Mode of Doing Business

Mode of Doing Business-1It came as a delightful surprise being awakened in the night by a thunderstorm.  I haven’t yet looked to see how much rain we received, but every little bit helps.  Certainly there was a measurable amount after seeing the number of puddles in the streets while driving to work this morning.

The day was a bit slow, so I figured it to be time again to get the monthly bills paid and accounts balanced.  There was certainly a good share of rental inquiries including walk-ins.  One particular young person when walking in the front door, began filling the front office with the smell of exceptionally dirty clothes.  I will never be able to come to an understanding why people can’t keep themselves, along with their clothes clean. It was indeed a double-up of a dirty body and filthy clothes.  All I could think of after my front door closed was, “I’d hate to walk in the front door of where you’re living right now.”

One of my clients called to check up on some work she’d ordered, and while visiting with her, she proceeded to tell me of a bill she received for minimal at best professional services.  I almost dropped the phone when she told me the amount that company was expecting to be paid.  All I said was, “You’re not paying it. Right?”  She then replied, “By the time I’m finished with that company, they’ll be discovering they owe me money for not performing the agreed upon work.”

After she finished her story, I proceeded to tell about my experience a number of years ago when I ordered a new furnace to be installed by a contractor whom I’d used on a regular basis in the past.  First off I said, “My furnace downstairs is a Model 99.”  She laughed and said, “There’s got to be a catch to it being called Model 99.”

Back when I ordered my furnace to be installed, it was growing cold quickly to where I was getting concerned my office would be unbearably cold to work in.  Because this particular furnace contractor had a large job he’d managed to land, I found days coming and going without one of his workers showing up.  I would call and call again, and the answer would always be “tomorrow”.  I finally had enough to where I called another contractor I’d never used before but more than enough willing to step in and get my furnace up and running.

Before this happening took place, I never fully understood how contractors could cheat unwary people when billing out as “time and materials”.  After over a month of hassles, my new furnace was finally working.  When I received the bill from both of those contractors whom I’ll never use again, I found they’d charged me nearly an equal amount totaling 99 hours labor.  I was encouraged to take them to Small Claims, but knew it would be their word against mine.  I just sent it down as a valuable lesson learned and left the rest to karma along with sending them both stinging letters.

Why is it so many don’t want to earn money the old-fashioned way?  A fair price for good work should always be our mode of doing business.