The cost of hired help.

It’s not cheap.  Let me tell you.  Oh yeah of course, I forgot.  You already know this.


I heard the doorbell ring.  He rocked up half an hour earlier than scheduled, and I’d just finished getting dressed, straight out of the shower.

“Oh. Hi.  You’re early” I said, as I stood there at my front door motionless, unsure if he wanted to come inside, or meet me outside in my backyard.  “I was going to call you, he said, but then I thought, 30 minutes early isn’t too bad…So here I am!”  He just stood there at my front door, looking pleased with himself, and he wasn’t budging.  Clearly, he wanted to come inside just to get to my backyard.  OK.  I get it.  I could’ve said meet you at the back, but I didn’t.  Never mind.

I’ve met him once before. A chatty and friendly man, referred to me by a friend who had work done at her house by him.  She couldn’t speak more highly of him, and I saw the work he did at her place, and I was impressed with the attention to the detail.  So I invited him to come and give me a quote for some landscaping.  I regress… Anyway.  I let him in and led him straight out to the back door and out into my backyard where we discussed my ideas, what I wanted him to do.  He listened, took notes while measuring things up, and also made his suggestions.  Of course, every suggestion just adds to the cost of it, doesn’t it?

He then wrote me a quote.  The sum total was way, way too much for me; it was beyond my budget, beyond what I was prepared to pay.  I told him this.  He quoted me the same price the first time he came around, and I’d told him this then, I told him that I didn’t want to spend ‘that’ kind of money, and could he please come back another time and do me a fresh quote.  So when he presented me with a new quote today and coincidentally came up with the same figure, I said, no, I’m not happy with this. So I asked him to take this item off, and that item off, and that, and that one too, and blow my socks off, it’s now down to half the price he had initially quoted me.  Finally, it’s something that I can now consider.

All this gets me wondering though.  Are quotes ever reasonable?  How do I know for sure that I’m not being duped or ripped off?  It’s always a thought that rests at the back of my mind. Plus, he told me that he has a supplier where he gets his materials from; at a discounted rate, and this is the supplier he wants me to select my materials from.  So in effect because he gets a discount from the supplier, he makes money off me, by getting him to buy it from them direct.  Let’s assume $100 cost to me, and after the discount is applied, let’s assume it costs him $70.  That’s a good markup on profit.  Don’t you think?


The point is that no matter what he quoted me, he has to make a profit, otherwise how can he survive the business he runs? So I get it.  I get it.

I have done many DIY projects, but they are things that don’t take their toll on my ageing body. He then jokingly said that I should get myself a man to do the work for me.  Well, guess what?  He is a man, and I am paying him to do the work.  So, what’s the problem? I’m being sarcastic of course!

His comment makes me laugh, though.  I know exactly what he meant by it, and the last thing I intend on ever doing is to find me a man to put a ring on it, just so that he can do the work for me.  Sure it would save me money.  Ha!

But no thanks.


ps: I thought about it some more and sent him a text message and declined the quote.



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