update: a client sent me a thank-you check as a way to avoid paying my boss

Remember the letter-writer whose client sent her a large thank-you check as a way of avoiding paying her boss, with whom he was embroiled in much drama? The first update was here, and here’s the latest:

I wasn’t originally going to update again on this, but things went bananas, so I figured you’d like to hear since we are all a little entertainment deprived.

In my first update, I mentioned how I was hired by Gilbert to over see his homes on the side in addition to my full time job with Adam’s company. This originally was great, I was making more money, and the homes are built really well so the amount of times I had to fix something major was rare. Overall, an easy job. The payment plan me, Gilbert, and Adam worked out was going great as well, and they hadn’t had any issues with the way I was handling repairs and billing.

While I was working for Gilbert, we started another large project for him (the one mentioned in the previous update). Ho-boy did that affect things. Gilbert asked me to be the lead on this home (as a representative of Adam’s company, so my main job) since I did a great job managing the others, and having the background of actually building the home would make it easier to manage later on once it was done and a part of my property management duties. Adam agreed, and everything was great during the first half of the project.

During the process of building this home, both Gilbert and his wife completely changed. (In retrospect they didn’t, I was just too money blind to notice it before). They started to severely micromanage me while I was building the new project, which slowed the process by months. They were very difficult, rude, and aggressive, and frugal. They reluctantly paid bills from our office, and sometimes they would outwardly deny paying for things they were contractually obligated to pay (for example, they wanted to add a section to the project that would require a lot more money, they agreed, signed, and when the bill came pretended we were responsible for that). All of this was aggravating, but if they wanted to slow the progress on their job, there is nothing I can do about it. I spoke extensively with Adam about this during the whole process to make sure I was handling it appropriately, and to protect myself when they eventually turned on me (which they did).

Their behavior became so erratic that subcontractors refused to work with them due to their hostility and disrespect. I came on the job site one day and the wife was screaming at a painter because he was painting something white that was supposed to be green (it was primer!). I stepped in and asked her to leave because the painter was doing his job and there was no need to treat him like that. The guy doesn’t speak English, so he was very frazzled after this, understandably so. She refused to leave the job site and became aggressive toward other subcontractors as well, including throwing a paint brush at the painter, so I halted work on that site to protect everyone, and they all left. (Did I handle that right? I was a little scared myself and didn’t know what to do.) His wife, in her almost complete, multi-million dollar home, started crying and screaming that we had no idea how hard her life is (she has no job or responsibilities). She had a full on meltdown, toddler style. There is something about a billionaire’s wife crying about how hard her life is to people who make just over minimum wage that doesn’t sit right with my soul.

I left the home while she was raging and sent a text to her husband that he needed to check in on her because it seemed like she was having a nervous breakdown and I was worried about her safety. I didn’t engage with him when he called me about it later on because at this point I had a ton of evidence that wouldn’t go well. I went to the office and told Adam and our VP what happened. We talked it over, and I realized I couldn’t work for them in any capacity anymore. Naturally, his wife spun the incident and I received a hostile email from the husband full of lies about what went down (they claimed I screamed at her and that’s what made her snap). I sent a response email including a resignation letter and included his company’s HR in the process. I gave a notice period of two weeks, but they decided to end my job there immediately (thank God).

The home was completed by another associate of mine, so I was mostly able to wash my hands of that. This all mostly happened pre-coronavirus. Just this week though, I got an email from a former client letting me know that he ran into Gilbert at Publix, and while they were catching up, he went into a tirade about how this company that built his house bullied his wife and they were considering legal action. Gilbert had no idea we built this person’s house and have a great relationship (an actual great one!) with them. I told Adam and have met with our company lawyer, who all agreed that we would take action against him if they continued to spread lies on top of any litigation for the money they currently owe us. They suggested I send a cease and desist letter (slander or libel) but I haven’t decided if I’d like to go that route, as I’d rather rid myself of this all. I did suggest they speak with the painter she assaulted though, he was highly upset that day.

So, yeah! That was a wild one. I am otherwise doing well. I am not worried about this at all because Adam has made it clear he would protect me and I have no reason to believe otherwise. Our lawyer has also confirmed it would be difficult for him to even bring this to court. One funny thing though, Gilbert’s insistence on tarnishing my name actually did the opposite. He spoke so highly of me to his friends when I started working for him (because I was cheap, trustworthy, and efficient) that when they found out I was available they all called asking me to be their property manager. Seems like everyone knows he’s full of … crap. I will most likely not take another part-time gig though. This has soured me on the type of clientele we deal with and I’m realizing I just don’t like the entitlement we experience on a daily basis. Some of our clients are amazing, I even look up to them. However, most are cut from the same cloth as Gilbert and his wife, and I do not need that in my life, no matter the money.

One last thing. I mentioned money problems in my original letter due to problems with my spouse’s job. He has since left that company and started at another that he LOVES. We were planning on purchasing a home this year, but we will probably wait til the virus is long gone to do that.

Stay safe! And thank you to you and your readers for the consistent insight and support.

{ 229 comments… read them below or add one }

    1. MommaCat*

      This kind of reminds me of one of my relatives faux-complaining about how much they pay in taxes, and I ended up joking that I’m the wrong person to complain to, since that’s how much I was making a year. They had the grace to get embarrassed, and stopped complaining to me. :)

      Reply
      1. OP*

        Ive actually had a very similar convo with them about this! Like oh my god im so sorry you have to pay property taxes on your very large estate. You poor thing

        Reply
            1. Junger*

              “People keep delivering trucks full of told bars to my giant moneybin, and their cars are constantly cluttering up three of my driveways!”

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        1. ian*

          I once had to sit and listen while someone complained that the sunset was too bright coming through the full glass wall they had facing the ocean in their beachfront mansion. I really had to bite my tongue to avoid the “do you want to switch houses” response.

          Reply
      2. CCJB*

        I’m an accountant, and when our mega-rich clients ask how to pay less in taxes, I just tell them to make less money next year.

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        1. All the cats 4 me*

          My favorite from clients:

          But I have a business! You don’t have to pay taxes when you have a business!

          Reply
      3. Strawberries & Mean*

        SAME. I also love when their money conversations come with a side of advice (i.e., “Just get a second job!” “Spend less money and you’ll have more saved!”). Or my favorites: comparing situations only to learn that they had significant help in getting started, or that they’re using dollar values from 1975. The disconnect is baffling.

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        1. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

          My favorite is “stop going to Starbucks!”.
          Someone once told me to stop buying take away food and I pointed that my workplace at the time didn’t have a fridge.

