Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Can't See It From My House"

These last couple of weeks have been pretty good for me. I managed to get a lot of work done, had a decent fathers day, even made it on time to my daughters softball game. All in all it was a pretty uneventful, week save one ugly looming black cloud; I hired an independent contractor.

I have never had this particular pleasure and I have to say, it was a peach of an experience. I spent years as a paint contractor and I have known many general contractors, so I know they’re not a bad bunch of folks, but there is a subculture out there I never knew about. They are known as independent carpet installers, and they are diabolically evil.

OK I know all carpet installers out there aren’t that bad. I’m sure there are those of you out there out there that sport a big C on the front of your spandex superhero outfit, but I only met the villains.

We went through no less than six contractors over the last two weeks. All of them promised a sea of beautiful carpet to swim in, but on the day of the job, none of them bothered to show up. They came by with tape measures and smiling faces, bidding the jobs with smoking calculators and full appointment books but that was as far as it got.

One after the other they fell off the radar. My wife and I both took time off work to wait for these wayward contractors, but not a one managed to make it back to our doorstep. The experience was frustrating to say the least, but the true depth of their evil had yet to be revealed. As I look back, I'm convinced all those missed appointments and broken contracts were just part of a master plan developed by the criminal mastermind, Joe!

Joe was the last contractor we found. He was ready and willing to do the job and seemed to be on the up and up. Needless to say we were a bit skeptical when he gave us a date for the install, but they showed up we were both thrilled. Finally we had an experienced contractor ready to do the job.

I went off to work and Joe's crew worked through the day, toiling away upstairs in the bedrooms and the hallway. When evening came, my wife, bless her heart, paid them, and they promised to come back and fix the few "little problems” they had run into. When I got home I surveyed their work and I have to admit I was a bit surprised. I thought it was a bit odd that Joe had used a crew of toddlers to do the work but considering the workmanship, I could think of no other answer. It must have been torture to do the whole thing with those little plastic scissors and glue sticks!

The seams were either bunched into shag mohawks or stretched apart to gaping canyons. The carpet was cut short on several walls and my favorite part was when one piece fell completely off the stairs.

Well needless to say I got on the phone and made a little call. When Joe answered he seemed a bit perturbed to hear my voice and proceeded to tell me about how hard he worked and how he believed I got a better deal than I should have. I told him I appreciated his hard work and tried to explain that I didn’t want the custom romper room install, but apparently he thought this was worth a little extra because before the phone call was over, he was asking for a little more "compensation!"

So now I have carpet with holes, waves, ridges, and an unfinished closet; oh did I mention the bare nail board in my daughters room? Where am I going with all this you say? Well nowhere I guess. The guy is long gone, money in hand, and I have no real recourse against him. I could smear his reputation and call the carpet police but what good would it do. I guess what I'm saying is watch out for those carpet villains. They're out there, and they're looking for you. If you have carpet installed, get references, get a contract, and for God's sake, ask to see the big super “C” on their chest!

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