Why so negative?

I’m conscious that my last entry was a pretty negative rant and I don’t want to turn this blog into a big pile of negativity, but I think this one needs to go in. It highlights one of the issues of living on an island. I’ve mentioned the issues I’ve been having with the garden edging previously. The bloke I engaged to do it was originally really good to deal with. He is a licensed builder who does work on the islands. In hindsight he was all talk. He apparently shared my concerns about the lack of motivation for the local island businesses to do work. I’ve found it impossible so far to get someone reliable to do anything. People say they will turn up and they don’t. I suppose they are all a bit too relaxed, but not relaxed enough not to take your money.
So the contractor, who was doing my edging told me it was a day’s work. That was back in November last year. The job was for about 200 metres of edging which was about $4000. He asked me for 50% up front and the remainder would be payable when he finished and we could accurately determine the total length. So I paid him $2000 as soon as he asked hoping he would get straight onto it. 3 months later I’ve got a heap of rubbish laying on the block, my garage is full of his equipment and the part of the edging that he has had a go at is cracking, peeling and needs to be dumped. It’s a complete stuff up. Even the neighbours have been asking what the story is. A few have joked and suggested he might have been drunk, judging from the poor quality of work. So I spoke to him last week and told him we need to finalise the debacle. He agreed that it needed to be removed and to refund my money before the weekend. I thought, despite his lack of recent communication and crap work, he was a decent bloke who at least had some ethics by acknowledging the problem and would do the right thing.

By the weekend, I had no refund transferred to my account and he came and took his equipment from the property. So I’m $2000 out of pocket, left with a clean up cost to remove this garbage and garden edging that looks like this.

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In addition to that, he now claims I owe him $700 extra for the incomplete fine job he has done. How anyone can rationalise in their mind that they are entitled to full payment for work that is not only rubbish, but isn’t even finished after 3 months is beyond me. It’s pretty disheartening when I’ve been patiently waiting around like a fool listening to continual assurances that it would be done “this weekend” for months and this is how the bloke treats me.

I have now well and truly learned my lesson. Do not use local island businesses. If things go bad, and it seems they always do, then you have to deal with the local fallout. If I do need to use someone locally, I’m not going to fall for the trap of paying them anything up front since ethical business practise doesn’t seem to be high on the priority list here.

It’s not the end of it, but it’s more hassle than I need at the moment. It’s particularly disappointing since I wanted to use local businesses to support the islands and unethical grubs like this spoil it for everyone.

Ps: I still love the island!

2 thoughts on “Why so negative?

  1. Rod, I sympathize with a very real understanding after enduring the same fiasco in nearly the identical scenario, ( I was living in Redland Bay, near where you embark the barge and the tradie lived on Russell Island.) I ended up having to fix his mess and do the job myself. I tracked my recalcitrant down in his lair on his island and there was no way he could be induced, blackmailed reasoned or bullied into rectifying the situation. I am convinced that the island people grow very nice crops of a herb well known to reduce the work ethic. I hear it is a very common malaise in those parts!
    Victoria is a cute garden gnome!

    Moira

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