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        2. Lavender Menace*

          The significant help in getting started piece always ruffles my feathers. I’ll get lots of concern-trolling home-buying advice only to find out that the person in question had their down payment covered by a benevolent relative. Uh, thanks, next time I’ll try to be born richer?

          Reply
          1. ian*

            “Here’s how this couple retired at age 30!”

            “Well, their wealthy parents paid for their schooling and home, and they both got 6 figure jobs at their parents firms right after college, and were able to save 90% of their income, and that with the extra money they had from their investment accounts they’ve had since childhood meant they were able to get by on just the money they make as Instagram influencers who just post pictures of themselves in the Bahamas tagged #retireearly!”

            Reply
            1. Gadfly*

              Reminds me of the Romney thing during the 2016 primaries where Ann insisted they were just normal college students (even ate tuna casseroles) because they didn’t want to dip into the trust funds

              Reply
              1. Clisby*

                I actually have a cousin who, in all seriousness, referred to Mitt Romney as a “self-made man.”

                I said, “No, his father was a self-made man. He is a privileged man.”

                Reply
      4. Susan*

        That’s my mom. She and my dad worked very hard for many years and invested well for retirement. She now lives off of the income from those investments and from my dad’s former pension. She does complain about how much taxes she has to pay, but does take it well when I play my tiny invisible violin for her and gently remind her that the reason she has so much money to deal with starting this year is that she got all of my dad’s pension now since he passed away last year (vs. the half she got in their divorce)

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      5. Ginger Baker*

        And it can pop up with non-money matters with anyone too! I once had a friend complaining to me about her now-longer commute she was so frustrated about: instead of 30 minutes it was now 45 minutes *each way* to get to work. I sat listening for a minute in *90 minute each way commute* and then interrupted to explain that, like having a maid and being upset your maid did not clean all the items required, it was a VALID complaint, but that, just like complaining about your low-quality maid to someone who *has no maid and would happily do any number of somewhat illegal acts to acquire one* was not the right audience, I, too, was not the correct audience for these quite-valid commute complaints. (Great person that she is, the complaints to me on commute ceased immediately. Neither of us has maid service, still…sadly.)

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    2. Malarkey01*

      And yes you did the right thing in clearing the job site. When someone spins out of control like this and starts actually throwing things and screaming, clearing the site, protecting your subs, and making sure it doesn’t further escalate is the best thing to do. Many people don’t pull that lever past enough and it becomes a much much bigger mess.

      Reply
      1. JSPA*

        Yup. Textbook correct response, I’d say. Well done!

        I do want to push back a bit on the idea that rich people can’t have deep personal woes. Mental health issues and injury and relationship stress and cancer and parents with dementia and death in the family all happen to anyone.

        Being in a hole where it seems like nobody can ever understand isn’t comical, just because you’re rich.

        It’s a bit of entitlement to say the words out loud just because the FEEL true. Especially when you’re saying it to people who objectively have more duties and fewer resources. And it’s 100% not OK to throw things at the people you employ.

        But everyone, for better or worse, is likely to have some days when that’s what life feels like.

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        1. Willow*

          I don’t think op was saying that rich people don’t have problems. Rich people can afford therapists though. Or can talk with friends and family who are in a similar socioeconomic situation. There’s really no excuse for a rich person to complain about their life to a minimum wage worker who can’t even ask them to stop without risking their job.

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        2. Nopenopenope*

          What on earth is the point of this? Who is it aimed at? Who said any of what you’re suggesting was said (“rich people dont have problems”), followed directly by you saying what’s already been said (rich people need to keep perspective on who they’re dumping their rich people problems on, and also, not engage in verbal/physical violence at the drop of a hat”)?

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        3. EventPlannerGal*

          If it makes me a bad person to find comedy in a multi-millionaire’s wife uttering the words “nobody understands how hard my life is” while having a screaming tantrum and throwing paintbrushes at manual workers because she does not know what primer is, then I guess I’m a bad person. Rich people can have problems but when they express them in such patently absurd ways then I think they have to put up with people having a little chuckle about it.

          Reply
    3. Junger*

      Yeah, absolutely the right decision. When the clients get violent, your first priority is keeping people safe, not painting walls.

      Reply
    4. All Outrage, All The Time*

      What a roller coaster! Thank you for the update. I am glad your financial woes have cleared up, too.

      Reply
  1. Hummer on the Hill*

    Wow, you shoulda warned me at the start to make some popcorn! What at story! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Sleepytime Tea*

      My new favorite line: “There is something about a billionaire’s wife crying about how hard her life is to people who make just over minimum wage that doesn’t sit right with my soul.”

      Reply
      1. Happy Pineapple*

        That line resonated so strongly with me. Reminds me of when I was in college, working three jobs, and completely unprompted a classmate starting complaining that after taxes her father only made $300,000 annually, and “that just isn’t enough to live on!” My then-partner deadpanned, “My parents make $40,000 combined.”

        All people have problems, but that was definitely not the right audience!

        Reply
  2. LittleRedRiding...huh?*

    Wow, what a ride! I got whip lash just reading it and shaking my head in utter disbelief.

    Reply
  3. King Friday XIII*

    Sounds like you’ve got good instincts, OP! Good on you for taking care of your employees and good on your boss/uncle for taking care of you.

    Reply
    1. MCMonkeyBean*

      For real–working for family can be so hard, and in the first letter it was hard to tell who if any of the men were the reasonable parties, but with all three letters it seems that OP’s uncle really has their back and that the two of them have had pretty good communication over difficult topics. That’s awesome and I hope it shows in the day to day stuff too and not just these big, crazy situations.

      Reply
  4. Campfire Raccoon*

    CONGRATULATIONS to you and your hubby!

    As someone who works in the construction industry – often with the uber-rich – I feel you. Holy cow, the entitlement! My fav question is the, “What, you don’t want my money?”

    No, no I do not.

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    1. OP*

      They get so surprised when they realize us normal folk DO NOT CARE about your bank account. Like if your money comes with a side of lawsuit and assault, im GOOD.

      Reply
      1. MommaCat*

        The rich relative I spoke of upthread? They’re generally not very happy. I’ve decided I’m happy with enough money to be able to put my bills on autopay, but after that, I’m good. Having crazy money can really screw with you.

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        1. Lynn*

          ^ THIS!

          I think that having enough money to put your bills on autopay is such an underrated financial milestone and IMO is the definition of comfortably wealthy. I was able to do this three years ago and I still get excited about at the first of the month when I don’t have to do anything (I do still check that bills look accurate and there isn’t anything crazy but that’s like a 30 second process with no action needed unless there’s an issue).

