Why is it ................... ????

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Why is it that some people have problems showing up when that is all they have to do to get the job?
I am in the throes of finishing a kitchen remodel. Something that was supposed to be fun turned into an ordeal. The wall guys did their thing, moving some walls, installing new lights, and doing wall things. The drywall guy came and went, and did his usual outstanding job. The granite guy came and went, and I don't even remember what he looked like, but left outstanding granite work. We painted.
The cabinet guy drug his feet, as he was going through a separation, custody battle, child care issues, and a new husband in law. He did finish the work, and did a good job, although it was two months late.
He recommended a tile guy. The tile guy came and did an estimate. The cabinet guy said he did nice work. Others tilers came and left estimates. We decided to go with the original tile guy. A total of four times, he did not call or show for appointments. My wife in her haste to get the job done overlooked this. Then, Friday, he was to come and bring the contract. No show. No call. I told her not to use him, as he would be unreliable in his work. She said she would wait until Sunday, and if he hadn't called, she would find someone else. He hasn't called.
My question is:
Why is it that some people have problems showing up when that is all they have to do to get the job?
This job was for 850sf of Travertine, and ran about $3750, so wasn't a piddly little job, IMHO. I have already removed the old floor, and scraped the concrete.
Steve
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i don't know, but i see it ALL THE TIME in the remodeling/building (independent) trades and it gives the good guys a real bad rep!
--
rosie

"I think Senator Kerry should be proud of his record. No, I don't
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On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 11:32:29 -0500, " rosie"

I've gone through this my entire 25-year career as owner of an old house. As only one example, I once called 28 asphalt driveway contractors in order to get 4 of them to deign to give me an estimate to replace my drive . Not a cheap job either, and I am quite easy to deal with, so my manner had nothing to do with it. I could imagine a few not showing but I called every single one in the phone book to get more than one guy to respond. Even companies recommended by neighbors didn't return calls. One guy who came gave me a price that was triple the other prices! Sheesh.
Likewise, roofers. Likewise masons. And even a very reliable contractor who once did major renovations on my house couldn't get the drywall sub to show up for over three weeks, ultimately forcing me to take off work to paint the new walls day and night to meet my move-in deadline.
And not all are tradesmen. I had such a hard time finding an architect or engineer/designer to help us re-design our third floor that I finally did it myself. Of the three people who did show up, one came four hours late and brought his two little kids and his two large dogs with him. He was rude and unpleasant and sarcastic throughout our entire conversation. Another seemed interested and had good ideas but never came back with an estimate or a fee schedule and never returned our calls again. Maybe it's my breath.
Not everyone is like that, however. Our long-time housepainter shows up right on the dot, every time we call, and has for 20 years. Landscapers and arborists we have hired from time to time have always been reliable. And many others show up and do the work as promised.
I think there are a variety of reasons for all this:
1. Some are good at what they do but just not good at business and scheduling. Their work is hard and they are tired at night. They limp through life, missing appointments.
2. Some won't or can't say no when the job is not to their liking for whatever reason. They promise to show but then disappear.
3. Some have a primitive financial outlook and simply live from month to month. If they don't feel like doing the work and they have enough money to pay the bills that week or that month they just turn on the answering machine and go back to bed.
4. They get a better job that takes up all their time and they don't know how to tell you.
5. They are afraid to turn down work and become overbooked. Business is too good.
6. They are secret substance abusers who can't get to work reliably.
It's all very annoying, but there are still many good workers out there who want the job and know how to show up. Gotta be patient -- hey, you had pretty good luck with everyone else on your project

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Tom Miller writes:

Perhaps there are only 4 contractors, using 28 different phone numbers? Common scam, using multiple ads in the phone book. Of course the phone company is happy to further it.
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On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 15:14:22 -0500, Richard J Kinch

I understand what you are saying, but in this case, nah. I live in a major metropolitan area (next to New York City) and there is no shortage of contractors. These names were not all from the phone book, either, but from friends' rolledexes too.
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rosie wrote:

Are there any good guys? Where I live, it seems that all contractors are working part-time jobs. Of all the jobs I have had done by contractors in the last 20 years, 80% have not completed the jobs. Fortunately, they have not collected the last payment either, and I have contracted other part-timers to finish the jobs at a lower cost. If I was to remodel my kitchen, I would go with Sears, or Lowes, or Home Depot. They are easier to find when the job is not done right.
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The cabinets were MUCH higher cost at Home Depot, and FERGEDDABOUT! anything that wasn't the same size as the pictures in the catalogs. Home Depot would have run about $7k more FOR JUST THE CABINETS. Granite would have been just about double.
And what's your point about HD being easy to find if you have problems? We had problems with doors we bought at HD, and they weren't a lot of help after the sale. You are naive if you think you can do anything when a megacorporation doesn't do a good job. They have attorneys on retainer just to keep you in court until you die, commit suicide, or just go away.
Or at least that has been my experience.
Steve
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Yea...those companies sub out to the same guys that wont show.... But..you knew that right?
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Steve@carolinabreezehvac wrote:

