This column is being written in the midst of what I'm calling the "summer of transformation" at my home. Nearly all the metamorphoses relate to the property, not the people, and amount to pretty much an overhaul of the half-acre-lot exterior to the house where I reside with my family.
As things got underway several weeks ago with a tree-removal project, I thought to myself, how much of a hassle could it possibly be? I mean, we're only talking about a half-acre. Well, I found out it can indeed be a hassle, and now my only hope is that I don't actually discover just how much more exasperating it can get. Because I'm not sure I can take any more of this. I tested my patience, and my patience failed.
By my current count, no fewer than nine different contractors have been on the property. As you probably would predict, the work of some contractors has been contingent upon the completion of work by others. Some have finished their work and some, I am sorry to say, have not yet begun theirs. Some of the contractors that should have been among the first to finish their jobs are still not done. Some others have managed only to accept and, apparently, run away with a deposit check for the work they promised to have completed some time ago but have not yet begun.
So in this summer of transformatiion I have had the opportunity to encounter all sorts of contractors, each with its own approach to work and its own approach to the customer. And I'm not making this part up: The only one of those nine contractors who did what they said they would, when they said they would, was the wiring installer. In my case, the job was for electrical rather than communications wiring, but this contractor engages in both kinds of work. We had a nice conversation the day he was on the jobsite that I used to call a back yard. He told me about the fiber-optic and Category 6 cabling installations he carried out for several schools in a neighboring town, and I did my best to recruit him as a subscriber to this magazine. The wiring installer indeed has been a breath of fresh air in this summer of frustr ... I mean ... transformation.
I know that someday I'll laugh about all this. Perhaps you're laughing about it right now. That's OK; it's why I've chosen to write about it this month. I've gotten to experience for a brief time what I'm sure many of you have to deal with nearly every day of your working lives. So I guess I have two questions: 1) How do you do it? And 2) Why do they do it? Any answers, serious or in jest, are welcome. ::