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          1. Warm Weighty Wrists*

            100% agree! I was talking with my partner the other day about how I feel so much more competent when I make financial decisions now, and I always thought I was bad with money. He was like, no, like most people you were just bad at not having any money. Once there’s enough money to actually cover expenses, the “good” decisions are suddenly so much easier! (And these moral categories of being “good” or “bad” with money are just another way we punish people with less money.)

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            1. HermitCrab*

              I’m saving this to my list of good advice! Sometimes I feel really bad about my financial literacy financial security, but you are absolutely right. Once I got a job that covered the bills plus extra, it felt so much easier to save and invest instead of constantly battling my desire to have nice things and treat myself to eating out.

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            2. That'll happen*

              This is so true! I’m finally in a space where I have some breathing room financially and it’s amazing how much easier it is to be responsible with your money when you aren’t constantly in crisis mode.

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          2. MommaCat*

            I was SO EXCITED to be able to put my bills on autopay. Now that my contract has ended and hasn’t been renewed (thanks Coronavirus), we’re going to have to do the bills-shuffle dance again. D:

            Reply
              1. MommaCat*

                Thank you! The silver lining is that I’ll be able to deal with my kids’ distance schooling, and my partner is pretty solidly employed with great benefits. We’re in a much better position than most in our industry, which was decimated by Covid.

                Reply
          3. Batty Twerp*

            I’ve just had to look it up – I think “paying your bills on autopay” is something very similar to Direct Debit here in the UK?

            Reply
            1. MommaCat*

              Perhaps? It’s when you can have the money for your bills charged automatically to your bank account, so you never have to worry about having a late fee.

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            2. chi type*

              Does it take the money out automatically every month? Having bills on autopay means you are confident that you will always have enough in your account to clear your bills.

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              1. pandop*

                I think that says a lot about the relative emploment situations in the UK/US. While of course there are a lot of people in the UK doing the bill shuffle, having your bills on direct debit is the norm, and paying directly isn’t well supported any more (which of course makes it harder for those who have to)

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        2. Minocho*

          When I was young, I really was focused on working to get to a point that I could earn a lot of money.

          As I got older, I realized that this was driven by our family’s precarious finances when I was growing up – that I didn’t really want a lot of money, I just wanted to avoid feeling insecure because I couldn’t support myself. I want to be able to afford my life, but it turns out I don’t really want a lot of money – having a lot would make it harder for me to have the things that make me happy, like good relationships with the people I love.

          Not enough money can be super stressful. But there’s a certain point after which I find I really don’t feel the need to put myself out for more. Other people may feel different – that’s fine. They can pursue what makes them happy!

          Reply
          1. Green great dragon*

            Yeh – there’s a lot of research saying enough money to not have to worry about food on the table does buy happiness, but beyond a certain level of comfort extra money doesn’t help much.

            Reply
          2. Deejay*

            My parents like to say “You can only drive one car at a time, and sleep in one bed at a time”.

            Would I want multiple homes? I have enough trouble keeping track of which one of my six virtual homes in Skyrim I left a particular item in, and I can fast travel between those in the blink of a loading screen. Real ones you have to maintain and physically slog between? No thanks!

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        3. OP*

          100% It really does. Ill be honest, his wife is for sure miserable. He speaks to her like she is a toddler and yells at her when she speaks up (I didnt notice this before, but other people in my company knew this). They got together for money and social status (she is beyond beautiful, def a trophy wife) and they are surely miserable

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          1. MommaCat*

            That seems like such a miserable way to live. I can understand approaching a marriage like a business relationship, but one would hope that the two involved could at least be partners, rather than be constantly pulling each other down. It’s a terrible way to run a business, and a terrible way to run a marriage.

            Reply
          2. Lovely Day in the Pandemic*

            Just because she is beautiful doesn’t mean she has nothing else going on and is a trophy wife. This is such a stereotype. Beautiful women can be smart, talented, and accomplished in their own right. Lots of people without money have lousy relationships too.

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            1. Not So NewReader*

              People without money are less apt to hire people and abuse the crap out of their employees. ;)

              But your point is taken, spouses can really devalue each other with words or neglect or outright abuse. I totally agree that this woman was acting like an unhappy or even emotionally abandoned spouse. She had avenues to pass her misery forward.

              Reply
            2. Observer*

              That’s true. But if she’s beautiful and her husband talks to her like she’s a toddler, then he probably didn’t marry her for her brains. He probably doesn’t think she has ay.

              That doesn’t make him right, of course – he’s not what I would consider a trustworthy judge.

              Reply
            3. Lalaroo*

              I didn’t see OP’s comment as making any judgment on the wife’s intelligence. Rather, it seems to me like OP is saying that the husband married her as a trophy wife and does not respect her as a whole person – he only wants the beauty, not the rest of her, and treats her badly when she tries to act like the adult human being she is, complete with opinions of her own. That would make anyone miserable.

              Reply
        4. JSPA*

          That, and a certain lack of empathy (or a tinge of downright sociopathy or narcissism) turns out to make some people good at cutting deals and making those big bucks. So the money can be the effect, rather than the cause, of being a difficult human being.

          Also, mix and match those genes, and the next generation can have all of the deficits, and not so much of the intellect, drive or hunger. Maybe no surprise that some of them are absolute squander-bots.

          Reply
          1. Gazebo Slayer*

            Yep. Amoral people have the advantage of always having the option to scam or exploit others, which gives you a lot more opportunity to make money (or spend less of it). Hire freelancers you never intend to pay, sell snake oil, outsource everything to the cheapest vendor possible regardless of how awful they are, never tip anyone….

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          2. wittyrepartee*

            I dunno, I think most of the times it’s less about the genes and more about being raised in a way that doesn’t encourage you to work at something until you improve at it, or figure out what you enjoy doing/find meaningful to work at. Genes generally work in broad strokes, so I guess I could see something like “kids have a predisposition for not being able to maintain narrow focus for a long time”.

            Reply
        5. Yes Yes Yes*

          Yup, I have a crazy rich relative with a half dozen luxury homes (so she can live where she wants in the world) and everything her heart desires. When her two children were younger she complained constantly about how difficult her life was, and that the rest of us had no idea how hard it was to be her.

          I guess it can be hard when you have to manage a full-time live in nanny, a personal assistant, other workers to do everything you want from cooking to driving to laundry, etc., and a husband to help. In between working part-time (or not at all) any time she wanted on a fun business paying her a ridiculously high full-time salary, while she travels every 6 weeks or so to luxury resorts around the world, with staff that handles absolutely everything.

          Whenever she complained I would think: There are single mothers with more kids than you who have to work multiple minimum wage jobs just to afford to feed their family, and YOU are complaining about how hard your life is?

          Reply
        6. LPUK*

          That’s always been my goal too, although I stated it as I never wanted to think about money, which autopay means I can do. Also if I have a stressful week, I can spend money on things like laundry and cleaning services without worrying. It’s been liberating, having enough money to solve the problems that can be solved by money, instead of focusing on money and big ticket items to try and solve things that really can’t, which is what people with big money often try and fail to do

          Reply
      2. Faith*

        One of my parents is a general contractor, and they have happily turned down jobs while in the bidding process because they could see what a headache the clients would be, for this exact reason. The money just isn’t worth it — especially since half the time, they try not to pay!

        Reply
          1. Do I need a hard hat for this?*

            We’ve definitely done this before in my line of work (similar to the OP’s). If a potential client is difficult, but we feel an obligation to provide them with an estimate, we’ll factor in the “Pain-in-the-Ass Fee.” Basically, how much would it take for us to deal with this person (within reason of course). A lot of what we do is word-of-mouth, we don’t spend any money on marketing at all. Sometimes we’ll estimate a project to appease someone who’s been referred to us, but we know we don’t want to work with. We can’t be seen to turn people away…but we’ll factor in how they treat us and how much hand-holding they would need. If they take so much energy from us that we can’t focus on other projects as well, then that’s going to affect our bottom line! Usually we’ve been successful at “pricing the out” of a project. That’s usually for the best.

            We’re in the market where we have clients similar to what the OP had described in their original letter. We have clients that will nickel and dime us about the smallest basic things, then turn around and spend ten thousand dollars on a single light fixture 0_0 Must be nice!

            Reply
                1. JSPA*

                  I’m a “like to watch” person. (Yes. That person.)

                  I do come right out and say, “I like to see how it’s done and ask questions. If that means it takes longer and is minor PITA, put in a charge for ‘extended explanation and demonstration.’ And if it gets problematically distracting, send me off.”

                  Electricians, plumbers, framing, flooring, finish work, tree surgery–I like to see how things are put together and how they come apart. I know the rudiments of building code, but not the exceptions (or what does and doesn’t need a variance) so that’s also interesting.

                2. Taniwha Girl*

                  Jeez, do you like when your clients watch you work over your shoulder and question your decisions and ask you to teach them your job?

                3. Yes Yes Yes*

                  I like you JSPA. You are self-aware, willing to pay more to be involved, and you’re the type of client I could work with.

              1. Faith*

                Yeah, the ahole fee is definitely something that gets factored in for some of their clients. But some aren’t worth it, even with that.

                There’s also the “should’ve hired me the first time around, instead of the lowest bidder who effed everything up and now you want me to fix it” fee, aka the cheapass fee. Even without that, it’s soooo much more expensive in the long run to hire the crappy, corner-cutting builder than it is to hire the slightly more expensive, upfront about everything-involved builder.

                Reply
        1. Bigglesworth*

          On a related note – My husband is an electrician and even though he was just laid off last week, we have savings enough so he can pass on bad employers. His former company is, by far, the best employer he has ever had and he could tell that they really felt awful about the layoffs. We both agree that it doesn’t matter the money you make, so long as we can pay the bills and live comfortably, an awesome employer with lower wages is far better than a bad employer with high wages. The high paycheck is not worth the mental health issues, gaslighting, or cruddy work environment.

          Reply
        2. OP*

          Yep! We do it constantly, I’d say we have to turn down bid packages for this reason at least twice a month. Some hide it better than others though.

          Reply
        3. Not So NewReader*

          A relative had been recently widowed. She complained to me that no one would come to her house and help her. Oh, she intended to pay them for sure. But she also micromanaged and ask picky-picky questions to the point of crazy-making. And she fretted, inconsolably, about every. single. damn. thing. With her a 15 job took 3-4 hours because of all the hand-wringing and other commentary.

          The dots never connected for her that SHE was causing her own problems. She had to let go of her house because she could not get maintenance work done.

          This goes back to “willingness to get along with others” we have to have some or it can impact our quality of life.

          It was in her extreme example that I learned a little life lesson about how to handle problems with my own house.

          Reply
        4. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

          Amen.

          Property developers are the worst, in my experience. Morals driven by budget and profit too often. (I’m pretty sure that what is “right” is “right” no matter if your budget is crap or not. The vast majority of my “because its against the bloody xyz code, you CANNOT legally DO that, that’s why!” arguments happened when working on “property developer” bids) When I worked for a GC, we had a few with whom we outright refused to bid. Now as a specialized subcontractor, we still have a list of end-users, for whom we will not bid any work, regardless the GC requesting. The bulk of this list is, yes, property developers.

          Of course, there’s a few other GC’s who I will not be accommodating with simply because of how they speak with those who answer the phones.

          Reply
      3. pleaset AKA cheap rolls*

        “if your money comes with a side of lawsuit and assault, im GOOD”

        OP – you have a way with words. Really good stuff.

        Reply
    2. Massmatt*

      I have warned a couple clients that became abusive that I would fire them if they kept it up, they were shocked at first but mostly shaped up. Only one thought I was bluffing, said I’d “change my tune” when he called my supervisor. Odd, as I had told him I run my own business.

      I have turned down prospects that seemed sleazy or nasty. I’m fortunate not to need their business that much. Life is too short to deal with jerks and a-holes.

      Rich people that think they’re too important to pay bills is definitely a thing. You’d think someone with millions of dollars would not need to worry about a $200 bill, but some will absolutely try to wheedle out of it. People with less money actually are often more diligent about paying their bills on time.

      Reply
      1. OP*

        Yep, they are! People that live paycheck to paycheck understand that a stop in cash could keep people from eating

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        1. Not So NewReader*

          oh my yes. When my friend helped me with my house, I squared up at the end of each day. He said, “You don’t have to do this!” I said, “I want to make sure you come back tomorrow or the next day!” He does life with a bare-bones approach. He wants to make enough to support himself, that’s it. He had been through the mill with people who did not pay or took forever to pay. I wanted us to focus on the work itself and not worry about when payday would happen.

          Reply
      2. Prof Space Cadet*

        Hahaha! The “I want to talk to your supervisor” line to someone who is self-employed is priceless.

        Reply
      3. SweetestCin*

        People with less money cannot afford the legal and financial trouble that can be wrought by failure to pay. Its an awful cycle.

        Reply
  5. OP*

    I wrote this about a month ago but so far nothing has come of it. I know they still owe us a lot of money but the speaking bad about me has stopped (as far as I know) after Adam sent him a letter (it wasn’t from a lawyer, and I don’t know the contents). Adam will be entering some kind of lawsuit with him but I am not apart of that so i’m not sure exactly what will happen or where the progress on that is. I do know the painter filed charges, don’t know what came of that either but I told them I would testify if it came to that. They have blacklisted themselves here in our industry and no one will work on their house.