Yep, but I didn't sign a contract with those guys. I signed with the big name store. The big name store doesn't move out of the area, or go bankrupt, or skip off with the company money. The big name store is responsible for completion of the job.
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All they are is a bigger turnip that you are trying to get blood out of. You make it sound as if you can actually MAKE them do something. That has not been my experience. And I have heard many stories, and read many stories here of people who had negative experiences with the big name stores.
So, either way, ya pays ya money and ya takes ya chances.
Steve
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Well, Carlos, the no show is history.
I called the granite guy who did an outstanding job, and he recommended Kirby. Kirby came by this morning and looked at the job. He starts tomorrow morning, and he is bidding less than the others.
We'll see how it goes.
I just hope I don't shoot someone before all this is over...........................
Steve
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custody
did
done
Why is it you were surprised about this?
I told her not to use him, as he would be unreliable in his

What does it take to convince your wife he's unreliable?
and if he hadn't called, she

Some people are just that way...
My question is:
Why do people give these kinds of people more than one opportunity to prove they are this way?
Disappoint me once, shame on you...Disappoint me twice, shame on me.
Words to live by. :)
Brigitte
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"SteveB" wrote

Why did you spend so much time waiting on this person? You should have dropped them like a hot potatoe.
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Truth is, this happens a lot. Some of the best work is done by some strange characters and sometimes they are worth waiting for. Sometimes you just can't get anyone else to do a special job except for the guy with the personality disorder.
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wrote:

(Snipped for brevity)

That's why it's ALWAYS better to have 3 or more quotes and letting the others KNOW you have them. This says "I have others waiting in the wings"
Frankly, 2 strikes and the cabinet and tile maker would have been out...
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I agree. But I am not in charge of the kitchen remodeling. The cabinet guy custom made the cabinets, and lots of money was hanging in space for quite a while. $18k all together. I just wanted to get even with him, and then shoo him away. That time came, we did, and he agreed to come and finish a lot of small details, which he did. So, no money lost. Had we canned him, we would have been out a hefty chunk of change, and been looking for someone to come in and take over in the middle of the job and finish it. Not a good prospect. And fergeddabout calling the contractor's board or BBB.
With the tile guy, no money has changed hands. Now, the wife is beginning to see things other than just getting the kitchen finished. Or at least I hope.
Steve
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The problem is simple. The guy is juggling jobs so he can work full time. You can't wait until you finish a job to line up another so you have to get the work while you can. If he has problems on one job then the next job will be bumped forward.
Here is the ugly side of this. If a contractor get's way behind he has a better chance of keeping the work if he DOESN'T have frequent contact with the homeowner. I know that sounds backwards but homeowners are reluctant to 'fire' a guy until they get to talk to him. They need to hear the excuses in able to get mad enough to fire him. If he doesn't show up he's hard to fire. If the homeowner has no clue as to what is going on he will wait and wait before taking action.
This is why contractors try to avoid contact if they can't start the job in a timely fashion. And the guy who had marriage problems. Give me a break. In my 15 years as a self employed contractor my grandmother died at least a dozen times.<g>
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: In my 15 years as a self employed contractor my grandmother died at least a : dozen times.<g> : : :
YUP!
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wrote:

Obviously he doesn't want the job or has other fish to fry. It is a good idea to get several interviews and estimates, then rank them. If you gave him the benefit of the doubt, he may just do half the work and stall. Go with your second best choice.
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SteveB writes:

This is human nature, and has always been thus.
In our relatively free US marketplace, manufactured products hide this. Finished goods sit on shelves waiting for your purchase. You don't see the many heartaches and tragedies that went into making them. You can judge the products without having to deal with the complexities of the real people who made them.
When you have custom work done, then you have to deal with the human realities. Much different process. The more "custom" and less "routine" the work, the worse this applies. More complex, more prone to error, more unfamiliar to most of us.
This accounts for the popularity and premium pricing of buying new, finished homes from corporate builders in large developments. You buy a certain ready product, without the risks and uncertainties of contracting.
Most people are not very critical buyers of custom work, and that tends to encourage contractors who are good at weaseling out of specs and schedules, rather than good at delivering.
The typical contractor is someone who means well and hopes for the best, but to make the sale promises too much, then delivers halfway, and finally is most expert at avoiding the consequences.
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