Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Difficult or not? That is the question!

Do difficult people think they are difficult?

This is a question I have been pondering. Ever since our builder had a hissy fit and hung up on the husband. But wait, I will back up and give you the rest of the story.

The hubs had been asking the junior builder (that we have been raising AND helping to build our house) When does the gas meter need to be put in? He kept being told "not yet." Then we are told we are a week or two away from completion and junior builder calls and says, "the gas co. says that to expadite the order it will cost an additional $400."

So we pay the $400 but we do not feel that we owe this money. Since the hubs had asked about this at least twice. We tell the senior builder that we would like to be reimbursed. At the time he nods and says, "Oh sure." The next day he calls the hubs and throws a fit on the phone says things like, "I'm not making hardly any money on this deal," "I''m not paying for this!" "We've bent over backward making changes." Then he hung up.

My husband never lost his temper. He isn't like that. He is always courteous. Seriously. Now me? Not so much. I would have told him just how far up his ass to shove his temper.

Let me explain another thing. We are building this house on a cost-plus basis. That means the builder gets a flat fee. We are stewards of the budget and what is going on. It does demand that we take a pretty heavy hand in the process and saved us probably $20K.

We are big emailers and believe in putting anything we discuss in writing for clarification. Does that make us difficult?

The question I have been wondering though is IF we are difficult customers would we know it? How would we know? I look back on my life and I know that any place I have ever worked would take me back in a minute, I have had friends and still have them since 7th grade (Carol - you came in what 11th grade?). If I was that difficult wouldn't I know it by now? Haven't you met people though who will go on and on about how nice they are and how easy going and you are sitting there smirking on the inside? What do you think?


  • You are not difficult. The builder clearly owes you the $400.

    BUT truly difficult people do NOT know they are difficult. Oh sure sometimes they say things like "I know I'm being a pain in the ass" but the truth is they have NO IDEA how much they are getting on your nerves.

    By Anonymous TB, at 10/10/2006 9:03 AM  

  • If you ask me it's all a matter of perspective.

    The person taking my order at a fast food joint may think I'm being difficult because I want my food a certain way. But I'm paying for it, so I expect it how I like it. Therefore I think THEY'RE being difficult because they're giving me a hard time about it.

    Your case on the other hand? I don't think you're being difficult at all. I think that jackass owes you some money.

    By Blogger Tink, at 10/10/2006 2:48 PM  

  • Personally, I don't think you are very difficult...I think this sounds like this guy is an ass.

    By Anonymous sarcastic journalist, at 10/10/2006 3:55 PM  

  • Throw words at him like.... back charging.... and change orders. He'll like change orders. Means he gets money, but back charges. Ya... you get money or you don't have to pay.

    He owes you. It was his responsibility to have the gas hooked up in time for you to move in. What builder wouldn't want the gas hooked up in time for you to move in. If you can't move in because of his mistake.... back charges! ie.... motel bill, if you were staying in one... etc... you get the picture.

    By Blogger Brenda, at 10/10/2006 6:06 PM  

  • In a case like having a house built, I almost think it's your responsibility to be a little difficult. A house is a lot of money and you should have a full accounting of who is responsible for what.

    Truly difficult people have no sense of ever really putting anyone else out. It's their feeling of entitlement kicking in. Like the people who tell you they are easy houseguests. Beware.

    By Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen, at 10/11/2006 12:19 AM  

  • Near the end of every building project, each party thinks the other party is a pain in the ass. Then the project is done, everyone is relieved and generally pleased and all crabby thoughts are forgotten. Hope it works this way for you all.

    By Blogger V-Grrrl, at 10/11/2006 11:20 AM  

  • I agree with V-Grrrl. My husband is a contractor and a little of the blame for being difficult is shared by both parties. In his case, the client goes through multiple changes of the mind. Then, when the final bill is presented it reflects the changes...not the initial bid. They're furious...despite the warnings and change of work orders they knew about all along. And they're difficult. They don't think they are, but there you have it.

    I also know there are contrators out there who are lazy or dishonest or both.

    Be glad when it's over.

    By Anonymous wordgirl, at 10/11/2006 11:40 AM  

  • You're not being difficult, you're being conscientious. It's a working relationship, not a friendship.

    That said, it will be impressive if you can squeeze the 400 bucks out of the guy.

    By Anonymous Tank, at 10/11/2006 11:57 AM  

  • I think it doesn't matter what the builder thinks of you - just that they do their freaking job. If they muck something up like installing the gas meter, it's their problem not yours. (and I will also admit that other peoples' opinions of me are WAY more important to me than they should be, and I should be taking my own damn advice)

    By Anonymous Heather, at 10/11/2006 3:25 PM  

  • What's so wrong with demanding that someone DO THEIR JOB?

    If that's difficult, then so am I.

    And if he's such a titty baby that he can't handle anything but blind obedience, then ALL his customers must be "difficult" according to him.

    By Blogger Type (little) a, at 10/11/2006 9:25 PM  

  • Things have changed. I am "difficult" and proud of it, but the results of "Get me your supervisor" have really gone downhill.

    Now, when you say that to someone on the phone, they put you through to someone else's voicemail. Sucks the juice right out of me.

    By Anonymous candy, at 10/12/2006 7:09 AM  

  • If you find a builder who can point out a client who hasn't been "difficult", you find a client who didn't get what they paid for, or paid too much for what they received.

    If being "difficult" means you insist on getting what you're paying for, and not paying for something you don't get, I don't see anything negative about being labeled "difficult". Lets all unite in our quest to be difficult! ...sorry almmost got carried away for a moment.

    By Blogger ****Moodlepie*****, at 10/12/2006 10:31 AM  

  • My guess is that he's grumpy because he's not getting the full boat markup. It doesn't sound like you're being difficult at all.

    By Blogger Mommygoth, at 10/12/2006 12:33 PM  

  • Well I am a difficult but I know it so I think if you were (which I don't think you are) you would know it too. Phew! xxoo

    By Anonymous Donna Bliss, at 12/02/2006 3:19 PM  

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