Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Yesterday I fired my contractor. It felt good. I'm not sure how long this happy feeling of euphoria will last, but for now, I'm happy to have fired my contractor.

I don't think my contractor story is unique. The guy said he'd finish the whole house by August 5. When that deadline slid, I gave him until August 20, when the movers came. When that deadline slid, I was in the middle of moving, so delivered no ultimatum immediately.

I arrived, jetlagged, late Monday night. Projects I had thought he had finished he had not yet started. He had not called nor showed up to work for a week. My mother in law finally had hired a separate electrician so that I would have power to run the refrigerator, and a separate plumber so I would have running water in the kitchen and a toilet in the bathroom.

I tried to call the contractor a few times yesterday during the day, but received a busy signal or no answer. So finally I sent him an email.

I told him that as I was now back in the US, living in my house, supervising the remodel project, things were going to change.

"First and foremost: You are fired."

I then threw in a comment to the fact that my lawyer had recommended x, y, z, to let him know I was serious about the firing. Honestly, my lawyer would cost a lot more than he costs, so I hope the contractor doesn't need me to hire the lawyer. One thing about my lawyer, however: He shows up on time.

I hit Send. It felt good.

No, I have not yet heard back from him. Yes, I'll try calling him again today. I think I'll also send a regular letter to his mailing address on file, so I can state that I've tried every point of communication available. Maybe I'll call him at 5 am, when I'm sure not to get a busy signal -- assuming his phone works at all anymore.

Meanwhile? That electrician that my mother in law hired is really really good. He fixed all the electrical outlets in the kitchen, connected the lights, and even fixed the phone that had been broken for weeks due to somebody's missteps. The plumber was also excellent. I will call him again in a heart beat -- probably when I'm ready to hook up the sink and toilet in the other bathroom in (cross your fingers) another week. Shower guys are coming to give an estimate this morning. Things are finally rolling again on this project, and I feel good.

Please just don't call back, oh contractor. My lawyer is expensive.

1 comment:

Letterpress said...

I was sad when I read that the "other blog" was being archived and realized I'd have to go through withdrawal on your delightful posts. Happiness! to find the Clown and Poker alive and well.

Welcome home.