Sorry I’ve been MIA lately.  I keep hoping for something brilliant to post here, but I’ve been on a roller coaster of ups and downs these last couple of weeks.  The tree still hasn’t been taken down, and there are actually still gifts under it.  For various reasons, we have not yet had “Christmas” with my mom, sister, niece and nephew yet.  We were supposed to celebrate on Christmas Eve.  My mother, who is terminally unorganized, was not “ready” to have us come and so postponed it to December 26th.  Then her washing machine went out and she wanted to postpone until she got that fixed … then a part had to be ordered … we were supposed to “have Christmas” this coming Sunday afternoon, but she found out today that the part won’t be here until Thursday, and even if the repair guy comes on Friday, she has too much to do to be ready by Sunday.

Let me clarify by saying, she is vision impaired and cannot drive to a laundromat.  I would offer to take her clothes and such to a laundromat, except she is also OCD and would have a very difficult time letting me do that.  She has had my sister pick up a few things to wash over at her apartment, but my sister cannot do it all because she works two jobs (36 hours as an antepartum nurse every weekend and 25 hours every week doing billing and coding for a chiropractor) …

With regard to my mom … it is difficult to help someone who fights you every step of the way because they refuse to relinquish any kind of control …

At some point in the next few days, I will take the tree down.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen as far as the gift exchange thing goes … it’s getting a wee bit frustrating.

Business-wise, the year is starting off pretty well … I’ve gotten two blind orders and one shutter order since the first of the year and I have an appointment this coming Friday to measure some windows for another potential client.  Yesterday afternoon was a bit painful (I shared some of this in an online chat with Miss O’Hara) … it’s a long story, but the gist of it was:

I didn’t specifically communicate to a client that I would come by their house towards the end of their shutter installation appointment to pick up their final payment.  The contract they agreed to states very clearly that the “Balance Is Due at Installation” … it’s pretty obviously implied that I will be picking up the payment, I think.

My installer got there about 20 minutes early and so he finished about 30 minutes sooner than expected.  I had a little family crisis that delayed me and so I called my client to say I was just around the corner.  It was 3:58.  (The install was set for between 3 and 4 pm.)  The husband said, “Can’t you pick it up tomorrow?” and I explained that I really needed to go ahead and get it and I was only a few minutes from his house.  He barked out, “Fine!” and hung up on me.  I pulled up in their driveway at 4:02.  Literally 4 minutes after talking to him.  They were standing in the driveway with extremely pissy looks on their faces (no other word describes it so well) … I hopped out of my truck with a smile on my face saying, “thank you …” at which point they cut me off and she proceeded to tell me how UNPROFESSIONAL I was for not calling them to tell them specifically that I would be coming by.

I was totally shocked.  I’ve been doing this for 8 years and many of my clients have become my friends because that’s the type of service I provide … not to brag or anything, but I take very good care of my clients and they are not shy about saying how much they enjoy working with  me.  A large percentage of my business comes from referrals because people like my window treatments and my service so much.  So I was totally dismayed by this attack …

When I tried to explain that the installer had finished much more quickly than expected (I fully expected to arrive as he was finishing the job — our usual habit, where I check things over, make sure the client is satisfied and then collect the payment …) and that I’d received an emergency call from my mother, the wife cut me off and said, “I don’t care about your mother …”

!!!

Just so you’ll know … my mother received a cornea transplant about three years ago.  It is critical that she put anti-rejection drops in her eye every day to prevent organ rejection.  My mother called me right about the time I was supposed to go to the client’s house because my sister had come home from work with 102 degree temperature and was not able to go pick up the prescription and there was really no one else to do so … so I was needed to drive 40 miles (one way) to take care of this, as well as pick up a few things for my ailing sister.  This is what I was attempting to tell the woman when she told me she didn’t “care about my mother …”

Anyway … I discovered from a business associate who also worked with these people that they were very difficult to deal with and that because he owns his own business and has more money than courtesy, he thinks he can treat everyone like he treats his employees.

In a convoluted way, it made me feel a good bit better to learn this … to know that he is just a jerk, that his wife follows his lead, and that I didn’t really do anything “wrong.”  I think part of the reason it was so shocking is because all my previous contacts with the wife were very pleasant.  And SHE was the one who kept berating me about not calling them.  I think he probably was irritable about having to wait 3 minutes for me (they were standing in the driveway about to hop in their vehicle when I pulled up … )and so she put on a show of putting me in my place to stay on his good side.  The thing that really bums me out is not getting to see the finished job … she said they were very pleased with the shutters, just not with me.  I would have liked to have seen them, as they were stained Rosewood and I’m sure quite lovely.

I ended up mailing a thank you note for the order and apologized for any inconvenience my miscommunication may have caused them.  Sigh.  Then this evening when I went to Wal-mart, I almost ran into her as she was coming from one of the aisles!  I saw the nose of the cart as I was walking toward the checkout, said “Excuse me” as I looked up and it was her.  She was already smiling, but I’m sure that disappeared when she realized who I was.  I didn’t slow down to find out … I just kept on going. 

The rest of the week promises to be better, though.  After Jami and I do our schoolwork in the morning, I am going to go take some portrait shots for a young lady graduating from college this spring.  She is one of our homeschool family kids and is finishing up at Pensacola Christian College.  She studied graphic design and is doing a student show this spring … she has to have a portrait to hang with her work and asked me if I would take some shots of her before she goes back on Saturday.  So that was very, very  nice.  Pray for good weather and a good variety of poses for her to choose from.  And steady hands (no camera shake!) 

Well, I’d better wrap it up for now, but I figured I’d better post … especially after that last comment from John!    Have a good one and I’ll try to be more consistent in my posting.

5 thoughts on “Still Alive …

  1. Ah people, don’t you just love dealing with them sometimes.  🙂  Sorry your client was so difficult, I always try to remember that I’m not the most important person in the universe and that tends to keep me in my place.  lolTree up?  Good.  So is mine.

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  2. I have been listening to Rush all week. I cannot believe I left those guys off of the list! I remember years ago hearing a DJ in Dallas named Chaz Mixon call Rush the “thinking man’s meatal band”. I thought it was appropriate at the time. As I was listening to the music this week I was impressed at how timely the lyrics still are. Good choice, friend!
    Old Hat

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  3. Yes…that was a gracious way to respond. I would have wanted to break their necks. If you know anybody else that has to deal with them, warn them!
    It is difficult to help a parent when they don’t want to give up any control. That’s what we have been going through with my mom. My parents are in bad health, so my 3 sisters and I try to do what we can. But my mom fights us. She’s an “I can do it myself” kind of person, but when you get old and sick, somebody else has to do it. And she doesn’t realize that.
    I hope you got some good weather for the photos. After yesterday’s constant rain, it’s been nothing but cloudy here all day.

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