Long Distance Blow Up

One of the many perks of travel is the ability to take your spouse on great free vacations. On the other hand, one of the drawbacks of travel is the occasional long distance blow up.

Okay, nothing is wrong (performance issues aside) between MrsL and me. However, we’ve been trying to get two trees cut down and replaced for about 2 months. It has been a comedy of errors from the off.

The contractor planted silver maples when the house was built. If you don’t know your trees, silver maples have a surface root system: meaning the roots never go deeper than 1-2 feet and spread out along the surface. They might be okay on a large wide open lot…IF…they are planted far away from any structure. However, in a suburban neighborhood their roots quickly become a major issue. My driveway has buckled. A 4″ diameter root was inches away from the foundation (small lot). So here is the chronology of events leading to today’s. low up.

First, it took me threatening the HOA with a lawsuit to get the removal/replace request approved.  I submitted it last November and finally got approval 3 weeks ago. According to the HOA they approved it in November but neither MrsL nor me got the approval via email. 

Second, all of my quotes had expired. So when I got approval we had to get new quotes.

Third, the chosen contractor scheduled their work for a week ago this past Monday…while I was at home. They gave us a window of “all day…anytime.” I called them at 5:30 pm only to discover their first job at 8 am had major complications and they needed to reschedule. I should have pulled the contract then. However, I wasn’t going to be home during the week for a month and MrsL agreed to let them complete the work yesterday and today. So we rescheduled.

Fourth, again they gave us an all day windoow and when I asked them if we were first was told we would be the last job for the day. I told them MrsL had a business engagement and had to leave at 4 pm. Still, they did not move us up. They didn’t show up until 3 pm yesterday. It was a two day job: cut/remove day one with grind stumps and replace day two. So they did day one and didn’t get paid.

Fifth, would not commit to a time for today so MrsL waited all day. The crew showed up to grind the stump and tried to leave with sawdust all over the yard and porch…big mistake. Then…they told her trees I selected as replacements were not available until the fall so SHE had to pick new trees. 

BLOW UP!!!!

My phone went crazy and I was in a vendor presentation. I had calls from MrsL, the scheculing coordinator from the contractor, and the owner. It would seem that MrsL went from zero to full on MAD AS HELL on the owner as she should have at the time. 

When I called her first the conversation was short and concise:

You need to call the FUCKING (she rarely uses that word) tree people. We have two FUCKING holes in our yard and the FUCKING tree you chose arent available until the fall!

The line dropped!  She hung up. One of her pet peeves is communication and this company failed on every level. 

A series of calls later we had trees picked out and en route to fill the holes. When I called back when I got to the airport she had calmed down. She apologied for yelling at me and hanging up. 

Then a few minutes later, a FaceTime call came not to show me the trees. She was expecting the same size tree we cut out, a 12 year old tree. Of course that is not how this works. They were two year old trees in the 10-12 foot range. I told her they were right and she smiled and said okay. 

Lesson learned for me, even after 28 years of marriage, outdoor projects that I start…I need to be at home when they take place. 

We are good. She is calm and happy.


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