Friday, July 24, 2009

The Carpenter Who Doesn't Do Carpentry

My carpenter is a scoundrel. He is refusing to repair something I thought he had agreed to do. When he, one of my painter's crew and I walked around the house weeks ago to discuss the many rotting boards needing repair, a windowsill and another spot were on that list.

My husband was not with us as he was hard at work at The Nature Conservancy saving precious land from development (well, he was actually dealing with stock gifts but that money goes to save land). So, my better half was not privvy to the conversations. As well, he had been told by the main painter that another very big and really important board had to be replaced that was not discussed at the carpenter "meeting".

The carpenter was paid.

He did not make those repairs.

I talked to him last night to try and get a price for the very big and really important board and to remind him of the windowsill. This was after my painter called him and told him for the 2nd time that day to call me. Huh. Doesn't sound very dependable, does he? Well, no. I negotiated for twenty minutes with this froot loop. At 9:30 at night when I'm usually in bed reading a good children's book. Later on that.

When I got off, my husband looked at me with pride. Not because I had won the argument. I hadn't. The guy refused to replace that small windowsill for no charge. No charge! You wouldn't believe what he charged us! That guy makes a bundle per hour. I told him we didn't want him to come back and that I wouldn't be recommending him to anyone. And, my painter won't be either. I have started the family phone tree. My mom knows about this goof so everyone else within a 50 mile radius will too. Thanks, Mom.

I actually enjoyed the conversation with the carpenter. Well, not the losing money part. It was similar to the time I helped a girlfriend negotiate her lease for space to accommodate her new business. It came easy and reminded me of those days when I worked in D.C. as a commercial leasing agent.

After I hung up the phone, my husband looked at me with pride. He said, "Jenn, you are a good negotiator. You really need to get back into commercial real estate and make us some money." Aw, man, I wish he had said the same thing while he was reading my middle grader.

That carpenter has screwed me again!


  1. Ugh. That's frustrating. I got into a scuffle like that with T-Mobile. Never get cell phone service from T-Mobile. They're horrible. I'm with you - writing middle-grade fiction is much more fun.

  2. Is your middle-grade protagonist a good negotiator? (Also, we had a horrible time with a contractor once. Horrible. I could've used your talents big-time.)

  3. Barrie - no, my protagonist is no negotiator but he gets what he wants nevertheless! Thanks for joining my blog. I've enjoyed yours.