In search of assistance, she finds loud arrogance |

In search of assistance, she finds loud arrogance

One of my rentals just became available for repair and some remodel work. I have been trying to put a team of people together to do the project. And, here I am again, back in Nevada County.

I had called a person listed in the ads as a carpenter. When we finally reached each other this morning, and I mentioned the word “contractor,” he blew up and started yelling. I had not even been able to give him an idea of what I wanted yet, or ask him much about what he did. And that is my experience here with trying to find people to help. Arrogance. I don’t know another name to put on it.

I’m hearing that trying to find reasonably priced workmen to help is very hard right now. I have been yelled at by a lot of men who tell me loudly why they are so great at what they do, and why they should charge such a high fee for their services, and that they only work on particular jobs, usually the upper end – cleaner, high-paying jobs. When they turn into Yosemite Sam with their opinions about themselves and their work, I know I am in a zone of abuse that I don’t need in my life, and that isn’t about money.

I provide homes for rent to families and young people, here lately. They need peace, quiet, and stability so their lives can work, and so that they can stay families. We – the tenants and I and the people who help me – all work together to keep the rents down, the properties maintained, and jobs available when there is money and jobs available. Otherwise, I do the work myself, obviously.

I don’t have time or money or patience for service people who are arrogant, who cheat people in some manner, who are not honest, and who do not treat people well. I don’t care how good you are. I did not set out in my life to become a plumber, painter, remodeler, electrician, or any of the other services that keep a house well-maintained, but I seem to be learning that anyway because of my intolerance of bad behaviors on the part of some of the service men here.

I have been yelled at by the wives of these people, too, just because they are tired of the incoming phone calls for services. They never yell at any men who call, but they seem quite content to yell at me. It only takes that one time of being yelled at by somebody telling me why they are so good, and I will never, ever use them again. And when people ask me my experience of trying to find helpers, that is what I have to offer.

If they do it on the job, they are excused immediately. The jobs can sit. The people who can do the work fairly and at a reasonable price will show up. And not all contractors in this area charge those higher-than affordable fees. I am incredibly grateful to the ones who have been there for me when I have called. Sometimes, It has taken some looking to find them. They don’t yell.

One of the best things that I can say about my tenants when they leave is, “They bought their own home!” And that is a success to me. Maybe that is because those of us who support renters in having successful lives have given them a peaceful, functional space to live in so that their lives can work. That doesn’t have to be a high-end product run by commercialism here in Nevada County. Maybe it is a courtesy given by people who care.

Cindy Chamberlain lives in Rough and Ready.

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