I worked for these two women, see, and they seemed nice enough. Appeared to be a couple, and with a little blonde baby girl even which did pique my curiosity I have to admit, the origin of the child .. but I never asked because none of my business and who really cares besides family. I'm just the contractor. So we built this thing ...

And these are hard to build, and the price was $15,000 which is low. In the spirit of compromise I had dropped my electric fee of 673 but they were good cop bad copping me, trying to get free extra electrical.  And they decided they didn't like the siding in the peak. Looks terrible doesn't it. They tried to bribe me into doing free shit for Dunkel beer and chocolate chip cookies, saying "but we'd talked about this," when they had only thought it. Totally sick.

So .. I walked away. It's a longer story than this, believe me 


Wednesday was a good day as far as getting things towards wrapped up. It would have been difficult, and likely involved working Saturday, but we could have been trimmed out and finished. You haven't bothered to reply to my last e-mail, but the "switch inside the house" thing, two feet literally from where A approved it, and I placed it, but a mile away in difficulty, plus approving T1-11 siding (J, in front of both of my assistants), watching us install, then quite cruelly telling me after it was perfectly finished that you would not accept it ... well, those two things made our completion by weeks' end impossible. I can't even put into words how infuriated I was, especially about the siding on the inside peak. But, cest la vie. I hope that was fun for you. 
Gutters would have been on by lunch Thursday but I had to postpone. I have no more time in my spring schedule to spin my wheels in Le Manor, trying to please the unpleasable. So, unfortunately, I have to move you back to the fall schedule. However, first you'll need to acknowledge that you requested additional work, being the addition to the front of the old deck. As we discussed, the price for that is $1120, plus $120 for the additional step created by resulting relocation of the staircase to in front of the new roofed porch (longer distance to grade). Total contract additions being $1240, which I will need in advance of resuming work. 
Additionally, I will NOT wire the switch inside the house. See our agreement and prior e-mail for clarification on that. 
Also, I ordered pickup and return of my shitty leftover lumber, and when the driver came to pick it up it was gone. I will need it placed back outside for return, and I did take inventory.
Believe me ladies, this all wears terribly on my soul. I have basically wasted the very heart of prime spring building season; the deposit checks totaling ten thousand dollars don't even cover my costs to date. Even worse than that though, I'm a nice guy and a good builder, and it hurts to know you regard me so poorly that you would treat me like this. Do you have any idea how difficult it is building what we built? And at that price. What was your next lowest bid, I wonder. 
Read it over and over if you like, but there's nothing about a guaranteed completion time in our agreement, is there. However, due to the inconvenience, I will have Kyle drop you off a six pack of Dunkel and a sack of cookies.
My plans for tomorrow?
Deck building!
Onwards and upwards,
tr ig

Views: 696

Comment by tr ig on June 4, 2017 at 6:38pm

these is hard bitches .. and such manipulation and mind games, I'd forgotten those were possible. 

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on June 4, 2017 at 6:53pm

Meh.  I don't like the siding on the peak either. LOL

Comment by cheshyre on June 4, 2017 at 6:55pm

"I always figure you might as well approach life like everybody's your friend or nobody is; don't make much difference." - SIlverado

Maybe they will see the light. Have to give everyone a chance until they prove otherwise so it's always tough doing business.

Comment by tr ig on June 4, 2017 at 7:38pm

That effing siding in the peak kicks ass, like J said when she first saw it. They texted me that evening, requiring it be changed out to tongue and groove. I've never been in anything close to a relationship this contentious with customers. It's mind blowing really, but to be expected? I suppose. Tomorrow we build for gracious heteros, at a profit even. Not that there's anything wrong with carrying a chip on your shoulder for being born female and gay and trying to gain recompense far overdue for girls everywhere. 

Comment by greenheron on June 4, 2017 at 8:34pm

Ugh! Clients!

greenheron's rules of freelance independent contracting:

Rule 1. The lower your fee, the more the client wants to haggle for an even lower one.

Rule 2. The lower your fee, the more add-ons the client will try to negotiate for free.

Rule 3. The lower your fee, the more oversight the client will demand.

Rule 4. The lower your fee, the more changes the client will make mid-project.

Rule 5. The lower your fee, the lower the client's satisfaction, regardless the level of quality you ultimately deliver. They think they bought Ripple even when you gave them Moet.

Rule 6. The lower your fee, the fewer referrals the client will give. Either that, or they will brag to their friends how cheap they were able to get you, then their friends will call you expecting the same crummy fee.

Rule 7.  Build an extra 25-30% percent into every bid because you almost always end up needing it. The client who lowballs will either find someone else, or accept it and treat you with greater respect, because your fee says you’re Moet. The client who agrees without blinking will view your fee as what they expected to pay for quality work.  

