Wednesday, November 28, 2007
First thing Monday morning, we met with our contractor. We did a walk through, and without really nit-picking, we still came up with four hand-written, letter-size pages of items that needed to be finished. He walked through with us and agreed to all items. It was a very polite and relaxed exchange. Then we sat down to talk, and we told him point-blank that we had no confidence that he would finish the job. Given all the delays, he is owed no further money at this point, and there will be no more coming from us. If he wants to try to finish, he has until Friday morning, at which point we will hire a new contractor. If he wants to walk now, the end result is still the same, since we will pay him nothing more whether he does more work or not. I've never seen him so quiet and pale. He clearly wasn't angry; he was stunned. After months of abusing his position with us, he just didn't see this coming. We weren't angry or rude, but we were united and firm...and he knows he doesn't have a leg to stand on. In his shock, he even signed an agreement I wrote up on the spot setting our terms in writing. Now here's where the head scratching begins: he still wants to keep working. He doesn't think he can finish by Friday morning, but he does think he can finish by Monday. He wants us to meet with him Friday to evaluate his progress and consider allowing him to finish completely, even though he acknowledged he wouldn't be paid either way. This is most puzzling. The best we can come up with is he wants to somehow preserve his reputation and avoid being reported to the state as an unscrupulous contractor (thereby risking loss of his license and insurance). Honestly, we want him to walk so we can get another, more reliable crew in there ASAP, but we'll give him the week. Our back-up, highly recommended contractor (who was not available for over a year after Katrina because he was too in-demand) can't start until next week anyway. Still, it is all very strange. He is working. He even has a crew over there, doing detailed paint touch-ups and who knows what else. There's no sabotage. He really seems to be trying. I don't get it, but there it is. We'll keep you posted.