This is gonna be TL;DR for most folks, and that's ok. Mainly I just gotta get this off of my chest somehow.
I had a small house fire 6 or 8 months ago. I know first hand about the generosity of the gentlemen of this board, and that's one reason I didn't tell anyone here - I didn't want anyone to think I was falling on hard times and feel the need to try to help me out with gifts or anything. It really wasn't a huge deal, as far as house fires go. The kitchen was basically a total loss, but the rest of the house (other than the smell of smoke...which surprisingly wasn't too bad) was just fine.
So there's the background.
My insurance sent an adjuster almost immediately - literally within a couple of hours of the fire. Fantastic guy, super nice, wrote for some damage that I didn't think they would. Suffice it to say, I got what I thought at the time was a generous sum, in the form of a check - a check made out to me, my wife, and the mortgage company. It seemed strange at first, but it makes sense if you think about it - the mortgage company has a financial interest in the house, they still technically own it, so they have an interest in making sure the house gets repaired properly. I first had to call the mortgage company, mail the check to them, they had to endorse it, and send it back to me...with the caveat that I got the house repaired and they would be contacting me to make sure. That all worked out fine. Money in hand, I start calling contractors.
Here's where the nightmare begins. I called no less than 8 contractors. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE EIGHT made an appointment with me to come to my house and meet me and assess the damage and give me an estimate. Of those eight, can you guess how many actually showed up? THREE. The other five just didn't show up - no phone call, no explanation, no nothing. What a huge waste of time to plan to be home, sitting around doing nothing, waiting on some goober to show up, and NOTHING.
So we're down to three general contractors. All three came to my house, surveyed the damage, took measurements, scribbled numbers in a notebook, and said something like "oh, yeah, we can fix this right up. I'll go crunch some numbers and I'll get back to you with an estimate." Can you guess how many of those three actually called me back with an estimate? ONE.
HOW UNPROFESSIONAL! How asinine! I'd have much MUCH more respect if you said, "nah, screw this, I cant make any money doing this, go find someone else" than to give me the impression that you want the job and just NOT SHOW UP, or even better - come take measurements and actually SEE the damned job and STILL tell me you want it, but NEVER CALL BACK?!?!?
Sometime in the interim of this, the mortgage company calls:
chipper CS rep: "HI!!!!! How are the repairs coming?"
me: "ugh....trying to find a contractor. nightmare."
chipper CS rep: "No worries!!!!!! There's no rush, sir, we just want to stay in touch!"
me: "yeah, whatever, ok."
That's a bit of an exaggeration, I was cordial to them, and wasn't rude....but you get the idea.
(I'm gonna hit the character limit soon....on to the next post)