One year, after a string of clients with low fees, high expectations, and tendency towards extreme foot stomping, I decided to double my fees. It felt like a risky crapshoot of possible career death, except almost instantly, I got better more highly visible clients who could easily afford me, who treated me like a professional, gave me clear project specs, gave quick approval with specific direction, left me alone to work, were delighted with the results, and referred me to their colleagues who also had better budgets. The income from the higher budgets allowed me to do pro bono work for projects and clients I cared about, and to decline commissions from ass pain low budget want the world clients.

In your situation, I’d hire a lawyer for one hour and a hundred dollars, to write a letter on their letterhead, explaining in legalese to the ladies why you will retain their deposit to cover your costs, plus whatever else the lawyer says is legal, and then yeah, walk away. From what you’ve said, nothing good will come of this, it can only get worse.

My two cents :)  Good luck buddy!!

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on June 4, 2017 at 8:54pm

Tomorrow we build for gracious heteros, at a profit even. Not that there's anything wrong with carrying a chip on your shoulder for being born female and gay and trying to gain recompense far overdue for girls everywhere. 

WHOA!  Just a motherfucking minute there, dickmunch!

Their orientation doesn't have fuckall to do with it and your not so subtle implication that it does is TOTALLY bullshit.  

Unless you are going to agree that heteros are rapists and pedophiles, seeing how some of them are, don't be pointing your homophobic fingers at people's orientation to find your reasons... or excuses.

Comment by Ron Powell on June 4, 2017 at 9:26pm

Here's my two cents worth:

The work you did tewuired s building permit...(or should have rewuired one) Go to the entity that issued the permit, request inspection and documrntation that the work for which the permit was issued has been completed.

2. Take any and all docementation you have connected with the work and go to the city/town clerk's office and file a mechanic's lien sgainst the property.  The mortgage/title holder won't be too thrilled and may get involved by requesting or requiring that the occupants of the house clear up the lien whether they like the siding or not.

3. Send a written certified letter demanding full payment for the work plus any costs incurred in trying to collect payment.

4. Final phase take all documentation to a lawyer he/she will pat you on the back and commrnd your effort because their task has been made slightly easier...He will send a letter for a fee threataning a legal action for breach of contract....

Judgrment liens usually get everybody's attention.

If there's an option to execute yhe lien in your state that can percipitate some kind of artangement to pay you your due...

Never walk away from your right to be properly compensated on a contract for your services and labor...It's like walking away from a piece of yourself...

Enough of that and you won't have anything of yourself left...

There should be sufficient info here to get you started....

Good luck!

Comment by tr ig on June 5, 2017 at 5:24am

Amy, I am aware actually that them being gay isn't the causal primordia here. I've worked for gay men and women before finding them generally smarter than the average bear, with personality to spare, really good hair, treated me fair and square. As I did them. As I do everyone. Heh. Just wanted to see if I could get you to call me dickmunch.

Causal Primordia is a proper legal term right?

GH and RP ... firstly, I HAVE upped my fees and it's like you say heron, doing so pulls good clients and respect. These girls poormouthed me from the beginning and I certainly should have known it wouldn't end well. I liked them, and the little baby girl of theirs liked me which I found endearing. Maybe I was going for the glory of the resume' .. these things, gabled roof little houses tied into the existing roof, ARE difficult and look cool in pics. But, who do I need to impress at this point besides myself? No one. Guess I needed reminded. It certainly won't happen again.

Funny the advice about attorneys because one called me yesterday, an old lawyer named Brooks who I worked for last summer. At the sales call when I first met him, my pricing was nearly double what he expected, but he didn't hesitate to hire me on the spot. I did mention, yesterday, my issue with "the girls" and all he said was "I'm sure you'll work it out" .. I truly hope it doesn't come to that, a court thing. I can and will make up my losses for the last three weeks of pro bono building this week alone, so I might be inclined to just write it off. Then again, no telling what Girl Power Inc. will come up with in retort. No word back yet this morning so they might be scheming up a really good way to get me---my inclinations may change. Want to be combative? I can go there. Would prefer not for the sake of blood pressure and pounding headaches, but .. yeah

Comment by greenheron on June 5, 2017 at 6:15am

Ron’s advice is great, but a large response. Liens are no joke and a lots of work; I went through the process with the other owner in my half house condo, and it was very stressful. The hundred dollar lawyer letter thing I’ve done twice. It’s easy, and a relatively inexpensive way to scare the sh*t out of a low budget client, who probably can’t afford to hire a lawyer. They realize you’re serious and not the guy they thought they could push around. Both times I did this, I was paid instantly, and kept my self-respect.

This how working for yourself is, mostly great clients, infrequently, a bad client. I agree about saving yourself further headaches with these women. You can write it off on your taxes as a loss (you can also write off the lawyer letter fee) and if you assess each headache a monetary value–say a hundred dollars per headache–you’re looking at an even bigger loss. 

btw, you did a nice job! I like that tongue in groove thing and can’t see the problem.

Comment by Steel Breeze on June 5, 2017 at 6:22am

the perils of being a entre....uh.....self employed...


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