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Thread: So this is what it feels like...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Rochester Hills, MI

    So this is what it feels like...

    I'm forty-three years old and this morning for the first time in my life I GOT FIRED.

    But it's all good. Actually I had already decided that I was quitting and was going to get my tools today and leave. I got a call from the client's wife at about 7:15 this morning and she told me that he wanted me to call him before heading over to the job today. So I called him and left a message and waited for a call back. I sat around for a while at home waiting and decided for sure that I was done with this job. I've never quit a job in the middle before and I hope I never have to do it again. This was one of the most miserable weekends I've spent in a long time. I was so stressed out that in the last three days I ate about the equivalent of ONE meal.

    This customer was being completely unreasonable in his requests/demands and I worked my tail off for the last two weeks trying to please him and just couldn't. I was ready to eat the costs I already have into the job and walk away. (about $500) It's a long story that is too much to get into here but I just couldn't take it anymore and eating my costs and giving him two weeks free labor was acceptable to me to just get away from the situation. Luckily I talked to him at about 1:00 and things were civil and I told him I'd go over and get my tools and be out of his hair. He asked my how much he owed me and I told him nothing. Well he said that he had to give me something so I said that I'd settle for a grand and be happy. He said he'd cut me a check for $1500 and call it even.

    I went over there to get my tools and there were already two guys there working on a portion of the job that I was planning on doing later this week. Oh well, I felt like wishing them good luck as I left but I bit my tongue and just left.

    It was strange because upon arriving at the place food was the furthest thing from my mind but after I'd loaded up my tools and was leaving I suddenly realized that I was absolutely STARVED! I had to get something to eat now. It's amazing what stress will do to you. Once I had worked things out and was happy with the outcome the stress was gone and my appetite came back big time.

    Another good thing is that I've already got a complete kitchen remodel lined up and the cabinets are scheduled for delivery on Monday the 22nd. So it looks like I won't be slow for long. Oh yeah, this is just too weird. I walked into the house after picking up my tools and there was a message on the machine. I hesitated for a minute before playing it but finally pushed the button. It turned out to be a message from a buddy of mine that I haven't seen in almost two years. He's looking at buying a foreclosed house from a bank and it needs a fair amount of work and he wants me to consider being the general contractor. So I guess that everything happens for a reason and things will work out in the end. It was a kind of strange way to start the week but I just know that this week will be far better than the last two have been.

    Take care

    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  2. #2

    Great news, and an interesting post. Sometimes you just know when its time to quit, regardless of the job.

    Sounds like you were handling it honorably, and you got rewarded for it.

    Now, about the guy who walked off of my job many years ago after asking (and receiving) another "progress payment"............ and left us with a torn apart hot water heating system in early November in Pennsylvania ................. I still hope he is rotting in some uncomfortable place!


  3. #3
    Sounds from what you said as though both you and the client acted reasonably in a difficult kind of situation. Sometimes personalities simply don't match and expectations and achievements don't meet. Sounds like your both in a better place now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    Glad things worked out for you!


    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Yeah it was a tough situation. The customer knew that I was a one man operation and didn't have any help. The job was to remove 450 square feet of ceramic tile and reinstall marble in its place. In addition to this I was to install 450 square feet of hardwood flooring. I told him that I needed at least two weeks for the job and that was barring any problems. Well the problems started immediately and it took me four days just to remove the tile and I then had at least a day worth of prep work to be ready for the marble. This was on a Friday when I finished the tile removal and I did most of the other prep work on Saturday. The marble hadn't been ordered until Friday and was due in on Tuesday. On Monday I got a call from his wife and she told me that she had scheduled the movers for SATURDAY! Well I told her that just wasn't going to happen and she'd have to cancel the movers. She wasn't happy but did it. I picked up the marble on Tuesday and proceeded to unload all 2500 lbs of it myself and get it into the house and start installing it. I worked until 8:00 and as late as 9:30 several evenings in a row to get it done as fast as humanly possible because that is what I perceived them as wanting. Then on Wed. they changed their minds on the color and species of the wood and had to order more and get rid of the stuff that was already there. Then on Friday night when the marble was just about done being installed he found some issues with it that he just wasn't happy with. No, the job wasn't absolutely perfect but it was a very good job IMO for the time I was given to do it. I worked all day Saturday correcting most of the problem areas and had a little more to do today. But apparently yesterday he had someone else in there that told him the entire job needed to be ripped out and completely redone! Well that is ridiculous because the job was not nearly that bad. But he's got bucks and decided that's what he wants to do so he hired them. That's fine with me because the issues I've brought up here are just a small portion of the garbage I've been dealing with for the past two weeks. They were both being completely unreasonable in their expectations of how long this work would take. I had given them a great price but that doesn't mean that should allow me to do a lousy job. But I feel that I did a job that was as good as could be expected for the time frame they wanted it done in.

    Oh well, we came to an agreement and we parted ways. I didn't but I really felt like just looking at the two other guys he hired and wishing them good luck as I left. I'll just chalk this one up to "experience".

    Last edited by John Pollman; 10-16-2007 at 12:26 AM.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Sorry to hear that John, got fired once myself....unreasonable customer.

    It happens to us all, you just got yours, I hope it was your last one.

    One of these days when we get together I'll have to tell you my expierience (this forum is family friendly ya know )

    Greener pastures await for you.

    Glad to see you posting again.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    New Springfield OH
    heh, rookies.

    I've been fired a few times from regular jobs. ok more than a few times Usually because when they start doing stupid stuff I tell them so. No discretion is not in my dictionary. And yes I have a big mouth.

    On the brighter side, I've never been fired from any job where I was working for myself.

    It has been my experience in life though, that the more money they have, the harder they are to please.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Sounds like all this was for the best. Sometimes things just aren't a good fit and it takes awhile to work through your ethics and your best intentions of doing the best job for someone that you can. As you said; you were pondering turning the job over anyway. I have the feeling your desire to do the right thing just made you hang on a bit. The answering machine was waiting for you (kinda spooky how things work out) and it doesn't sound like you'll have time to get bored. I think we've all found ourselves in the middle of something and asked "how'd I get here?". I say; congratulations.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Can't speak for him, but I believe Tod told me recently that he just fired a customer. Now, that works for me. Sometimes the dollars aren't worth the stress.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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