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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Peeved Contractor

Clarence wrote:

Dear Rod,

My name is Clarence and I'm a contractor. The biggest peeve I have with my work is that people expect me to do work for free. It always goes like this: "As long as you are here I've got something else for you to look at. It will only take a few minutes." I never hear them say.... "I'm willing to pay extra" or "would you give me a bid on that?" They're expecting freebies.

Just the other day we were painting this foyer where the ceiling is twenty-two feet high. The second story of this foyer has windows, huge windows, that had not been washed for at least a decade. The owner said, "While you are up there would you please wash the windows." I said, "Sure, that will take about an hour, we can add it on to the bill." He said, "You mean you won't just do it?" I said, "I pay my men by the hour." Well, anyway, to make a long story short, the owner got peeved. When he paid me at the end of the job he shorted me $100.

Do you have any advice on how I should handle this?


Dear Clarence,

What an idiot you are! Don't you know that contractors are in the same category as used car salesmen, politicians, lawyers, and doctors who screw up your surgery? Wow! I can't believe you are so naive. But, yes I do have some advice for you.

First, you can remain bitter and take the case to small claims court and waste your time there. You might get your hundred bucks back but I guarantee you that your former client will claim that you did a rotten job painting and that you were lucky to get paid what you did get paid.

Secondly, you can remain bitter and put a lien against his house. Of course that will cost you. But in your state of mind you might consider it worth it just to get even.

Thirdly, you can remain bitter and drive by his house in the middle of the night and throw a handful of roofing nails on the guy's driveway. Good luck sleeping, though.

Fourthly, you can get over it. You can recover the money by not buying those expensive Starbucks drinks for two weeks. You'll probably lose two pounds in the process. So you can write the guy a letter and tell him how happy you are that he cheated you because you are now on a great weight loss program because of it. He might think you are starving and send you the hundred dollars because his conscience is bothering him. But don't count on it because I think he lost his conscience a long time ago.

So, Clarence, don't be an idiot. Just get over it. Think of it this way, you never really lost $100. $52 of those dollars would be taxes. $10 would be your tithes to the church. So all you lost was $38. And think of it, you just got free advice so yo are probably money ahead.

Hope I've helped,

Committed to crazy advice,

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