Everyone take a seat for today’s mini vent session.
Nothing aggravates me more than when others are not respectful of my time. I’m currently on maternity leave with Tub, and I swear people hear that and think “well hell, she must just be sitting at home all day, every day. I’ll get to her when I can, it’s not like she’s got a busy schedule.” To those people, I not-so-secretly wish I lingering case of pink eye mixed with a bout of the chicken pox and a stomach bug alert at their kids’ school. Here’s my latest example of this disrespect – with a little added flair from some of my Real Housewives lovelies.
As you may know, we are in the (never-ending) process of finishing our basement. I can see the finish line, and one of our last big purchases was a granite bar countertop, which was slated to be installed this morning at 10:00 AM. In the Morning. Eastern Standard Time. You with me? Great. I called at 10:45 AM and the man who answered said the installers had left and were on their way. Listen, it’s Monday, we all struggle with getting moving sometimes. So I take a deep breath, hop on Waze and determine from their store to our house it’s exactly 24 minutes….so they have to be here by 11:15, right?
So I called again at 11:30 AM (if you’re following along, the gentlemen are now an hour and a half late in delivering my $1,300 countertop). The man called his team while I was on the phone and then I was told that the installers were stopping for gas and would be at my house in 20 minutes.
They moseyed in at 12:01, a full 2 hours later than our agreed-upon installation time. No apology, no acknowledgement of their tardiness or the fact that I had to wrangle two babies and stay stuck in the house watching the driveway for ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY MINUTES.
And so I thought, you know what? No. They’re not going to so rude and get away with it. Maybe they’re too ignorant to even realize what they’re doing. So my advice to you is this: if someone is not being respectful of your time, call them on it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom who has taken the morning off or asked to work from home in order to make time for something/someone or if you’re a stay at home mom or mom on maternity leave, your time is still precious and valuable. When others don’t respect that, you are valid in making them aware of their plain old RUDENESS. It’s not good business, and I have found contractors do it all the time. I’ll give you 15 minutes for a late start, exceptionally long line at Dunkin or traffic jam…but “Sorry I’m a little late” goes a long way. Once you’ve upset my schedule for the day though? I expect you to acknowledge your mistake and fix it to keep me as a customer.
So, I asked for a discount on our order total. Because my time is important. My kids and I had to stay close to the house on a beautiful day, we had to clean out the basement and prep and – selfishly but maybe most importantly – I couldn’t shower and get the latest spit up incident gathering in a pool inside my bra cleaned up until they had left. And girl, I was angry. And I wanted them to know it. So I called again. And even though it was awkward and makes me a little itchy to confront others, I let the owner know I wasn’t happy. I have found that this formula works: 1. keep yourself from getting overly emotional (aka don’t start blubbering on the line….you’ll likely just freak the guy out and/or get embarrassed and lose your nerve) 2. clearly lay out how they’ve negatively impacted your day 3. combine that with the fact that you’d like to use them in the future and recommend them to others, but do not currently feel comfortable doing so due to the less than satisfactory service you’ve experienced so far and 4. ask that they show a little good faith and discount your order total or throw in something for free – for example, they provided our bar sink as part of our purchase…for them, things like this cost little but go a long way in restoring your relationship if they offer it for free.
Whatever was on your docket for the day, whether it was getting an hour to catch your breath and watch real housewives, or watch your kid giggle while swinging on the swings, or other less flexible obligations, others should be respectful of how you choose to spend your day. And if they’re not, you do you and let’s hope you get 10% off like I did. [insert sassy snap here.] Because while I’m still pissed that they couldn’t stick to the schedule, a verbally cutting phone call giving them a piece of my mind and some cash money in my pocket certainly takes the sting out a bit.