St*Ff My Contractor Says... Explained.

My way of venting...

Contractor: I’m trying not to nickel and dime you to death.

Meaning: I’m sending you a big invoice without detail.

Contractor: I should be back probably on Thursday morning...

Meaning: I’ll be back Friday afternoon.

Contractor: I’ll “swing through” in a couple weeks.

Meaning: See you in a couple months.

Contractor: I’ll be back after I pull the required permits downtown.

Meaning: I won’t be coming back.

Contractor: I’m here to do the yearly maintenance.

Meaning: I’m between real jobs.

Contractor: I’m still waiting on a part.

Meaning: I’m still waiting to go get the part.

Contractor: The labor is included in the parts

Meaning: And the markup as well. Good luck solving that equation for two unknowns.

Contractor: All in all you’re looking at 12 grand, but I’ll start the project for 4 grand.

Meaning: The “labor” on the parts is 8 grand.

Contractor: It’s a “contractor grade” part.

Meaning: Google is useless on this part.

Contractor: Looks like somebody pulled a real MacGuyver here.

Meaning: “somebody” refers to any previous contractor, aka “a real piece of work”.

Contractor: Well without doing a full bid, I’d say you’re looking at 5 to 10 grand, depending.

Meaning: Let’s see how you react to these random numbers being thrown out, then depending, it’ll actually cost:

Shock = 6 grand

Slight hesitation = 8 grand

Relieved = 12 grand +

Contractor: Well if I were you, what I do is x...

Meaning: Well if I were you, but you were still paying...

Now I feel much better :)

Additions, corrections welcome!


It sounds like you are in California. Correct?

Contractor: It sounds like you are in California. Correct?

Meaning: For a more accurate estimate, can I get your address to put in StreetView?

;)

Contractor: It’s a “contractor grade” part.

Meaning: Google is useless on this part.

That's good!

For what its worth, we do ballpark estimates as well during the initial sales phase. Just as much as you think contractors are a PITA, so are clients. They have no problem saying, can I add a camera here, what if I take this camera off, what if I move the camera here.

Never does this happen in an office with drop ceilings. Usually this means wireless links, conduit, more UPS. Which means a lot more design time before we have collected a dime.

Once the design is done, we submit a formal bid.

They have no problem saying, can I add a camera here, what if I take this camera off, what if I move the camera here.

They should “have no problem saying” as long as they “have no problem paying”.

End user says: I don’t have a budget

Contractor says: Here’s your proposal for $10,000.00

End user says: That’s three times my budget!!!

End user: I’ve budgeted $10,000 for this project, ballpark.

Contractor: That seems entirely reasonable to me. Well done!

End User: Thanks.

Contractor: So what’s the project??

And then...

Contractor: Here’s your invoice for $30,000.00

End User: That’s three times my budget!!!

Contractor: You said your budget was “ballpark”.

Think of this like a triple off the left field wall. Fair ball!

The Suntrust project cost 1.1B. That's a ballpark!

JZ: I'm the subject matter expert!

Meaning: Case Closed!

Plumber: Hi, I’m looking for a Jeff Zwirn; it’s about a reported sewer line blockage.

JZ (as End User): Your information is erroneous, the ticket was specifically opened under Jeffrey D. Zwirn CPP, CFPS, CFE, FACFEI, CHS-IV, SET, CCI, MBAT*, who stands before you now.

Plumber: Sorry about that, our system cuts off contact at 12 chars...

JZ: Your personal incompetence and your company’s appalling systemic negligence has been noted and will be reported to ISO/ASIS forthwith. Are you currently represented by counsel?

Plumber: Look, I’m just here to fix the toilet, so...

-

*Meaning: Jeffery D. Zwirn, Certified Protection Professional, Certified Fire Protection Specialist, Certified Fraud Examiner, Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners, Certified in Homeland Security-Level IV, Senior Engineering Technician Level IV Certified in Fire Protection, Certified Criminal Investigator, Master Burlgar Alarm Technician

OMG, in tears LOL. BTW, you forgot "President."

Contractor: That should work like that...

Meaning: I overheard someone at ADI talking about a similar product and you were my beta test

Contractor: That shouldn't be happening...

Meaning: I overheard someone at ADI talking about a similar product and you were my beta test

Contractor: I've never seen that before...

Meaning: I overheard someone at ADI talking about a similar product and you were my beta test

Contractor: I've never seen that before...

Meaning: I have strict instructions to deny this repeating issue is appearing at all our sites running that VMS upgrade.

Contractor: I've never seen that before...

Meaning: I've forgotten my Axis support site login

Contractor: I've never seen that before...

Meaning: I'm too lazy to do a search on IPVM for assistance.

Contractor: I've seen that before...

Meaning: I’ve never seen that before...

End User: Yesterday my system kept rebooting without me touching it, but now that you showed up, its all working fine

Contractor: Interesting.
Meaning: Ok, which one of you moron's were jacking with this thing yesterday and what exactly did you do to jack it up? And if you think you aren't paying for a truck roll out here, you got another thing coming pal.