Saturday morning on the farmstead.
Nothing pressing until 8:30 AM so I decided to whip up a fresh breakfast of new winter onions, freshly harvested chives and newly dug winter potatoes and eggs.
I was standing by the sink scrubbing the potatoes and onions when I spotted someone coming up the driveway with our garbage can in hand.
I knew why he was stopping.
We installed a new metal roof on one of his sheds earlier this week, and my hunch was, he wanted to settle up.
I was right.
It was a tiny job, as jobs go. I had the crew there for just one morning. The wind was brutal that day. 25 to 35 miles per hour sustained winds, with even higher gusts. We were handing 24 ft long sheets of roof metal, and at the end of the day I came home exhausted.
It was one of those jobs I would just as soon of not done…(lots of hand holding, this person tends to fret, and when the dust all settled, I probably cleared less than a couple of hundred dollars total.
I did it more as a favor.
So, when my customer stepped into our kitchen, he asked if I had gotten his bill figured out.
“Yep, I dropped it in the mail yesterday. ”
I told him I would be glad to look it up, because I had a copy of the invoice in my brief case.
I could instantly see a spark of fire in his eyes…
“What? I thought you only had 12 hours total that day?”
(I always assume when we are working by the hour, someone may be keeping track of our hours….Just to be safe, I tend to round down, so there is not the slightest chance of over charging)
(12 times $35 (which is my current hourly rate) = $420.00, so I’m guessing he thought his bill would be more in the $400 range.
” How much are you paying your guys? ”
That’s when things started to go south…
I got out my time log…There were 3 additional hours from a couple of days previous he’d forgotten about, plus I’d not even billed him for 20 minutes the day before when I’d stopped to install some additional screws.
The implication hanging in the air was I had over charged him.
That did not sit well with me and I let him know it.
I have people who trust me with literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of work, with whom I never have a problem getting paid, and once in a while I encounter someone like this.
I realize most of you reading this have never met me, and don’t know the real me on a day-to-day basis.
It takes a lot to get me agitated.
“Be angry but do not sin…and don’t let the day end without dealing with the situation…”
I didn’t say anything I need to apologize for, but the encounter did leave me agitated.
Growing up, I was not an assertive person.
I do not like conflict, but neither will I avoid it if I feel it is in order.
Parenting 4 teens into adulthood and running my own small business has enabled some personal growth in the assertive department.
For that I am thankful.
Suppressed anger can lead to all sorts of negative things….
Depression, migraine headaches, certain types of cancer…
Would love to hear your thoughts on this one. DM