Jenn Koren

Who Says I Can't?

Communication 101 – Mom Style May 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennkoren @ 8:16 pm

We recently had a concrete patio installed in our back yard.  This was an exciting event for us since whatever backyard we did have in our end unit town home, had been destroyed by our 2 dogs.

There were so many patio options to choose from, none that I really cared out since my husband usually takes care of all the renovations around the house.  I’m glad to not have another thing to plan and organize.  I try to do this a few times a year convincing myself that it’s good for my health to learn how to not NEED to be involved in everything.

He decided on a stamped concrete patio that would cover the majority of the backyard along with some landscaping that outlined the yard and an electric dog fence that would keep the dogs out of the landscaping.  We won’t go into the reason on why we need an electric fence for a few feet of landscape….staying out of it..not getting involved…

Patio people come and start their work.  In the end we’re not happy with the work…or should I say, I AM NOT HAPPY and my husband is less than happy.  To me, the patio looked sloppy and the concrete wasn’t level throughout the whole backyard.  There were dips and small craters that I felt would be hazardous not only to my kids but to my husband and I during, tiki torch lit, margarita nights.

We went back and forth with the owner, (who I call Patio Guy), and his ‘assistant’ who I was tempted to ask for a copy of her job description since I’m convinced that she needs to review it to make sure she understands how to do her job.  In the end, Patio Guy’s response to our complaints, ‘It looks fine to me’.

Trying to stay out of the situation, I vent my frustration to my husband who assures me he will get it taken care of.  He comes home from work early on a Friday to meet with the owner and talk ‘business talk’ to him, making sure the issues were fixed before we gave them final payment.

I see them outside casually talking…..casually talking?  Why are they casually talking?  Why isn’t my husband putting his foot down and telling Patio Guy that they screwed up our patio and they are going to fix it now or not get a dime from us!!!!!  I sat down at my computer and tried to focus on my work when I saw my husband walk by the window on his cell phone.   His cell phone?  He’s now working when he should be laying down the law with Patio Guy??!!!!  He waves at me through the window with a happy, ‘Hi Honey’. I immediately go into meditation mode and start breathing…in..and out…in..and out…

Now I’m somewhat hyperventilating and approach my husband as he walks in the door.  He starts explaining to me how Patio Guy said that he was going to ‘try’ to fix this and come back later and ‘maybe’ fix that.  I immediately expressed my displeasure in Patio Guy and how I feel like he was making excuses and not doing what we asked and how I just wasn’t happy with his answers.  My husband then suggested that we go out together and talk to Patio Guy who had not yet left.  I was trying to stay out of it and let the men deal with this, however, my husband did ask for me to go out and talk with him, so since he asked, right?

I was working from home that day and was still in my sweats with my hair pulled back in a bun..definitely not a ‘shower day’.   But I didn’t care.  I was simply going out there to listen and make sure they had everything under control.

I stood silently as my husband talked to Patio Guy very calmly and reiterated how he felt confident that Patio Guy was going to fix the repairs and handle the situation appropriately.  He went over some details pertaining to what needed to be done and it all sounded grand and almost like they were buddies and ready to go grab a drink after work.

My husband then turned to me and said, ‘sound good?’.  I didn’t say anything.  I just stared at him and the owner in disbelief that they were both taking this so lightly.  They both looked at me in somewhat confusion waiting for me to answer.  I looked my husband, then Patio Guy, then my husband, then at Patio Guy again.  My mouth was open as if to say something but I couldn’t get anything out and only could stare at them with annoyance about how they were handling this with such ease.

‘Well, go ahead, get it out’, my husband told me, obviously realizing that I had something to say.  So then I said it, in my pj’s and all.

‘I don’t understand how you think this is okay?  As an owner of a business, you honestly can look at the work and feel proud of what you did? And your communication sucks!  You and your assistant who never returns phone calls or answers an email. I mean, it’s ridiculous!  I paid a lot of money for this and I’m not happy, but obviously you think it’s okay and I’m supposed to just leave it at that, right?  Aren’t you embarrassed by your work? Don’t you look at the patio and think you could have done a better job?’  I am not sure what else I said.  I went on and on about how disappointed I was and walked away…and then came back…walked away a few times more..and then came back.  All the while both men staring at me like a deer in headlights.

‘Just fix it!’, was the last thing I said as I walked inside shaking my head.   A few minutes later my husband came inside and we started to get dinner ready.  He looked at me a few times and smiled, but didn’t say anything.  A few more minutes went by without anyone saying anything. ‘So..was I a little crazy out there?’ I asked him.  He broke out in his little humorous laugh that he always gets when he knows I made an idiot out of myself.  These things seem to amuse him a little too much.  When he stopped laughing he explained how I scolded Patio Guy like I was his Mom and how they were both accusing the other of being in trouble with me after I left.  He told me, I went on all ‘Mom’ on him.

In the end, Patio Guy is coming back to fix the issues and I still don’t see how I went all, ‘Mom’ on him.  He didn’t put enough pride in his work and was giving me lame excuses for why things weren’t done the way I wanted them.  I needed to point out these failures and make him accountable for his actions…what else was I supposed to do?

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8 Responses to “Communication 101 – Mom Style”

  1. Leslie Says:

    Get him girl! Hahaha…You sure told patio guy!

  2. Rosemarie Says:

    That is great! I am glad you put patio guy in his place! Love it!!!

  3. Mike Glenn Says:

    I think that’s the natural order of things…good cop, bad cop…nice guy, b…. It’s the same way around here. Donna cajoles, brow-beats, annoys and harasses and I offer the beer and a tip. It’s just how business is done…

  4. Mike Glenn Says:

    hmmmm…a full-time working mother of a couple of rug rats playing the good cop…intriguing…nah, not possible:-)


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