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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pimp slapped - the large hand of responsibility

Today was a good day. I had a lot of reporting to do. I've been chasing down folks all week for articles I'm trying to wrap up.

But today I also had a non-journalism task. Today I took the first step in keeping with my call to arms last month and filed a civil claim against a contractor who did work on my house, caused damage during the process, and then declined to fix it appropriately.

Now, old James - James from a few years ago - might have weighed the pros and cons, reasoned to himself "Hmmm, they did the work. So they caused a few nicks and dings along the way. Let's let it go. Let bygones be bygones."

In other words I would have downplayed the contractor's irresponsibility, paid him what he demanded, while at the same time eating the cost of the damage he caused, and quietly and humbly withdrawn to my space.

Not anymore. I'm looking to smack him with the Pimp Hand of the Law and take a chunk out of his behind, 'cause if he's not going to willingly be responsible I'm gonna force him to own up to his mistakes and least those where my house is concerned.

Remember, folks, we'll never compel the numbnuts of the world to straighten up and fly right and pull their weight and not do harm to the rest of us if we don't make 'em.

I've taken step one. I can't wait for step two. That contractor better hope we don't take this before Judge Mathis or Judge Judy.

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  • I assume you gave him the chance to make amends first?

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 6:22 PM  

  • Too true. Unfortunately, it sounds like I most resemble old James. I let so much stuff slide...

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 6:39 PM  

  • Should this go further, the judge is to be addressed as "Judge" and not "bitch."

    Way to stand up for yourself. I'm slowly evolving into a man myself. I mean, I've proved that I'm ready to fight on the street if I have to but it's speaking up for myself and swallowing those frogs in my throat that's the hardest.

    By Blogger Matt, at 6:55 PM  

  • Sometimes, people just have to get sued...or pimp slapped.

    By Blogger mist1, at 7:42 PM  

  • Good for you! I am still like the old you! Let me know how it progresses and maybe I can finally break the bonds of being timid.

    Thanks for blogrolling me. I really appreciate it and am adding you happily to my list. Have a great weekend!

    By Blogger Michael C, at 9:04 PM  

  • Ahhh! I now see that you stated, "and then declined to fix it appropriately." My bad.

    By Anonymous The Sarcasticynic, at 9:06 PM  

  • Sarc, no worries. I always miss stuff on the first go round. I gave him a chance. He scoffed at me. So in so many words I told him: you think this is funny? Let's match wits.

    ThirdWorst, we all do it. Step at a time. I'm gonna get this weasle. Take it as inspiration.

    I hear ya, Matt. It's our instinct to not want to be confrontational - at least those of us who were raised with even a smidgen of civility.

    Mist1, right you are. I plan on swinging with both palms open.

    Michael C, I'll post updates. And glad to put you on the roll. Enjoy your weekend too.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:20 PM  

  • Good for you James. If we sit back and do nothing the sleazy will feel licensed to just get sleazier.

    Good luck with that, I hope it turns out well.

    By Blogger QofD, at 10:24 PM  

  • The Pimp Hand of the Law? What's next? The Mack Daddy of Justice?

    I like that you're doing this. I think that too often people aren't held, presidents...military contractors who misspend public money..congressmen who accept bribes.

    okay, I'll stop grumbling.

    By Blogger Stewart Sternberg, at 12:08 AM  

  • I have a very similar experience but I ended up getting a whole new kitchen out of the deal.

    Being steadfast always pays off. Regarding piece of mind and monetary benefits.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 12:10 AM  

  • My motherly side wants to hear that the guy bucked up and came back to your house and made things right.

    The Enquiring Minds Wants to Know girl is looking forward to seeing you deliver the goods to Judge Judy

    By Blogger Pamela, at 12:54 AM  

  • can i be a character witness? i'm real good at crying on call. ;D

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 1:29 AM  

  • I like Neopolitan ice cream,

    By Blogger BBC, at 3:53 AM  

  • Gosh, I feel for you. This kind of contractor problem makes me want cuss like a drunk sailor. In fact, by the time my last one disappeared, I was all but ready to stab him in the eye with something metal and rusted.

    Remember to gather all of your receipts and documentation, in case he tried to squirm around the facts.

    Good luck!

    By Blogger Yvette, at 5:28 AM  

  • Heigh ho. Sometimes we can encourage others to be responsible by acting responsible ourselves (this is called parenting). Other times we have to invoke the heavy hand of the law to make them take notice.

    Getting a reliable, responsible builder/repairman/whatever is soooo hard.

