Friday, May 14, 2010

Business as usual

As of yesterday, we have officially contested our ex-contractor's final bill. We completely audited the entire job. A task that took us two months. That's what happens when you don't get the requested backup paperwork or a complete detailed bill. It wasn't until the next to last bill that our request for backup paperwork was provided. We did find material bills that we were charged for that weren't ours and deducted them. There was also a credit for materials that we didn't receive credit for. We did not answer the ex-contractor's phone calls because the "botches" were still being dealt with and we knew there'd be a fight. We have a list of extra work performed by my new crew to fix these botches. I can hear the calculator running in the background as I type this. While, the final dollar amount is not in yet, we received another invoice in the mail from the ex. We knew that telling the ex-contractor that we had already generously compensated him for the quality and amount of work they did in the time frame they did it in was going to unleash major ugliness. Once again, I tried to make the point that the work performed was not done so in a timely fashion. It does not take a crew of four guys four weeks to build a simple, basic 30 x 60 pole barn. If it took them two to three weeks longer than it should have for just the barn project, how much time did they dawdle away while the time and material meter was running on the cabin? Well, just in case you are wondering, the answer to that question according to Mark Dudenas, Dudenas Contracting, Calumet, Michigan; is that it doesn't matter. Which then, as it has happened on several occasions, I was personally, verbally assaulted. After all, it is easier to bully someone than it is to be responsible for the work performed. Apparently, my big, scary 5 foot 4 and 3/4, looming, all powerful, womanly badassness yelled at EVERY poor, innocent, quaking in their steel toed boots workmen on the job and got along with NO one and Mark Dudenas has people that will back him up on that. Seriously, I want to see one of these poor, helpless 6' tall guys point at me and tell everyone how mean I was to them when I bought them muffins, cookies, and/or beer. I realize that I am not perfect however, usually, I repeated myself at least six times before I got frustrated enough to start stringing colorful metaphors together at higher decibel levels. I was able to put up with watching the guys trip over all the construction waste and my requests for them to clean things ignored for at least two to three weeks before I threw everything out the front of the cabin myself. The real clincher here is that I don't know how Mark could really know anything about our job as he wasn't doing his job and managing it. He maybe showed up for 15 minutes a day, three to four times a week. So, once again, as usual, my questions were met with hostility, bullying, and verbal assaults and accusations. And here I thought I was the customer, the one, in this case, NOT signing the paychecks. When I pointed out that I did get along with other contractors. He accused them of not doing their jobs. Whatever agreements I had with other contractors were between me and that contractor, of which the details were not anyone else's business. On the telephone with Mark, I was too busy having my personality attacked to even get out that we were not paying the bill because we felt we already paid him more than enough and that we weren't happy customers. When he talked to my husband, because he refused to talk to me after he hung up on me and I called him back, my husband was able to tell him that we felt we paid him more than enough already and that we were using the money he invoiced us to pay for work to correct their work. Of course, he was insulted and wanted a for instance. The Man was able to get out item number one when Mark started up again. The Man was not verbally assaulted, but, of course, no conversation with a contractor that doesn't do his job yet feels he still should be paid is complete without the threat of being sued. So, we stated our case in an email, suitable for forwarding to his attorney (our contact information was included along with instructions to please send all correspondence to both of us). Now, back in the day, yours truly here worked for a couple of attorneys. I love attorneys. They are articulate and logical. My grammar and communications skills were never sharper than when I worked for them. I don't know if Mark will take the email we sent in to his attorney or not. However, knowing and loving attorneys as I do, he will take one look at that email and tell Mark that he should be thankful we don't sue the pants off him and that the pittance compared to the rest of the job and what we've already paid is not worth his time. I also know that in the meantime, before Mark can get to his attorney, yours truly is not under any kind of gag or cease and desist order. So let's have a little bit of sick, twisted fun here, shall we? I am going to post the cost of damages to us right here on the blogosphere. Gross, gory details straight from the source and motivation for all about to build or repair to be very, very careful. Stay tuned. Again, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned or screwed over by one of the contractors that give the others a bad name.

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