    I giggle every time I pass by that house and see a few things only half painted.

    Reply
      1. cwhf*

        MommaCat this post just made my day! I feel this phrase should be used far more frequently. #literaturegeek

        Reply
        1. Nathan Archer*

          As long as it never happens to Patrick Stewart; he’d be hoisted on his own Picard.

          Sorry, I’ll see myself out.

          Reply
      1. OP*

        Totally. They will eventually get someone to go over there because its big job and money sings, but they will run just as soon as they are hired too. Everyone thinks they can handle it til that first tantrum shows itself.

        Reply
        1. Campfire Raccoon*

          YUP. And nothing will get finished all the way. Eventually that big ol house will start looking like some cobbled-together dilapidated fun house built by ADD squirrels.

          Reply
          1. Do I need a hard hat for this?*

            Also, some subs don’t want go over and mess with someone else’s work. I’ve heard of owners running off an electrician, but then new electricians won’t touch the project. They’re unfamiliar with it, there’s got to be a reason the other electrician walked, and they can’t be held responsible for a huge chunk of someone else’s work. There’s a lot of liability in that!

            Reply
            1. OP*

              Thats not so much the case here where we build. The only subs that do that here (at least working with us) are our elevator guys. Everyone understands that most jobs come with a hefty price tag so they are willing to deal with it. Plus they know the clientele has the money, so it easy for them to be like “omg they ruined x, y and z but we can fix it!” and get them to bite. But we are building the homes from scratch so we know exactly what was done if the new sub has questions, I can see that not being he case for other things like a renovation

              Always use a GC folks!

              Reply
            2. Lovely Day in the Pandemic*

              It’s my understanding from contractor friends (and Make it right Mike) that the first thing done in these corrective action projects is to completely remove the defective work. If not defective, it may still be removed for liability reasons.

              Reply
              1. Not So NewReader*

                My super geeky husband used to say wiring is especially tricky. It’s hugely time consuming to figure out what someone else did. Labor-wise it is cheaper to rip it out and start over. But there are other things in construction, non-electrical things, that can be almost as tricky.

                Reply
                1. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

                  And even once you get past the tricky, there are multiple “right” ways to do it (lots of wrong, too, but I digress). Between the liability and the cost of spending a full 8 hour day trying to chase back the wiring, its usually just cheaper to rip it out and start over, especially on smaller projects!

        2. EPLawyer*

          you said it best, everyone knows their opinion is crap. People like that get a reputation so anything they say about you, everyone else goes “uh-huh, sure” and knows better.

          Plus, karma can be so much fun. These uber rich folks with their sense of entitlement, now have to overpay to get anything done because every single contractor is putting a PITA fee in their bid.

          Reply
          1. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

            Yes, this has been an actual line item in a bid before. How did you know? I think I translated it into a different language and abbreviated it that way on official documentation because PITA was too obvious.

            Reply
        3. Jules the First*

          I wish I could say I was surprised, but many years ago (early in my career) I was the client manager for a design team that specialised in exactly this kind of client…we were the team that went in when the house was half built and the client was losing their shizz left right and centre and no decent subs wanted to work on the house. I did four of them in five years, with an amazing team of (mostly Italian) contractors who spoke no English and were absolute geniuses at ignoring hysterical clients…as in they would literally be standing there painting calmly while the client threw a tantrum about the shade of blue and would very calmly repaint the whole thing tomorrow in exactly the same shade of blue. We charged 100% in fees on your budget. (Want to spend $3m building your new house? Great! We’ll charge you $3m to manage the construction!). It is the only way to do it and stay sane. I got a whole pile of very entertaining stories out of it (which, sadly, I can never tell in public!), a beautiful set of custom-built kitchen cabinets (the client changed her mind after they’d been installed and the contractor reshaped them for my humble kitchen free of charge when I rescued them from the skip), and a reputation for being both absolutely unflappable and gifted at manoeuvring impossible clients. I gave up doing private houses when I finally met the client I couldn’t handle…not because they were unpleasant but because they were pathologically indecisive. I resigned when the client tried to blame me for the fact that the house was more than a year behind schedule. I take a perverse joy in knowing that it’s been six years and their house is no further along than when I left…

          Reply
          1. Indy Dem*

            My father was a scheduling engineer for a large international construction company in the 80s and 90s. They had taken on a contract to build a large scale commercial project, one that would take years and was very complicated. The owner was well-known to be difficult to work with (throw tantrums, make unreasonable demands). He would come in every few months, changes things on a whim – not minor issues, either, and try not to pay for the changes, even though everything needed to be rearranged. Despite this, the company agreed to do a second similar project. Because $$$. And it was even worse. My father was managing at the time, and was able to get himself re-assigned from the second project. That owner went on to become a politician and shows the same type of behavior now.

            Reply
            1. AnotherAlison*

              At least in industrial and large commercial construction, we have actual contracts that we spend months negotiating. I work in that business, and my husband owns an electrical contracting business in the small commercial/residential sector. No actual contracts are signed. (I obviously can’t speak for every business.)

              Reply
              1. OP*

                Im confused. Are you under the impression residential construction doesn’t use contracts? We would never use a sub without a contract signed especially one like electric. This has me very curious! we sign A LOT of contracts for each job. With the owners, banks and subs alike. We’ve done restaurants, luxury condo buildings, spec homes and private homes and every one has required a contract. In fact we, by law, have to keep them for 7 years

                Reply
                1. AnotherAlison*

                  It’s not an impression. It’s how things are done around here with remodelers. I can’t speak as much to new residential construction. A GC may ask for an estimate, the sub gives the estimate and they agree to the price, permits are pulled, etc., but no Ts and Cs are typically negotiated or signed. If you’re doing restaurants and luxury condos, you’re a different business model than what I’m talking about.

                  I realize some of the largest contractors in the US are residential contractors these days, and I’m sure their business practices are more like what I’m used to seeing in my work. My own home was a gut remodel about 10 years ago, and we didn’t sign anything with the arch, GC/framer, or any subs. I’m aware you have to keep corporate records for 7 years, but not of requirements specifically for contracts. My company is huge and I just follow the policies. I don’t get into compliance with government regulations much.

                2. Lovely Day in the Pandemic*

                  I signed contracts for a gut bathroom remodel, tear off roof replacement, and underground flood control system. Other things like replacing a floor may just have a purchase order in place. I’m an old government procurement person, so no major work without something on paper for me. It’s not important until it is. Note that it isn’t typical to sign anything with the subs, ans their contractual relationship is with the prime, or GC.