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 7:18 AM  

  • People whine a lot about the courts being clogged with "nuisance lawsuits" and cite the kind of stuff you're going through. That kind of crap wouldn't exist if people took responsibility for their actions. Your builder is an ass, pure and simple. You tried to be decent, and he didn't make good, so you do the only thing that gives you recourse.

    Now, fifty years ago, you might have gotten him to come across by confronting him and popping him in the nose, at which point, he would have gotten the messge- but "civility" has made the court the only avenue of response- if you gave this guy the smackdown he deserves, you would end up in the stripey hole.

    People have forgotten that actions have consequences. Shamfully, the better lawyer often wins. I wish you a ton of luck, and if the guy doesn't come across, let me know, maybe I can come visit you...

    By Anonymous og, at 8:22 AM  

  • With that opening line of your post, I thought for sure you'd end with "I didn't even have to use my AK", which would have been both poetic and appropriate.

    By Blogger Jon, at 11:03 AM  

  • I hope you've got some before and after pics!! Good luck!! Sock it to 'im!

    By Blogger Claudia, at 7:28 PM  

  • doesn't anyone take pride in their work? sure mistakes happen but if they do take responsiblity. your contractor is gonna learn the hard way!(didn't see ya at roll call)

    By Blogger acaligurl, at 11:08 PM  

  • Thanks Queen. Gotta make 'em clean up.

    Stewart, the Mack Daddy of Justice is my cousin.

    Way to go, Hammer. I don't expect to get anything new out of this guy. But I will be steadfast. I like that word. My dad used to use it a lot.

    Sorry Pamela. I wish I had that sort of good news. But instead he was scornful of my request that he fix his mistakes. Judge Judy, here we come....I'm kidding. We're headed for court, but not on TV.

    Yas, you will be tops on my witness list. Cry a lot and tell the judge you were afraid my house was gonna fall apart at the seams.

    BBC, I have struck a treaty with neopolitan. For the time being my distaste is reserved for orange sherbert, 'cause it sounds like it was named after a nerd.

    Yvette, I feel your pain. I was thinking of a rusty utensil, but I wasn't planning on any stabbing. I wanted to check his prostate with it. We have all our paperwork. We're ready.

    BK, it's almost to the point where you feel like you have to do background checks on anyone claiming to have a helpful skill. Asking for references just doesn't cut it anymore.

    Og, you're right. Folks are too litigious these days. But people don't respond to civil requests. I wish I had been an adult in those days when you could pop a man in the nose, tell him "Shame on you" and guilt him into to making things right. I'm not worried about the better lawyer. I've got this guy by the short hairs. But I'll let you know ;>)

    Jon, my AK was gonna come up in the next post...about the contractor who actually did see the light.

    Claudia, I got the pics.

    Acaligurl, responsibility means more work. Who wants that? And sorry, I forgot about roll call. On my way right now!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:48 PM  

  • Hey James, good for you for standing up for yourself and holding the contractor accountable to what he agreed to do. There's not enough accountability in this world; things would be so much different (and better) if there was.

    Give him a good pimp slap for all of us.

    btw, great week on the workout front. SEVEN hours in one day is definitely deserving of multiple workouts! I counted you in for three, though you easily deserve more.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 12:08 AM  

  • JB--good for you in the fight against assholiness in S. Fla. It's time consuming and life draining but nothing satisfying is ever obtained any other way. Buuuuuut--
    y'know, you missed a golden opportunity to publicize the bad actions of others in this, your very public forum. Without dropping the name and address of this sag-assed contracting company and posting a pdf copy of your complaint (w/proper redactions), you don't inform us, your readers, of a company we should avoid like the plague. I figure the reason is b/c McClatchy has some potential libel concerns and doesn't want you airing personal beefs under their flag, but the truth is printable, idn't it? More watchdogs might result in better service--people in S. Fla. could use a big dose o' that right now.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 8:09 PM  

  • *high fives James*

    You go on and make them fix their mistake. It's too bad so many businesses are ran this way and noone cares or calls them on it.

    By Blogger Christina_the_wench, at 10:48 AM  

  • BD, if I beat them in court - and I fully expect to - I'll name them. Like you said, the truth is a defense. And Christina, thank you for the support.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:27 AM  

  • Remember, folks, we'll never compel the numbnuts of the world to straighten up and fly right and pull their weight and not do harm to the rest of us if we don't make 'em.

    I have been saying this for years. I am glad someone else feels the same way I do!

    By Blogger Dayngr, at 3:42 PM  

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