Painting Has Become A Fiasco

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The minor issues with the painting we had done have gone from “no problem, it’ll be fixed” status to “mediocre fiasco.”

I’m hesitant to say it’s the company, as the crew chief that I always talk to is nice and realizes things need to get done. I think I got a bad crew.

What I expect when I delegate a task to someone (be it at work, someone I contract to do a job, etc.), is that I can describe the task well enough that certain minor detail points can be inferred by a worker’s intuition.

For example, with the paint thing… When the guy came out to give me the estimate, I pointed out the trim around my front door as being a particular trouble spot. It was flaking and looked kind of shabby. That was one of the primary reasons I wanted the paint redone. They came and pressure washed to get the flaking paint off. Then the paint crew showed up and… just painted right over the top without sanding or anything, so now you can see the outline of where the old paint was and where it flaked off. It’s not smooth or anything.

I pointed out that there were some issues on the trim and a couple of spots in particular. Those particular issues were fixed, but all of the other issues weren’t even touched. Like it wasn’t about doing the job right so much as getting done quickly and getting out of there. “Oh, he just said this tiny patch was a problem - maybe he won’t see the rest of the patches surrounding it never got fixed!”

Maybe it comes down to a work ethic issue. When I do something, I do my best to get it complete and correct the first time. If a review of the work needs to happen, I don’t want people to find glaring issues. I take pride in what I do. That doesn’t seem to be the case for a lot of people nowadays. A minimum amount of effort goes in - just enough to call the task “done” - and then off to the next task. If someone reviews it, only the exact, specific points that got noticed will be fixed - no further review on the part of the worker to see if there are any other issues will be done.

This absolutely, positively never happened with the sprinkler system. Those guys had things totally under control. It was a premium price for a premium job and I consider it money well spent. I’m having a problem saying the same about the paint right now.

I think what irritates me the most is the coordination of things. Having to call and follow up on everything, make notes, take pictures, leave voicemails, send emails, and pursue the job until it’s done.

This actually extends beyond the painting. I’m tired of coordinating wedding stuff. Try to get two groomsmen - just two! - to a tux rental place for a 10 minute fitting at the same time. Try it! I love these guys, but the back and forth of “I have a doctor’s appointment” and “I can’t make it Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday because I have to be at this other place” and “Maybe next Wednesday if we go between 4:52p and 5:17p” crap was beyond frustrating. (In the end, everyone gets to go get fitted on their own time. I’m not coordinating it.)

I told Jenn today that I’m done coordinating things. Done. Between now and the end of the year, I’m not coordinating anything. No more wedding stuff, no holiday stuff, no family gatherings - I’m done. I’m all coordinated out. I get enough cat-herding in at work and I don’t need to be dealing with the sixteen different places all the different families feel we need to be on Christmas Day to have breakfast or lunch or open gifts or stop by and visit or whatever. I’m tired of trying to figure out where we’re all getting together to eat Thanksgiving dinner at and how we can make it around to see everyone on that one single day. (As though our families don’t all live locally and get seen almost weekly anyway.) Parents and grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles and cats and rats and elephants - I’m done.

Anyway, I’m meeting with the crew chief and the crew on Monday. The crew chief will call me that morning to figure out a time. Then I can physically walk them around and point at all of these things that I figure professional painters should see anyway, but maybe I have bionic vision or something. Regardless, I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel.