I’m planning to post my new year resolutions for 2018 soon, once I’ve decided on them, but in the meantime I’ve had one pretty much thrust upon me.
We’ve got the joiners here this week. They are always incredibly busy, but back in November they suggested we booked them in for this week and I agreed, knowing it would be hard to get hold of them again.
The main job we needed them to do was fit new fire doors throughout the property. Even though it’s just a domestic home, the Building Regs inspector has requested fire doors to all bedrooms because it’s on three floors – in the event of a fire everyone on the top storey would be stuck. I don’t think we would have been asked to do this even a year ago, but everyone is being much more cautious since the horrors of the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, so this is the knock-on.
Unfortunately, partly through feeling crap and party through being crap, we weren’t ready in time. The speed at which this week has arrived took us both by surprise, so the fire doors were only ordered on Saturday with estimated delivery of Wednesday/Thursday.
No worries, we thought, we’ll give them other things to do. Which we did, and they’ve been done. Slower than we expected, but I’ve never really worked with a joiner so I wasn’t sure what to expect. D always works so fast it’s hard to gauge speed for ‘normal people’.
This morning though, 7 of the 11 doors had arrived. D and I left to go visit a local college to discuss getting funding for some training, and the joiners were asked to prioritise the four panelled wood fire doors for four of the bedrooms. By the end of the day they had got 2.5 doors up – disappointing.
Later this evening we moved my office upstairs – temporarily – because the new carpets will be going down on the 1st floor very soon. And as we worked upstairs we looked at the doors and realised the gaps around them were way, way too big to pass building regs.
FFS. These guys are loaded, their van is 2017. How is it we are here doing everything right and strugging for cash when guys like these are making basic cock ups and making thousands?
I’m pissed off, but determined to take a positive from it. And that positive has to be a learning – that I need to get tougher. It’s ok to have a laugh with trades but if that creates a relaxed atmosphere where nothing gets done, it just wastes time and money, neither of which are infinite.
From now on, whenever someone comes to work for me/us, they are getting a list with the exact jobs and what is expected of them. They can fill in a report at the end of each day outlining everything they have done. This will be done whether they are working on a client’s property or on our own house.
When I was working my temporary job at a letting agents, last year, I found both the boss’s wives distant and standoffish, kinda rude. I now realise that, while I don’t want to become rude, I have to develop a distance between me and people who work for us.
I don’t want to be a dragon, but I have to be a little bit scary. Or nothing will get done.
I feel silly that I’m only learning this now, but at least I’m learning it.
Just need to put tough and scary into practice!