No Results, Just Excuses

I thought massage therapists were flaky. I can only say that because I am a massage therapist. When I am in a position to hire other therapists, I am always amazed at how difficult it is to get them to return my phone calls. One might surmise that they are so busy that they don't need the work. If someone is interested in hiring me, I typically return calls within an hour unless I am actually working at the time.

I have discovered that handymen and contractors are even flakier than massage therapists. They never answer the phone and most of them don't even bother to call you back. In my estimation, this is not a good business model. I just don't get it. My experience of trying to hire a handyman leaves me thinking that they might be very handy, but they are not very organized.

Our basement flooded 2 weeks ago. It was the most traumatic experience I have had in decades. We should have diverted our downspouts out of the basement and into the front and back yards the day after we moved in... 4 years ago. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. Can't go back, can only go forward. The day after we flooded, I contacted a handyman via my neighborhood listserv. Joe Handyman was supposed to turn up the next day at 5pm to look at the job and give us a rough estimate. 5pm came and went. At 5:30pm, I called Joe, who was very glad to hear from me because he had the wrong address and was 10 blocks east of me. I gave him the correct address and waited for him to arrive. 35 minutes later, he turned up. I told him I was just about to send out a "search party"; I have no idea how it took him that long to get to my house. All of that should have been a BIG, RED FLAG as to what was to come. He seemed knowledgeable and friendly and thought it would only take a couple of hours to do the job. It was the Tuesday before the 4th of July holiday, so I understood it was a difficult time to get work done. On the other hand, I tried to impress upon Joe that my job was time sensitive; I was hoping to have the work done before the next round of torrential rainstorms. The prospect of dealing with a flooded basement a second time was proving very stressful for me.

Joe told me to call him on Monday if I didn't hear from him, which I didn't. I called him on Monday and he promised me he would have a written proposal by Tuesday evening. Tuesday evening came and went and I called him again on Wednesday morning. He had an emergency electrical job, but promised he would get me the proposal by Thursday evening. No call from Joe. I called him for the 3rd time on Friday morning; at this point I was really pissed off and was about to fire him. This time, his excuse was that he got called out of town for a funeral. I don't know if he made that up or seemed like the "dog ate my homework" kind of scenario, but what kind of monster fires someone who had to attend a funeral? He promised that he would come first thing Saturday morning...when there was rain in the forecast for the next several days. I received an email from his partner on Friday afternoon that he had an early morning appointment on Saturday, but he could come between 12-2pm.

I saw he sent me an email very early on Saturday morning which said the following: if it doesn't stop raining, we will have to reschedule for Tuesday. As you can well imagine, I was not a happy camper. I had "chased" this guy to do my job for 10 days while it was dry and now there was torrential rain in the forecast; we had missed our window of opportunity and it was his fault. I pretty much decided I was done with Joe. It was raining when I woke up on Saturday morning but it stopped at 11am and was dry for the rest of the day. I left to go downtown for an appointment and when I returned at 2:30pm, there had been no word from Joe.

At 6pm, guess who called? Yup. Joe. He called to tell us that he was finished with his job and he could be at our house by 6:15pm. He finally gave my husband his estimate which was for a lot more money than his initial verbal estimate. I told my husband to tell Joe that we hired someone else.

On Monday morning, I went on Yelp. I skimmed through the reviews and ruled out any handymen who didn't turn up, were late or had a serious complaint against them. I hired the first guy who answered.

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Filed under: Humor, Life's Lessons

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