We Should Have Known Better

Posted By on 12th November 2014

At our age we should have known better, but I’m afraid we didn’t. What am I talking about? Read on.

Work started here at ‘Grassy Bottom’ back in March, and proceeded over the following weeks and months in a friendly and satisfactory manner, though it did seem to take forever.

As the weeks progressed we gave Adrian the occasional cheque to cover his outgoings on materials etc. always making sure not to get ahead of ourselves and keeping on the right side of what we expected the final bill to be.

After we moved in and most things had been completed to our satisfaction, we asked him for the final bill. Eventually on a sunny afternoon in the second week of September we all sat in the garden with a drink and Adrian and Peter worked out how the actual work done had deviated from the original estimate.

After suitable adjustments both up and down a total was arrived at with which both parties agreed, and the balance still owing was a shade over £7,000, almost exactly what we had been expecting.

At this point there were still several outstanding issues. Nothing major, just niggly little bits and pieces.

The chimney cowl which had been replaced in July was still letting water down the chimney into the kitchen, so was the one in one of the front rooms.

The remaining rubbish still had to be removed, and then there was the small matter of the gate post that Adrian had accidentally demolished with his truck back in May.

As I said, more annoying and niggly than major, but jobs requiring his attention nevertheless.

Bearing this in mind, Peter offered to pay him £6,000, the idea being that the balance of the balance would be paid on completion of all outstanding jobs.

Adrian seemed hurt at the suggestion that we felt it necessary to hold him to ransom in this way (his case wasn’t helped by the fact he had been AWOL for the previous 6 weeks!) but in the end, much against his better judgement, Peter relented, we shook hands and paid the bill in full.

We didn’t see him again for 2 weeks when he turned up, early one morning, out of the blue, to take a wagon load of the rubbish, promising to return later the same day to take more.

He didn’t, and that was 7 weeks ago, and we haven’t seen or heard from him since.

Of course we could Email him, but experience has taught us that, although he undoubtedly reads his Emails, he never replies to them.

We could ring, but there again experience warns us against it. If he promises to come, and then doesn’t, that will just set us up for another disappointment.

We’ve both grown quite fond of Adrian over the past months, but now feel let down and disappointed. He’s not a bad man or a bad builder, just a bit ‘random’.

He knows we want him to build a garage in the New Year, perhaps he thinks he can address the remaining jobs then, but if that is the case he should let us know, because the way things are going we might be looking elsewhere very soon.

So once again Peter’s favourite saying has proved to be correct. ‘Every day’s a school day’ and this was a lesson where we really should have known better.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.