THE CRANKY OLD MAN
Random thoughts and stuff from a cranky old man. Humor (maybe), satire, and some politics, mostly stuff from a confused head.
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
PLEASE FENCE ME IN!
PLEASE FENCE ME IN!
Sorry, this post
exceeds the “Cranky Word Limit” but it is too short for a two parter.
ago, in a Cranky life far away, I lived in a 100+ year old home a block
away from the center of a quaint little town.My wife and I had just purchased this home and as with most people who
purchase a home, we had stretched our funds to the limit.
into this old house with an adorable Black Labrador Retriever named
Minnie. Being a dog, Minnie did not
appreciate boundaries, or at least her boundaries were not defined by our
property line.We had tried the
electronic fence thing at our last residence with iffy results.They do work, but if you are not anal about
changing the collar batteries (which are not cheap) the dog will eventually re-draw his own boundaries.
we needed a fence.The property was
small, less than a quarter acre, so a fence should not be that expensive, but for
our budget anything was expensive.
When my wife
visited a friend who was having a new fence installed, she talked to one of the
installers, Eric, who said he could put up a fence for a “good price,” just call him,
not the fence company. Thinking we could get a good deal, we called Eric.
our boundary, and the type of fence we wanted and Eric gave us a price right over
“I could do that for $2400.”
“Oh, that is a bit too steep, sorry.”
“Wait, wait, how about maybe $2000?”
“Ooh, I’m sorry, that is still too
“Ok, ok we can get this done how
“No really, I just can’t…”
“Twelve hundred dollars, I can’t go
lower than that.”
dollars was a really good price.
“OK, I guess we can do that.”
“Great, I’ll need the money up
front…cash…in order to buy all the materials, and of course to show your good
“Sure, of course, I can do that.” (Don’t even say it, I was kinda
young and plenty stupid.)
I had to borrow
$800 of the $1200 off an ATM, and gave Eric the cash the next day, a Friday.He was to start on Saturday, his day off with the fence company.
Eric did not show.I called his
home.His wife answered.She did not know where Eric was and told me
don’t bother me at my home.”
This was not
good.Eric had $1200 and all I had was
Eric’s phone number answered by his testy wife.
again and told Mrs. Eric that I would try Eric at the fence company where he
worked.Eric returned this call right
“Ah something came up; I won’t be
able to install the fence this weekend.”
“Hmmm...look Eric, you have $1200, all I
have is a phone number, do you think you could at least deliver the materials,
or should I call the fence company?”
none of my calling the fence company.
“I’ll drop off the materials Sunday;
we can install it all on Tuesday.”
a truck up to my back yard (our yard was right behind a commercial parking lot) on
Sunday night at around 11 PM.He introduced
me to the driver of the truck, his supervisor at the fence company.
supervisor was not friendly.
off all the fence materials and slid off into the night.I slept better, as I at least had $800 worth
I did toss
and turn a little bit when it hit me that the reason I was getting this fence
job at a good price was because the $800 worth of materials which were
delivered at 11 PM on a Sunday night probably cost my installer two hours of
work and maybe $1.50 in gas.My guess
was that the fence company that employed Eric was probably missing $800 worth
come on Tuesday with several workers.They dug holes, hammered nails, and in about four hours they were done
and gone.I never heard from him again.
One side of
my property was fenced in 6 feet inside my property line (we corrected this
several years later…another story,) apparently Eric took a short cut and
avoided some tricky trees on the actual property line.There were three gates included in the job, none opened and closed
I was not
happy at all with the way the installation was done, but at least I had a fence
and it was installed.Four days earlier
all I had was an empty wallet, and a phone number that was monitored by a very
was, in effect, the “fence” for a stolen fence.Sometimes you get what you pay for; sometimes you get what was never
paid for.When you get what was never
paid for and it is installed defectively, you probably deserved it.
Caulk it up as
tuition for the school of hard knocks.