              2. Lovely Day in the Pandemic*

                Contracts should always be used, it doesn’t have to be fancy but labor and material costs and scope of work needs definition. There should also always be a change order clause.

                Reply
                1. Rick Tq*

                  And requiring a written contract with all details is how we flush out the scam artist ‘contractors’.

            2. OP*

              This client is friends with a particular politician you all know, which shouldve been a sign. And lets just say you’d smack Adam for taking the job

              Reply
          2. pleaset AKA cheap rolls*

            ” who spoke no English and were absolute geniuses at ignoring hysterical clients”

            Gold.

            Reply
          3. OP*

            I have a feeling you are beholden to NDAs like i am too! have a boatload of stories I can never tell because of that. It sucks

            We get a lot of indecisive people but I am more understanding and patient with that because I would be too if i was building my own home lmao I always give them a hard deadline to pick and if they change it after that im usually able to convince them not too because of costs, schedules etc. I will say that the house will always get finished, they have a legal obligation to the city to have it finished and can be fined very large quantities if it isn’t. The city is one large HOA essentially

            Reply
          4. Not So NewReader*

            @Jules, the stuff people toss out is AMAZING. My friend who helped me with my house made it his habit to drive around at 6 am. He found work tables, 5 gal buckets of paint (full), gutters, shutters and this list goes on. All these items were just sitting by the side of the road. The other day he found a gas powered weed-wacker that someone gave up with.
            It’s to the point I wonder why he ever has to go to the store.

            Reply
    1. Kali*

      This is glorious.

      I can completely imagine what sort of person these two are. There’s a documentary called “The Queen of Versailles” about some timeshare billionaire building the largest residence in America – and then the 2008 recession hit and he and his trophy wife are suddenly without liquidity. It’s wild what the uber rich think they’re entitled to and what’s “normal”.

      Props to the painter for filing charges and to you for protecting him.

      Reply
        1. Kali*

          It’s actually on YouTube in its entirety, and I think it’s a few other places like Hulu and Sling, but I don’t know what level of subscription you’d need.

          Reply
        2. Reba*

          You can watch it on Youtube currently!

          I love this film — the family is bananacrackers (and ultimately tragic as well as blithely cruel) and the filmmaker does a great job exposing that while still being humane toward the subject.

          Reply
          1. wittyrepartee*

            His “dumb trophy wife” is like… actually one of the most sympathetic people in the movie. Her husband though…

            Reply
        3. Massmatt*

          I just looked it up–streaming free (but with ads) on Youtube.

          The whole family looks immensely slappable!

          Reply
    2. Zombeyonce*

      I also love that they’re probably perfectly capable of just finishing the painting themselves (albeit not professionally) but they refuse to do it and would rather just have a janky-looking house. They probably haven’t even considered that option.

      Reply
        1. Jules the First*

          The cure for this is tinted primer…then you tell them about how the paler colour underneath will really improve the visual depth of the final coat. :)

          Reply
      1. OP*

        They actually wouldn’t be able to. Alot left is electrostatic painting. And the stuff that isnt that type is veryyyyy high. No way they could do it

        Reply
          1. OP*

            Not poor! Typically just painting a surface like plastic or metal. You probably live in a home or apartment where something was painted like that (shutters for example)

            Reply
            1. JSPA*

              Just looked it up–TOO COOL!

              “Electrostatic painting uses positively-charged paint particles from a specialized gun to coat grounded metal surfaces.”

              So by having the target surface grounded (or electrostatic?), and a charge on the sprayer and thus the spray, the spray sucks towards, and then settles down evenly on the surface.

              This may be what I’ve seen them doing on fancy wrought metal public trashcan cages in historic districts, or subway entrance arches? The surroundings and even the air stay a lot cleaner.

              Is it hard to learn? Can you rent the sprayers? (Can you tell I’m itching to do something with my hands?)

              Reply
  6. CatCat*

    Wild!!

    And you did the right thing protecting the painter and others from further abuse that day the wife went ballistic.

    Reply
  7. Manic Pixie HR Girl*

    You absolutely, 100% did the right thing protecting the painter and other subcontractors that day. Bravo for standing up to these bullies.

    Reply
  8. Sparkles McFadden*

    Thanks for the update OP. This was a great read!

    I am so impressed on how you handled everything throughout the entire ordeal. Best of luck to you. You deserve every good thing that comes your way,

    Reply
  9. WegMeck*

    I’m so glad that, despite all of the negativity thrown at the OP it sounds like the letter writer is doing really well. It’s so clear from her letter that OP has handled everything from the get-go with class and integrity, and I’m glad OP has reached a place where they are comfortable and doing work they’re appreciated for!

    Reply
  10. EPLawyer*

    I’m very impressed the painter had the courage to file charges. Most of them don’t want to deal with it because they fear negative consequences either reputationally or otherwise. So good on him for doing that.

    You might be called as witness in your company’s lawsuit. You know what work was done and what wasn’t. You also have first hand knowledge of how they behaved.

    Reply
    1. OP*

      I was too! Especially since the power dynamic in play. But he has support from his own company so Im happy for him

      Reply
  11. CM*

    I was looking at the comments for the earlier update and they were all, “What a happy ending!” But even though the happy ending didn’t exactly last, I’m impressed by the OP, who has handled escalating conflict in a principled and mature way. OP, sounds like you’ve chosen a field where you have to deal with a lot of difficult people, but that’s one of your strengths (no matter how frustrating it is!)

    Reply
  12. MissGirl*

    This reminds me of the antics of one of my clients. She loves you until you insist on a boundary, cue temper tantrum. She then latches onto someone else and they become her favorite until another boundary.

    Of course, she was three at the time.

    Reply
    1. Cathie from Canada*

      I once had a manager like that. It didn’t end well (for them and the college. I got out in time!)

      Reply
    2. Putting Out Fires, Esq.*

      Yes. My supervisor wants cereal with milk and then cereal without milk but don’t get him a new bowl he wants THAT cereal to be de-milked.

      He is also 3.

      Reply
      1. Niktike*

        I have such a micromanager. He insists on doing everything himself, even though he’s never done it before and has no idea how to do basically anything.

        He’s 2.

        Reply
        1. KaciHall*

          My comments from my in home supervisor this morning – ‘ACKshually, you need to put pants on BEFORE socks.’ Or when working from home and trying to go to the bathroom or get a drink. ‘You are WORKING. You need to sit down on your computer,’ while physically blocking my way to the bathroom or kitchen.

          He’s going to be a GREAT middle manager some day. Hopefully he’s out of diapers by then.

          Reply
        2. Pomona Sprout*

          I had one of those about 30 years ago, but I didn’t realize she was trying to micromanage me. I thought she was just being a pita!

