Is there anything worse than waiting on someone? Hiring a contractor has been one of the most frustrating experiences in my life.
I began the process in early April, shortly after I applied for my HELOC. I called around. I researched reviews. I had narrowed it down to three businessness. Two came out to give an estimate. The third never called me back. I also noticed a sign in a yard a block away for “Godot’s* Contracting”.
At first Godot was super responsive. He seriously would not stop texting me about the job. “Talk to me before you go with someone else. I want to work with you!” But really it was more like, “talk 2 me b4 u hire a diffrnt contractor. i want 2 work w u”.
While I’m not a grammar Nazi, I do appreciate when people are professional. I guess I’m old-fashioned now.
In the week I needed to make the decision after meeting everyone, I recieved two pieces of bad news. First, the gentleman whose home I was living in was told by his doctor to “get his affairs in order”. Second, my HELOC fell through because my home was vacant and I am still on mortgage of the condo I shared with my soon-to-be-ex husband. The bank wanted to treat it like an investment property.
The third week of April, Godot and I met again and went over the less aggressive demo plan. Because I needed to get in here and I have limited funds, I wanted just two walls, all the flooring and cut-out over the stairs. We were no longer ripping everything down to the studs.
The orginal date was supposed to be April 30. April 29, I get a text from Godot. He is sick. Unfortunately, I am out of town the following week, the first week of May. So we plan for the next rain day for the week after.
The first week of May, I get another text from Godot. He’s fallen from a ladder and bruised some ribs. A super bummer. Demo couldn’t happen for a couple more weeks. A setback, but as long as it happened before the end of May, I could still work with this.
We set a new appointment for the next rain-day during the week of the 18th. I am out of town for work again, so I give him a key. I even got the permit (even though he should have gotten the permit) and ordered a dumpster.
Of course, that week it doesn’t rain once. And now I’m getting panic-y.
After some back-and-forth texts, Godot and I work out “before Friday”, rain or shine. Thursday night we exchange confirming texts, Friday, 8:30 am. I email my boss that I’ll be working from home.
Friday moring at 7:45 am, Godot sends a text saying his Mom is in the hospital.
It’s awful and I’m really not sure what to do here. I mean I can’t really be mad about family emergencies, right? But on the other hand, I need to keep my project moving along. I start calling around, but its the busy season. Everyone is scheduling at least 3 weeks out.
Finally, I send him the following text.
“Hi Godot, I’m very sorry to hear about your mom. And I know you must be frustrated with having been sick and your injury, but this project is over a month behind now. I’ve had a dumpster sitting in my yard for 2 weeks. I know you need to take care of your family stuff, so is there anyone you can recommend to get this job done?”
He responds that his mom mixed up some medication, and she was going to be OK. He would work on my place all weekend. 8:30 am, Saturday.
8:30 I get a text. He overslept, he’d be here by 10. It’s 11:08 right now. He’s still not here.
To be continued…?
*Obviously not his real name.