I know that as you grow older you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, and I most definitely have learned from most of mine. Sometimes though, it is hard to apply those lessons. Take for example the lesson I have learned, to say 'no' to Mark when we are shopping. In theory it should work, but until you have been in a store with Mark and had your ears assaulted by his high pitched whine, you cannot really fault me for giving in on occasion.
So what is the lesson you should learn from dealing with South Florida contractors, tradesmen, and handymen. Don't trust anybody, ever? Trust only those that you know and have used before? I don't know, I just try to trust my instincts and hope for the best.
Two weeks ago, I hired a man to come and rebuild the shower in the studio apartment so that I could rent it out again. The guy I hired had done work for us before, so I thought I could trust him. When he started the job he seemed to know exactly what he was doing and everything was hunky dory. He had originally said it would take three days, but because of the mold behind the wall it was to be extended another day. That was fine. Fine that is until day five, and day six, and day seven, etc., until on day ten he apparently got tired of coming here and suddenly announced that he was finished and handed me the final bill.
When Mark and I went into the little apartment to inspect the work, we both had the same reaction. Mark turned to him and said, "If we had wanted the job to look like this, Alan would have done it.". It was awful. There were gaps in the trim, the tile was crooked, and the apartment was left in filth. The worst part was, when Mark and I started to point out the problems, he got belligerent and began screaming at Mark.
I decided that I didn't want a confrontation, so I wrote out the check for what he wanted, and bid him goodbye. After he left, I sat and stewed for a while, then I went into my office, signed on to my bank, and put a stop on the check. I guess the lesson is, never pay in cash.