Saturday, July 22, 2006

Throwing away a reputation

Well, a few days back we got a new work crew to work on our siding. The first worker is gone, and they had to undo his work before starting theirs. Before adding the siding, a layer of thick paper-type material goes up, something like those very durable envelopes you get that you can't tear into. The previous worker had put a lot of the paper on sideways, and on the paper it clearly and repeatedly says, "This end up" with a little arrow in case you can't tell by all the words printed in only one direction. There was also a 1-800 number that I called just to make sure how necessary it was to have it upright. Sure enough, it was okay upright or pointing down, but not sideways and not the lowest level lapping over an upper level. Our first worker had made both of these mistakes in various places, in addition to little scraps that he had tacked loosely to cover gaps that he'd left. So not only was he cranky but he was basically not only useless as a worker but a costly detriment as well.
These new workers have done an excellent job so far in applying the paper, and the siding is partway done on the back of the house. I am stunned at how much better it looks than the old siding. They have been slowed by two things--the record heatwave that has hit just lately and a problem that was uncovered in the front entry posts that support our porch roof section. It was another example of costly and detrimental work, this time from the builders (a company that starts with "P" and rhymes with "Olygon," and advertises quite pridefully on the radio about the quality of their building). They had built the posts from ground level, sided them, and poured the concrete around them about 3 feet up--after which the lower portion of the posts were basically replaced with time by moisture and bugs and rot.
I've noticed with other neighbors' houses that the base of their posts were showing signs of rot as ours did just recently. So ours is not an isolated incident. They don't make just one unconscionable act of lousy workmanship--they repeat it, cookie-cutter style, so that various, probably almost innumerable homeowners will have to cope with the inevitable decay that takes place.
It seems that it would have been easier, less expensive, kinder and better in all ways to build the porch properly the first time. Their reputation would be unstained and the buyers would be happier. As far as the first siding worker goes, his job would be secure and other workers would be glad to work alongside him. These bad workers probably have no awareness of what they lose by doing things wrong, of lost reputation and the loss of opportunity that comes as a result.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be more desired than great wealth; Favor is better than silver and gold.

6 comments:

J.OTIS MERSTER said...

Were you in any way refunded, or given a portion of the money back? My husband and I have been outright lied to, by both an employee and his cooperating, lying boss, as we were trying to get the actaul manufacturer's cost on a car from a company that starts with an "L", and sounds like "hexes." We were very disappointed and disillusioned. They both looked us in the face and boldly told us a big, fat, lie.

On a completely unrelated note, Mrs. Neveralone, I'd like to get your advise and opinion on a friend who I used to spend hours hours with at a local coffee shop, and has been pretty much ignoring me for about a year. Nothing has changed physically, we still live about 3 blocks apart. She was working, but isn't now. She was busy driving her girls to and from school, but she isn't now, and that was no hindrance to our friendship before, anyway. It's gotten pretty ridiculous-barely stopping to say hello when she sees me in town, and not answering or returning my phone calls. Could it be that she has simply lost interest? What really irks me is that in Barbara Hughes' book, Disciplines of a Godly Woman, Barbara says that women will find many of their most fulfilling and nurturing relationships within the framework of the Church. I absolutely loved spending time with her dear daughters. They were the closest things to having my own kids. Now, they, too, are learning their mother's view on, and value of, fellowship and friendship. What could have brought about such a change, and how do I react? It is very hard NOT to compare with friends who are glad to spend the time together, and don't look at their watches every 5 minutes, and make me feel like an inconvenient intrusion on their busy schedule. I've thought about asking if I've offended her in some way, but based on the past, I believe she'd only get defensive and consider me "needy and clingy." So my current attitude is Romans 12:18 "As much as it is possible, and as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."

NeverAlone said...

Hello, JenM!
(You might from now on refer to this "Mrs. Neveralone" as Connie--seems fine to me!)
Haven't determined what to do about the porch yet, what it will cost to fix or what to do about it; and the first worker with the siding won't be costing us in money, but his employer.
What seems to cover both our house and your "friend" who has closed the door on you is a verse that sadly has many applications, including in the church at times--because all of humanity is frail, unreliable and sinful (some more than others): Psalm 146:3 Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
Sounds like a bitter verse, until you realize that on the other hand, the most powerful entity in the universe is also the most trustworthy and stands ready to defend your cause; He identifies Himself not only as your protective Father but also as your Friend. Read also Psalm 18, especially 6-30. I am always stunned and comforted by it when I read it!
I think you hit the nail on the head, in Romans 12:18. Maybe also you can "heap burning coals on her head" in some way...pray for God's direction. I am sorry that you have to deal with such things. That's more hurtful than any financial pain from lousy builders.

J.OTIS MERSTER said...

I really like your new comment format. And thank you for letting me be so familiar with you as to use your first name.

Stacia said...

So sorry to hear about the rotten mess that has been uncovered, it's not very comforting as a neighbor. Your new workers are wonderful! I actually saw them make a mismake that they could have easily covered up, but instead they re-did it! I have noticed how excited Tim is about the rotten area, he loves to tell us about it. And hes always out there investigating. He is so funny!

NeverAlone said...

JenM,
My pleasure! I love hearing from you!

Stacia,
Hi, I've been pleased with the change too. You should see the change in the siding on the back! It's something else!
Tomorrow we pick up our little Japanese guests, 3 girls who'll stay here a month. The builders are working to accommodate their need to sleep in (jet-lag) by working on siding their room as much as possible before they come and then skipping it for a while during their adjustment. They're nice all around. And I can't wait for tomorrow!

NeverAlone said...

Also, Stacia,

I really do appreciate your ability to keep tabs on things that go on outside. It's amazing and helpful! Thank you so much.