Monday, February 4, 2008

We Are Difficult People

Still no plumbers.

The contractor is becoming increasingly combative, although Tim is being nothing but mellow about the whole situation. It is almost like the more hostile the contractor becomes, the more mellow Tim tries to become as a counter-balance. If he gets any mellower, he will soon be talking like an airline pilot “Aaahhhhh….fifth week without plumbers….aaahhhh… if you look out your windows to your left…aaahhhh… you’ll get a nice view of a rather disappointed homeowner.”

I’ve heard Tim’s end of conversations with the contractor, and I have no idea how the contractor can call it “hostile”, “difficult”, “angry” or any other dramatic descriptors he attaches to my very un-dramatic and calm husband.

Here is an example: we e-mailed the contractor our choice of plumbing fixtures back in early November. We included links to the Home Depot website where they could be ordered online with free shipping or picked up at a store. Just last week (3 months after we sent our request for those of you keeping score) the contractor called and said he couldn’t find our requested fixtures anywhere. Tim offered to go out to a nearby Home Depot that the contractor had not yet visited. Tim found and purchased the requested fixture. The result? Tim was told that he is the most difficult customer the contractor has ever worked with. And the contractor was very ticked off when he said this…like he really really meant it.

I mean… seriously? Tim is the most difficult customer ever? Wow.

Consider this photo montage, won’t you?

This is Tim:

This is Tim being “angry”:

This is Tim being “angry and difficult”:

Seeing as Tim is basically letting the fact that we haven’t had anyone working on our basement for over a month slide by without even raising an eyebrow, it really makes me wonder how most customers react to our contractor. It is entirely possible that most customers bend over backwards to make their contractors feel warm and fuzzy, regardless of the level of service they provide. Perhaps they give the contractor a crisp $100 bill for every day a job is delayed. Or they may offer to do his laundry when he accidentally puts a 3-foot hole in the wall that he refuses to fix.

A second possibility is that Tim is a completely different person to this contractor than he is to every other person in his life. He could be like the incredible hulk, and he tries to hold in his anger around me because “I wouldn’t like him when he’s angry”. But something about his contractor transforms Tim and makes Tim growl “Tim MAD!” This, in turn, makes the contractor declare that Tim is an exceptionally difficult customer.

A third possibility is that our contractor is sort of a jerk.

There. I said it.

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