Friday, June 4, 2010

Firing The Neighbor

Working with handymen and contractors can be a crazy experience.

Some are really, really good and those are the ones you try desperately to keep. Some are obviously bad, and you fire them at your first opportunity. But most of them are kind of "middling" and you end up putting up with some things in order to keep your price. I've got a crew like that now. Functionally the things they fix are fine, but aesthetics seem to come second.

We had the hardwood floor in the kitchen repaired under the dishwasher. That went swimmingly, so we went on to the next thing.

I've got a banister at the top of the stairs with a baby gate; originally we put it there to keep babies from falling down the stairs. Now it's in such poor shape that it's the baby gate that keeps the banister from falling down the stairs. We had them replace it, but initially they put the railing up crooked. Didja think I wouldn't notice?

Similarly, our yard gate isn't worth a hoot, so it's perpetually propped open. Well, after Nub escaped out the back door and then out of the back yard and down the street, that had to change. The contractor repaired the gate, but with a mix of the old and new lumber, so it looks funny and the quality is impaired; also the latch doesn't meet up right and one of the posts is lower than the rest.

If this guy's crew doesn't shape up, he's going on the Bad List. I think he's trying to become a General contractor who coordinates work crews instead of doing it himself - and that's a problem if you don't supervise your guys.

If that wasn't bad enough, things are starting to get weird. My neighbor has been painting her fence white. That's fine for her, but I don't want a white picket fence, I like mine au natural. When I went to work, my workmen were installing my fence/gate; when I came home half of my fence had been painted white. (And not the part nearest the neighbor.) And to top it all off she got paint on my house siding.

Of course I confronted her about it, let it be known I wasn't too happy, and expected her to fix it. "You mean like wash it off?" No, like replace it. Still no clear reason on why she thought this was a good idea.

So the workmen will either shape up or get fired; what I don't know how to do is fire the neighbor.
Read Firing the Neighbor: Part 2.

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