          She’s almost 35 now and she still tells me what she thinks I should do (and is actually right some of the time). She’s gotten better about accepting help, though. 8-D

          Reply
      2. Wren*

        My supervisor doesn’t speak any known language and REFUSES to stop licking herself loudly. She also pees on the carpet if it is raining outside. I really need to look into a new position.

        Reply
  13. Mel_05*

    Wow. I think there are a lot of these types out there though. An old boss used to regale me with stories of her time working for developers and those people sou ded like the same kind of nightmare.

    Reply
  14. Mighty Mouse*

    Good for you, OP! I worked for a guy who was a crazy social climber wannabe and the things he would do for rich/high social class people were INSANE. Per my contract I only got paid my production if the client paid and I was assured that they were up to date on collections regularly. Nope, by the time I left at the two year mark I had $25k in unpaid invoices that I wasn’t allowed to ask the client to pay and lost my 20% of that when I quit. I asked to be paid out and they sicced a lawyer on me; they knew I couldn’t afford to fight when theirs was free. I did eventually learn to start refusing to see people who owed us thousands which really pissed him off. If he thought it could move him and his wife up in Atlanta society he would do anything, including allowing some really dangerous stuff to go down.

    Reply
  15. 30 Years in the Biz*

    What an experience! Congratulations to you for keeping communication open with Adam, always being trustworthy and doing your best to keep conflicts at bay! Kudos for also saying enough is enough and not letting people push you around. I’m so glad everything has worked out for you! The cherry on top is that the Karma Train has pulled into Gilbert and his wife’s station; maybe they will learn a lesson :)

    Reply
  16. CyndiLou Who*

    I work for an architecture firm that has had to file Mechanics’ Liens on a few properties. They usually pay up immediately.

    Reply
    1. OP*

      We’ve done this few times with them before (at least for nonpayments). They wont pay up immediately. They will try to drag this on and on hoping Adam will run out of steam, he wont, they will try to settle, we wont and they will be ordered to pay the full amount. They also have other properties in the same zip code so a lien stopping them from living in the house wont matter. They can eat the loss and it not matter

      Reply
      1. Nobby Nobbs*

        They can eat the loss of an entire house and they’re still refusing to pay for services rendered… I know people like this exist, I’ve met people like this, but is still floors me.

        Reply
      2. Lucy*

        The point of a mechanic’s lien is not to stop someone from living in a house. It won’t do that. The point of a mechanic’s lien is that they can’t sell the real estate without paying you first. They have to extinguish the lien to convey clear title to the property.

        Reply
        1. OP*

          I get that. They aren’t selling the home, so this wouldn’t matter. Where i am you cannot get a CO (certificate of occupancy) with any lien on the home. It would sit there with the lien until they felt like doing the right thing. And since they don’t need to live in that house, and have the disposable income, they just ignore it to make a point.

          Reply
  17. Ginger*

    OP – I sooooo appreciate the entertainment value of your update. I’m sorry it was at your expense but I humbly applaud you for getting out of that mess (relatively) unscathed.

    Reply
  18. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    I’m rolling because I know a Gilbert. Right down to the fact that when he tantrums and tries to lie about people, everyone is like “Oh they must be great if Gilbert hates them because Gilbert is a trainwreck.”

    I’m glad that your husband is doing better career wise!!! And that all has gotten better.

    I honestly couldn’t do property management myself for various reasons and yes, billionaires crying about their “hard life” is right up at the top of the damn list. Getting rich off the backs of low wage workers, yuck.

    Reply
  19. Cj*

    I would like to point out that the wife’s comment about “nobody knows how hard my life is” could be perfectly true no matter how much money they have. Speaking in generalities about mega rich people and not this couple in particular, maybe her husband is abusive to her. Maybe they have a special needs child that is extremely hard to deal with behaviorily and the the best treatment money can buy isn’t helping. Maybe they are dealing with serious physical or mental health issues of their own or child or a parent’s. Maybe they desparately want a child and are dealing with infertility that now matter how many rounds of IVF their money pays for isn’t successful. Maybe they aren’t so rich anymore due to the collapse of the ecomomy. Or maybe they never were, the money was all borrowed, and that’s why they don’t pay their bills. And on and on and on.

    Or just maybe they were raised in a dysfunctional family like the one in an extremely recent best seller, and are just as miserable as the person that book is about. No matter how rich he is.

    Does money makes most of things easier to deal with, if for no other reason that you don’t need to worry about losing your job over them if you have to quit work? Sure. That doesn’t mean life is as easy for rich people as the OP states.

    Reply
      1. Mx*

        Cj didn’t say it’s okay to scream at workers. She pointed out you can be very unhappy no matter how much money you have.

        Reply
        1. Altair*

          In the context of disagreeing with the LW for criticizing a rich woman for screaming at and throwing paintbrushes at a worker. Or, as The Man, Becky Lynch wisely put it, “just stop the nonsense white-knighting for the rich woman who assaulted a man and threw a tantrum over all her troubles. “

          Reply
    1. Wendy*

      You do not have the right to assault and abuse people just because your life doesn’t have a fairy tale ending.

      Reply
    2. Turtlewings*

      I think you’re right that it’s entirely possible for her to be legitimately miserable in her life. However, expecting people who make a tiny fraction of her income, whom she was currently screaming and throwing things at, to sympathize with her is… tasteless, at best.

      Reply
    3. Observer*

      Except that the OP didn’t say that rich people have easy lives. She said that a mega-Rick person complaining about her hard life to a lowish wage person doesn’t sit well. Especially since you don’t know what hard things in addition each person has in their life either. But, if this was somebody with poor English, they are almost certainly an immigrant which we know comes with its own set of burdens.

      And of course, regardless, it’s no excuse for being abusive to other people. No matter what her life is like.

      Reply
    4. chi type*

      Ooooor maybe they are entitled narcissists who verbally and physically abuse people in their employ.

      Reply
    5. Tobias Funke*

      I am glad it took until halfway down the page for someone to critique OP and defend that client. Could not stomach seeing it at the top.

      Cj, all of us here have had to deal with all of that and more. Most of us do not assault low wage workers to cope.

      Reply
    6. OP*

      Her life is fine lol
      Ive never assaulted someone because I was being abused or had a bad day. She has no excuse. She could leave him, she comes from money.

      Reply
    7. Kella*

      The vast majority of people who actually *do* deal with all the problems you listed manage to not have screaming tantrums at people they have power over. And don’t forget, this tantrum was triggered by… a painter doing his job exactly as he was supposed to be doing it.

