F is for...


I recently had a significant amount of carpet removed from my home and hardwood installed. The were two entities involved in this happening. The Salesman that sold me the flooring and the fellow who installed it.

They were friends.  Were. 

The Salesmen sales his friend the story that I have a few bids out and, in order for him get the sale, he needs it installed at $2 a square foot. Fib #1. I had no bids on the table. I chose him...no one else...after he had told me he could install it for $2 sqft. Anyway, the friend agrees because the Salesman promises to help him install the materials to keep the labor within the friend's typical range. Fib #2. The Salesman never shows up to help. He checks in when I have a concern then takes off again. He sales me a story that he's going to let his friend have a "whole" gig making himself sound rather generous. Fib #3.  As the installation progresses, I realize the friend is really getting ripped off because I'm practically reflooring the entire downstairs which has angles and edges that are time consuming to flush. We discuss it and I compensate to the degree that I can. Particularly, since he and his team are doing a great job AND, particularly since,  Fib #4, the Salesman gave him a sob story that this was an insurance claim. Basically, nice guy helping me out. By this time, the friend and I have become friends. So, when the job is nearly finished, my friend gets a call from the Salesman telling him to take any remaining boxes of wood with him. 

It's good to have friends. 

He reminds that I did pay for all the boxes which included the remaining 16. Luckily, my dad is one of the shadiest guys I know (at least up until the mid-90's) so I know how this works. Salesman take my money, over buy, retains the excess and works a new job on my dine for nearly nothing in cost but labor.  Basically, Fib #5. But the wood is on the trailer outside my door. I told my friend that I would be carrying it inside. He said he couldn't help me. That was fine but if the Salesman wanted the 500 sqft "leftovers" he'd have to remove it from my home.  


So, the Salesman shows up all happy-go-lucky with the intention of sweet talking me into handing over the goods. He's brings his massive ADHD sidekick with him who earlier in the week rambled on and on about a delay in starting the work because the Salesman hadn't actually bought or got the wood. I'm still not sure exactly what he was telling me. I asked the Salesman directly to clarify what his sidekick meant but he claimed that the kid didn't know what he's talking about though "there had been an issue with the company"...possible Fib #whatareweon...which turned out well as the Salesman ended up buying a more eco-friendly brand than he said was available. It seems as durable from what I can tell but I don't want to know the cost deviation. Anyway, I surrendered all that and filed it under Higher Good. I actually surrendered it all to the Higher Good so the next portion of the story is just me navigating the ever changing sea of contrast. With no malicious intent, when you can see the clear path that another is taking and you're called to their path not as an obstacle but as a teacher...you gotta teach. 


The following is a dramatic reenactment:

Salesman and Sidekick enter my home. The Sidekick leans against the wall near me while the Salesman puts his hand on a stack of boxes and leans into me. And frankly, in that moment, I'm blessing every moment that I'd ever been given a lesson in intimidation.

Salesman: So, Little Lady, what seems to be the problem?

Little Lady: There's not one. I'm keeping my boxes. 

Salesman: I can leave you a few.

Little Lady: No. They're mine. I bought them.

Salesman: That's just not how it works. We always take what's left over.

SIDEKICK smirks. 

Little Lady: It's nice to try something new. 

Salesman: They're not your boxes. 

Little Lady: (Insert Beotch) Yes. They. Are. 

Salesman: (Offended by my tone) No. You misunderstood what I've been saying. 

Little Lady: Hmmm...maybe my lawyer could explain it to me. 

Salesman: Hey, Miss...

Little Lady: Andrea.

Salesman: Andrea, there's not no reason to go getting all ugly on me.  

SIDEKICK snickers.

Little Lady: (Glancing at Sidekick) Oh, you're right. I'm so sorry. Of course, I've forgot the role I'm playing.  I'm the stupid single mother of five children who couldn't possibly be savvy enough to know when she's being taken for a ride. Got it. Thank you for your time. 

Little Lady exits the room with a rather silent but dramatic flair (which her daughters would later reveal as Oscar worthy).


Needless to say, they didn't touch the boxes but a yelling match did take place in my frontyard. The friend took the opportunity to stand up for himself. I think he's taken it upon himself to acknowledge the numerous times the Salesman has "wronged" him. He's a hard worker who has a lovely family to support and deserves to work with people who respect him.  

I know this was all for the higher good because I was really upset with myself for not buying enough materials to redo the staircases...but...guess what. 

Now, I need to get a bid for that. I'll make sure to get more than one but the first goes to my friend. 


Epilogue: I'm shopping at the end of an aisle at the Super Shopping Place when I see someone turn their cart into the other end. It's the Salesman. He sees me and pulls an Andretti into the next aisle. I'm not at all surprised.  I don't forgive people. There is never a reason to if you have faith in the Higher Good. You realize you are blessed by them. Why would anyone want to forgive a blessing? He has nothing to worry about with me. K. Maybe I could have left my make-believe lawyer out of it* but I am of no harm to him. What he's making up, he's making up but some of the making up caught up with him. And when he embraces the learning in it, he'll be able to approach me. For now, I realize, he's still stuck in the lesson.

But, then again, most of us are.

*My Fib #2