Tivo for Aggravation

NOTE: As of September 23, 2009, this post has been edited in
accordance with a court-mediated settlement. The names of the
contractor and his excavation subcontractor have been replaced with

We spent much of yesterday afternoon transcribing our recording of half of our last real conversation with Contractor A (who always looks half-lit) about our foundation. About half an hour into the conversation, he remembered we'd told him we were taping the conversation and refused to speak again until we turned the recording off. Then he wanted us to destroy the tape we had made, as if that was going to happen.

It was very informative to listen to the tape again, listen to him saying he refused to complete the job as contracted and hear the condescending tone in his voice (if anybody wants a copy of the tape, drop me mail) and his way of asserting things we knew not to be true.

Interestingly, Contractor A (who walked off the job refusing to finish work after his crude attempt to hide the damage from our engineer and us was uncovered) has taken the tack with us that they stopped work because of non-payment, although they never gave any notice that they were going to do so, nor have any of our payments been unreasonably late. Contractor A (who frequently made claims about losses and accounting that did not match the actual numbers in the paperwork he provided) claimed to have pulled off the job because of non-payment only 14 days after their invoice, when the real reason they pulled off the job was that not only had Contractor A (who never actually submitted permit paperwork to the city; he walked off the job to go to a bar and left Noel to do the work for him) failed to get the required permit to continue work (we eventually had to get this ourselves) but there were not at the time any engineer-approved plans, because Contractor A (who started work without a permit, failed to dewater the site as required by common sense and local custom, and then tried to hide the mess he made) had not informed us of the extent of the soil damage under the house when it happened, so we had a delay while an appointment with the geotechnical engineers was set up, and our structural engineer redrew his plans to meet their requirements.

Not to mention that, in construction, 30 days is considered a totally reasonable time in which to pay an invoice. Certainly in Construction Accounting I was told to be prepared to get payments up to 90 days after the invoice date, which is why companies often include an incentive to pay early, such as a ten percent discount.

Anyway, I do get worked up when I listen to this particular recording, as you can see. We transcribed the session and sent it off to our lawyer and the construction consultant, and we'll see what we can get from that. I'd love to play some of it when we get to the negotiating table with him, but I doubt that will help matters. On the other hand, I am very much looking forward to the day when I can publish all these entries. I want everybody in the world to know what Contractor A (who is a shameful excuse for a human being, the sort of low-life slime that makes slime send us a letter claiming defamation for the comparison and by god, slime is right to be offended) has tried to do to us.

posted by ayse on 07/17/05