      Plus, the thing is… the problems you mentioned can’t be fully fixed by money but most of them, you can find very effective strategies to dramatically reduce the weight of those problems or their negative impact on you with enough money, and you can’t if you don’t have that money. So, I’m still going to argue that the lives of the people being paid low wages, who were being screamed at, who ALSO may have been going through any of those kinds of crisis’, had it harder in this case.

      Reply
    8. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Money means you can seek a frigging therapist out and stop abusing people you have power over, just stop the nonsense white-knighting for the rich woman who assaulted a man and threw a tantrum over all her troubles.

      If she was just having an awful day and was a semi-decent person, she’d have felt awful this unraveled and would be begging forgiveness. Instead she doubled down and her husband is helping her slander people. Gurl, please.

      Reply
    9. Taniwha Girl*

      Having money means you can throw money at your problems and make them go away. Not every problem goes away with money, but a lot of them do! And a lot of them are made a lot easier with money! You can get the best care money can buy, and it’s not like you have to make your own food or clean your own house after caring for your own child/relative and work 8+hrs a day.

      Plus most of us are dealing with all those problems you mentioned and more… without millions of dollars.

      Reply
    10. John*

      Supposing all this is true, it doesn’t justify screaming at workers and throwing paintbrushes. And I can’t help but think that she only did those things because she knew, consciously or unconsciously, that her wealth would protect her from consequences.

      Reply
    11. AnonCA*

      Some people like to constantly play devil’s advocate no matter what. Maybe they have opposite defiant disorder. Maybe they’re Sagittarians. Maybe they were literally hired by Satan as their legal counsel.

      Reply
      1. KoiFeeder*

        Does ODD actually exist? I know I’m coming at it from a different context, but IME it really just seems to denote “nonwhite and autstic/ADHD” (I am white, but I’m autistic and try to participate in activism when I can physically move).

        Reply
    12. Batgirl*

      Could be true? It’s definitely true that her life is hard. When you take absolutely no responsibility for yourself and choose to lord it over others, demanding that people try to make you happy, your life is not going to be a happy one.

      Reply
  20. pancakes*

    “I am not worried about this at all because Adam has made it clear he would protect me and I have no reason to believe otherwise.”

    There would be no harm getting it in writing that he’ll pay for any legal expenses you incur, though. Consider asking for an indemnification agreement.

    Reply
    1. OP*

      Good idea. I might, but he is my uncle, which I mentioned in the first letter. So I feel very confident for the most part.

      Reply
  21. Niniel*

    Thank you for this absolutely DELIGHTFUL update! I also work in the construction industry, and I have had my fair share of clients like that. They are always stressful and never really happy. I also find that while it’s clear that they have PLENTY of money, they always complain about the cost of what they want. It is infuriating and absolutely baffling.

    I wish everyone would refuse to serve entitled people, while explaining exactly why they are being refused.

    Reply
  22. Observer*

    Except that the OP didn’t say that rich people have easy lives. She said that a mega-Rick person complaining about her hard life to a lowish wage person doesn’t sit well. Especially since you don’t know what hard things below each person has in their life either. But, if this was somebody with poor English, they are almost certainly an immigrant which we know comes with its own set of burdens.

    And of course, regardless, it’s no excuse for being abusive to other people. No matter what her life is like.

    Reply
  23. Quill*

    This was a trip and I’m glad you stood up for the painter. This couple is an enormous, entitled pain in the ass.

    Reply
  24. nobadcats*

    This has gotta be Windy City Rehab. She was just in our neighborhood for the past 2x years and got sued. Sounds exactly like them.

    Reply
    1. ArchAnon*

      As a Chicago architect, my firm has been following the Windy City saga with great interest. Amazing how even a television crew doesn’t exempt you from city processes or building code (/sarcasm)

      Reply
      1. Lizzo*

        This show was the greatest HGTV disappointment of my life. The host has a terrible personality, claims to know/understand Chicago architecture (she doesn’t), the renovations are shoddy…I could go on, but instead I’ll go put on another episode of Fixer Upper. At least Chip and Jo are nice people.

        Reply
        1. history geek*

          Try Home Town. Even better than Fixer Upper and they do some great renos of old homes without making them all new or all ‘farmhouse’ style.

          Reply
          1. Lizzo*

            Oh I LOVE Home Town! Have only seen a couple episodes but I have enjoyed the hosts and the results. I think I have a fondness for Fixer Upper because the Chip/Jo dynamic is similar to my marriage…and I say that with great love. LOL.

            Thanks for the suggestion!

            Reply
        2. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

          Years ago, we received a RFP for a similar show in a metro area that isn’t Chicago but is Midwest.

          No price estimate needed. One requirement was submitting a photograph of every tradesman/woman we intended to use on the project though, in addition to the “time and material” rates we’d be using.

          No I have NO idea if this was legal.

          Reply
      2. nobadcats*

        It’s wild! There’s an ongoing lawsuit (last I checked) between the eventual owners of the house down my street and Windy City.

        Reply
      1. nobadcats*

        Yeah, I know, you mentioned Publix and we don’t have those here. But the behavior you described sounded so much like Windy City Rehab it made me laugh.

        Reply
        1. OP*

          Ahhh! I see what you are saying. My mistake!

          We actually worked with HGTV on 2 projects at the same time and we will never do it again. They are…not the greatest at what they do. I actually dont ever watch the channel because I roll my eyes so hard I’m afraid they will get stuck in the back of my head lmao

          Reply
  25. L.T.*

    From the looks of it, your painter and you weren’t the only witnesses to the wife’s tirade. If you had to send the staff home, they could probably all vouch for what really happened, in case it comes up/is needed.

    Reply
  26. Lovely Day in the Pandemic*

    I signed contracts for a gut bathroom remodel, tear off roof replacement, and underground flood control system. Other things like replacing a floor may just have a purchase order in place. I’m an old government procurement person, so no major work without something on paper for me. It’s not important until it is. Note that it isn’t typical to sign anything with the subs, ans their contractual relationship is with the prime, or GC.

    Reply
  27. Some internet rando*

    YAY!! What an update! You are a great writer! I am sorry all of this happened but so glad things are going well for you.

    Reply
  28. Liz*

    OP – your first update is one of my most favorite updates on this whole site.
    Thanks for sending us another update. You seem like you have great boundaries and super professional.
    Also, I love your writing style.
    Whomever you work with will be lucky to have you.

    Reply
  29. TTDH*

    I was reading this with my eyebrows going further and further up my forehead until I got to “Publix”. I lived in the Land of Publix for a long time, and with that context this whole post makes sense to me… lolsob

    Reply
    1. OP*

      Lmao I almost took it out actually.

      Us southern states have alot of problems but publix is our pride and joy! Lol

      Reply

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