Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 21 of 365: Assumptions

Things are slowly but surely getting worked out with the painters. But it seems that, as soon as the major problems get fixed, more and more pop up.

They've sworn to fix the hallway and foyer before we move in. Personally, I think it all could've been fixed if they had simply given the walls a coat or two of primer and started from scratch. That was how we were able to transform a room that was a deep, deep maroon (as well as a room with neon yellow and a room that could only be described as a "Lemon-Lime Sprite Advertisement" into very soft, delicate colors. They've already gone to work and, despite everything, I'm going to have faith in them that they'll fix everything by move-in on Friday.

However, we learned two things on Friday: the dinged up a portion of the half wall that separates the den from the kitchen. And by "dinged up" I don't mean "they left a scratch". I mean "it looked like reverse braille on my wall." I brought it to my husband's attention, who simply sighed and started spackling. We also learned that, while they were making holes in one wall, they were patching up walls they weren't supposed to patch up in others. We had taken down our window treatments, but screwed the screws halfway back in, as a bit of a marker. We left the hook for the curtain rods in as well, and assumed that they would be painted with everything else, as they had obviously been painted with the original colors in the first place.

We inspect the walls and realized that they had taken out all the screws, all the hooks, and spackled everything over. This becomes exponentially frustrating when you factor in that reinstalling the window treatments when the area has been spackled is downright impossible. The only way we are going to be able to put the window treatments back in is if we dig the entire spackled area out, mud it instead, sand it, mud it again, prime it, paint it, and start all over again with the window treatments.

Minus the dings and the missing knob (which, going back to the "going awry" versus "not going perfectly", if that were the only issues at hand, I would've filed it under "not going perfectly" and ordered a new knob/spackled the dings ourselves), everything could've been solved if they just hadn't assumed.

A breakdown in communication happened somewhere along the line, because, as I checked, I had specified in print what colors go way with very little ambiguity. I feel like anyone with any understanding of how color works would see a plan that called for light, light cream in a den (as well as variations of cream and tan in the dining room and kitchen) only to have a super brilliant blue in the foyer, hallways, and front wall, and go, "Wait a minute..."

All it would've taken was one phone call. Just one. "Hey, I want to double check the colors." "Hey, do you want your wallplates painted?" "Hey, do you want us to take us your curtain rod hooks?" Simple clarification and all of this would be a thing of the past. We'd be grumbling about the dings and dents and missing knob, but those are very simple problems that can get solved in an afternoon.

But no. A lot of assumptions were made, and they were all wrong. Now the painting company is bleeding out money, we're losing valuable time, and everyone is pulling out their hair.

One of my friends put it best. The stress that comes with people you've hired doubles because you hired them specifically to do the work and experience the stress in your place. But this is exactly what happens when you assume: you make an ASS out of U and ME.

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