I'm looking for a sympathy vote today:
I've come down with the coldy-coughy thing that's going round; I have terrible PMT and seem to be weeping uncontrollably for no apparent reason; B has just gone away for effectively ten days (also with cough and cold, long suffering but tolerant of the PMT-weeping). I only have one lemsip left and I have run out of chocolate.
It's a crisis.
During the coming week, R and I have to sort out the chaos that is the office, so that it's ready for Liam The Decorator when he arrives, probably on Friday. I think he's a bit more pro-active than Attic Man, who is calling in for the last of his money tomorrow. I gave him a cheque on Friday, despite the fact that we had a fundamental disagreement about what we each believed he had undertaken to do.
He apparently thought that we were paying them two hundred pounds for half a days work putting a trap door in the attic room.
I thought - because that is what we had agreed upon during the fairly in-depth discussion we had about it - that we were paying them two hundred pounds for a days work, fitting a trap door and a safety rail around the opening.
A genuine misunderstanding? Maybe.
But then, when I was writing his cheque, for what from my side was only half the job, but which by that point I was too hacked off to argue any more about, he asked me to put VAT on the two hundred quid. Because he had assumed that we would be paying him in cash.
I have no idea why he would have assumed that, since everything else we have paid by cheque.
I said no, we'd agreed two hundred, wrote him the cheque, thanked him for a job well done and waved him off with a relieved sigh.
Then ten minutes later, he phoned from his van, asking if he could have it cash instead. So he's bringing the cheque back tomorrow and I'll pay him then.
I most emphatically don't like being perceived as an easy touch, easily intimidated or stupid and it certainly seems like he must have got us pegged as at least one of the three. We are never going to employ him again and are certainly never going to recommend him to anyone. It's a shame, because he's a good craftsman.
B made the point that if he treats all his customers like that, he won't be getting much return business at all, so perhaps he has a 'get the most you can out of them' attitude. He also said that I should try not to let it get to me, as it's all finished, he's gone away, we have a lovely attic space that we are very pleased with and that is that.
So, I've moved on. Now B has gone off on tour, I am spending the rest of my weekend on ebay, looking at tiffany wall lights for the new bedroom, fretting about "lilac white" paint and contemplating ordering a solitary pizza for a solitary medicinal supper in order to adequately feed my cold.