questioned it. And when I did, the guy tried to tell me it wasn’t noticeable and ran like the wind.
So, I fired off an email to the company who is still expecting the last half of the payment, explaining just how unhappy I am with their idea of what it means to come “as close to the color of the roof as possible” and with leaving me with a mishmash of colors and trim that doesn’t match anything else on the house. Never mind the fact that they haven’t lived up to their word.
I am expecting that tomorrow will be the day when I find out if they restore my faith in human nature by trying to do something to make it right—or at least slightly more palatable. On the other hand, I could find myself running head-first into the corporate wall o’ greed. Being a project manager in a previous life, I understand budgets and profit margins…and I also know that there is a minimum of a 50% profit margin built into this job. The least I expect them to do is spring for a $50 can of paint and a man with a ladder to paint that damn trim—like they told me they would.
So, cross your fingers that the door that opens tomorrow is Door Number One and they will at least try to soften the blow of a two-color roof that I will have to live with for at least the next 10 years of my life. After all…“close enough is good enough,” while wrong at its very core, still only applies if it’s actually close. This color difference would only count as “close” if you were a mole or a flatworm viewing the house from a distance of a mile-and-a-half.
Well, that’s my story, disappointed and disillusioned, and I’m stickin’ to it. Hang on tight now ‘cuz we’re gonna go real, real fast!
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You have my sympathies. Slipshod workmanship as become the norm sadly. We'll have to meet for lunch and compare notes sometime. Will all the books you have written and I have read, YOU have always taken pride in your work (or writing in this case). I'm looking forward to the next one.ReplyDelete
Thank you! Huge hugs. Just let me know when we are doing lunch. :)Delete
Sadly, your problem isn't a new one. When we moved into our first house (no, I won't tell you how many decades ago that was), there was a "lovely" rectangular hole in the sheetrock over the fireplace. It was exactly the width of the fireplace, but extended two feet above the mantel. When we told the builder this was unacceptable and wanted to know how it happened, his explanation was, "The painters were paid to paint, not to critique the wall; the men who installed the mantel were paid to install it, not to critique the wall ..." and on and on it went. It appeared no one was paid to look at the whole picture and see that the opening for the fireplace had been cut the wrong size. Eventually it was fixed, but I still shake my head at the idea that anyone considered that good enough.ReplyDelete
OMG, I can't stop laughing. That is absurd and hysterical all at the same time. I'm feeling much better about my roof right now...at least there isn't a big hole up there! Oh, Amanda, thanks for the laugh...it's the first one today. LOL!!!ReplyDelete
That just sucks! I'm surprised you weren't out there chewing some ass while they were doing that half-assed job. Just sayin' :) I think I would be....or probably Jon. He would enjoy it more. Stress relief!ReplyDelete
Since I'm terrified of heights and can't make myself climb a ladder, I was not able to see the issue until the last row went on at the top. By then, the damage was done and it looked like rain was coming, so nothing to do in the moment but let them finish. There was a language barrier and it was clear I wasn't speaking to anyone empowered to fix anything. I'm fully expecting a call tomorrow because they will want the rest of their money. At this point, I'm simply not motivated to give it to them.Delete