My Day Today - Talking Kitchens and More

Once in a great while I like to sort of write about my day. Today seems to be a good day for that. Things are swirling around. Busy day.

A New Installer 

I started the day with an appointment at 7:15 am in my office with a new, potential, cabinet installer. Choosing to work with an installer is not unlike choosing a business partner. You want to make sure the mutual goals are similar, the business values, good habits, in order to feel that there is synergy at a certain level to produce quality work. An installer and a designer, ultimately, are a team, like it or not. They both need one another to be successful, efficient, and get the job done in the best way possible. I like this installer, and I feel very confident about him. I'm very picky and interview installers with many questions. The answers were great. I foresee mutual respect, which must be present, or it won't work.

This one's for you, Joe Z***

Where I don't see mutual respect, unfortunately, is with Joe Z***, who I met with last Friday. I guess I spent, with travel time, our meeting, and preparing for the meeting, 3 hours that day.

Joe Z*** (a local builder) called me because he loved reading my blog! He needed a kitchen for his own home and asked if I could meet him at his home. I said sure. Through our 1 phone and 1 meeting conversations (I'm a good listener) I learned (about six times) that he is a fourth generation builder, about his youth, his college, his wife, how they met, where she's from, his family, his father, his father's business in the past, where his father retired, what he's (his father) doing now, their kids, his business relationships, all his connections, name dropping legendary NYC real estate developers, and all the big, huge, work that he had done and that was coming up. Joe Z*** speaks softly and always with a big smile. That should have been the give-away.

He was very enthusiastic about working together with me and said there would be much work that he would love to send my way. He liked my approach, and we talked about getting together this past Tuesday. This meeting took place last Friday.

Joe told me at the end of our meeting that he wanted me to do the design only for his kitchen and he would use his cabinet maker. I said that I don't normally do things that way, but let me think about it, and I may have to raise my rate for my retainer to be more proportionate to the work to be performed. Zero reaction/resistance, and we spoke again about meeting on Tuesday. I said I'd get back to him the next day as I thought about a revised rate, if any. I usually like to leave a door open and leave time to consider an offer.

I left several messages for Joe since last Friday.  Joe chose not to return my calls. Joe did not have the decency to pick up the phone to say, "Thanks for your time, but I'm going to go in another direction." Joe has perpetuated the negative reputation that many builders have from their circle of allied professionals as well as the general public. There is no way around this. To ask for 3 hours of someone's time at no charge (all fine, if that's the policy, as it was mine) but to NOT return a follow up phone call (or email) to the professional who gave their time, is rude behavior to say the least. Very rude, very unprofessional, very disrespectful, and, of course, arrogant. Conversely, I have a potential client who recently let me know that he is currently exploring other options and will get back to me at the end of the month in response to my inquiry after a meeting. That's how it's done. I'm grateful that I am not involved in Joe Z's world.

A Gutted Kitchen 

I'm in the middle of a kitchen that is totally gutted. It's both thrilling and nerve wracking every time. In this case, I'm doing some wacky things, so I'm a bit more on edge than usual, and excited too. I'll keep you informed as things happen. Had a meeting today with the contractor and homeowner to work through many details. Her home is ripped apart by my doing, and there's always that little voice...will it all come back together again?? This one will be something very special, you just wait!

The Dog And The Cat 

We're watching my daughter and son in law's adorable little dog. Every once in awhile I hear a yelp! Probably something to do with our cat. The dog used to bark loudly at the cat. Till the cat very quietly put the dog in line. How, I'm not sure...except for those occasional yelps we hear! Now the dog doesn't bark AT ALL near the cat! 

A Wedding 

Now, I'm off out east on Long Island to attend a good friend's daughter's wedding. Gotta run and get ready.  


Posted on October 26, 2007 and filed under Project Management.