Time Thief

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

sigh of relief

As I reported earlier, floor guys started yesterday. I hired a family-owned business because not only were they the cheapest bid, but when I met with the owner for the estimate, he seemed very detail-oriented and a little high-strung, like me. :) His company is basically him and 1 - 2 guys that do the work. I was surprised when 2 guys showed up and the owner wasn't one of them. He arrived a little later, stayed to do some of the more difficult tasks, then left for another job.

I think Guy #2 was a recent hire due to increasing work volume. The way they chat, they seem to be getting to know him still. Guy #1 is probably the main helper, and I refer to him as "Frat Boy" behind his back because that's what he looks like. (Apologies to the Greek readers -- I'm biased.)

After their first pass at sanding, Frat Boy asked if I wanted to pick out a color. I explained (as I had told the owner when he did the estimate) that I want to match the work I already did in the front bedroom. This was basically impossible, according to Frat Boy. Ummmm....I know it's not impossible, because, look: I did it. Here's my leftover stain and everything. Looks just like your can. He gave me all sorts of reasons and excuses, blah, blah, blah. The fact of the matter is, it can be done, but perhaps not the way they "normally" do it. I am not a confrontational person AT ALL. I run from it. But I stood my ground and we left it as they would just finish the final sanding then in the morning, the owner would be there to discuss options.

When they were set to leave, I asked if he had talked to the owner yet and reminded him that if they were willing to comp me on the price, I would stain it myself overnight. Frat Boy just responded with "[the owner] will talk to you in the morning. We'll be here around 10." He was clearly pissed about having to deal with a bitchy customer. He had the same look and mumbled speech pattern I became accustomed to using back in my days of retail.

Later I realized that he had spoken to the owner about it because I had a message on my answering machine to call him. Gave him a call and he gave me some of the same excuses and reasons, but also offered up some options. When I hung up, I was pretty confident that we'd be able to work something out, but I still fretted about it all night long. Since I'm soooo non-confrontational, I have to psyche myself up for the moments that I may need to be. I would've been ready if it came down to it, but I also had to endure all that fretting.

When the doorbell rang this morning, it was the owner and Guy #2. I guess Frat Boy got a reprieve from the difficult customer. Well, staining has now started, and I think it's a pretty good match. Here's where the sigh of relief comes in. ......ahhhhh......

He made a pretty big deviation from his normal processes to get what I want and I think it's going to look pretty good. I will wait until I see the finished product to sing his praises, but when pushed, he made the extra effort. (It probably doesn't hurt that he knows I found him via Angie's List.)

I guess the real lesson here is that even if you're hiring work out, it really pays to be educated about what's going on and what your options are. Had I not done all the research, etc. involved with finishing one room myself, I would've accepted their excuses at face value. After all "they're the experts". Trust what you know and educate yourself enough to know that your beliefs are on solid ground.

Now that the stain is going on, they're blowing through it, and I'm starting to feel a little...uh...elevated. :)


  • Way to go on standing your ground. Can't wait to see the final pictures compared to front bedroom!

    By Anonymous Trissa, at 10:20 PM  

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