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Contractions

As mentioned here, here, here, here and probably other places, I get incessant unsolicited calls from building contractors asking if I need any work done on my dwelling and if so, could they send someone right over to give me a free estimate? I seem to have gotten into some database that these companies purchase. The calls seem to come in cycles…none at all for a few weeks, then suddenly I'm getting two and three a day.

Some come from the contractors — or at least people who seem to be involved in the actual work themselves. Most seem to come from someone who is just a phone solicitor, trying to earn (I assume) a commission by finding someone who'll allow the free estimate. And lately, most are not asking me if I need any work. They're telling me

Mr. Evanier? [neatly mispronounced] This is Rebecca with [name of some company]. I'm calling you back about that construction work you said you needed done on your home. We spoke last August and you said you weren't ready just then and I should give you a call back in January.

That's pretty much what Rebecca said about an hour ago. When the phone rang, I saw an unfamiliar Caller I.D. and figured there was a 50-50 chance or better that it was one of those contractor calls.

Now, I don't need any construction work done on my house. I just had construction work done on my house — a remodel of my detached garage that was necessitated by a sewer leak in there. The contractor, who was recommended by an architect I know, did a great job and the next time I need work, he's the guy I'm going to call. If he's not available, I'll go back to my architect friend and ask him, "Who else you got?" I never, never, never, never, never buy anything that comes at me via an unsolicited phone caller but throw in five more "never"s to know how likely I am to engage one of these contractors who calls and pretends we spoke before.

Usually, I tell them they're lying and to not phone again. Today, I decided to say that but to also lie back to Rebecca: "Rebecca with [name of that company], we did not speak last August. You're lying to me." That's all true. Now, here comes the part where I started lying…

"Actually, by coincidence, I have a dozen improvements I need to make here and I am in the market for a good contractor but I'm not going to trust one who starts our relationship by lying to me. You blew it, Rebecca. You blew it by dishonesty and deception. Please don't call here again."

We hung up and I waited to see how long it would take before I got a call from one of Rebecca's "friends." It took about ten minutes and it was the same Caller I.D…

Mr. Evanier? [mispronounced the same way] This is Bob White from [name of some other company]. We're doing some work in your area and some of your neighbors told us you'd been looking for a good contractor…

I interrupted and told him, "No, none of my neighbors told you that. Rebecca told you that. You're another liar so I'm not going to give you the job, either." Then I hung up on him and waited. It took another ten minutes and it was the same Caller I.D…

Mr. Evanier? [same mispronounciation] My name is Greg Harlow and I'm with [name of yet another company]. We're a full-service contractor and we can provide excellent references if you have any jobs we could bid on…

I told him I didn't need any work done and that the next time I did, I already had a contractor. I also told him that I'd lied to the lady who was working the same phone bank with him…so I'm guessing that's the end of that campaign. I won't be lying like that to the next contractor who phones, probably later today, because I don't need to turn one call into three. My attitude, however, towards these solicitations is evolving. I'm starting to think they're not going to cease so why not have some fun with them?