Every so often a project reaches a point where it is clear that things are going off the rails. There is no solution other than to knock a few heads together.
Yesterday that is where my project was. I arrived after two weeks away, expecting to have the stone floors complete and the geothermal heating system in operation. But no. The stone floors had barely progressed. The electrician had pulled off the job. The geothermal system was left just as you see it. We were still reliant on space heaters. And oh, by the way, the electrician was refusing to return until he had been paid in full: 100%, when only about 85% of the work had been done.
Time for what one of my former managers, a staunch Baptist, called a “Come to Jesus” meeting. In other words, no more going along to get along. Time to get serious.
I haven’t needed my game face in 30, 35 years. Like everything in that back closet of my mind, it doesn’t fit very well any more. But I squirmed into it. With the help of Sophie, my general contractor’s French wife, we got the message through to him that there would be no payment until we had a final contract amount. There would be a 10% retention until project completion. The vague accusations were to be replaced — by the end of this morning’s meeting — with specifics regarding any work that he felt was slowing his progress.
We got it all. Time for a victory lap.