Katie's Journal

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Greedy People Suck

by @ 8:39 pm on September 13, 2011.

I spent most of the morning fuming about this and now I’m just sad at how people act anymore.

A little background so this makes some sense. Once upon a time when my FIL ran the farm he raised 40 acres of corn to feed as silage to the cows. To hold this he put up two big silos. Over the years the silos fell into disrepair and we went to feeding just round bales of hay, no corn. With the price of corn skyrocketing we decided to go back to raising it again. We now have fewer cows and will only need to fill one silo. The concrete around one silo has eroded away into big holes at the base, but the unloader (machine that gets the silage back out of the silo) is in decent shape. The other silo has solid concrete but the unloader is pretty bad. All things being equal we would rather fill the one with bad concrete – it’s closer to the feeder. So before we even plant the corn, we get in touch with guy #1, who says he can fix the silo for around $3500. Ok.

We go ahead and plant the corn. We literally bet the farm on this – if the corn crop fails we’re out of funds, maxed out on loans, and the dairy goes under. Praise God, we had perfect corn weather and could not ask for a better crop. But we still have no silo to put it in. All summer Ern (hubby) kept calling guy #1. He kept hearing that yes, he would definitely get to it, call back in a couple weeks. This goes on and on. Looking back, should have been a red flag but oh, well. Last week Ern takes another look at the corn and says it’s ready to chop. He calls guy #1 again and tells him this is getting critical. Guy #1 calls back on Saturday morning and says he doesn’t think he’ll be able to get it done. Seriously?! Now this isn’t actually the main point of the rant. I really do think this guy was bit by good intentions. He did want to do it for us and honestly kept thinking he’d squeeze us in but kept getting more work than he could handle closer to home (we’re like 250 miles away but there is no one closer that does these repairs). I’m miffed that he didn’t tell us sooner but am sympathetic how it could have happened.

This call comes as another guy is on his way to fix the unloader. We’re left with the choice. Fix the unloader as planned and pray we can find someone else to fix the silo or go into a major rebuild on the unloader on the silo we didn’t want to fill but could? I was frantically googling for phone numbers of other silo repair companies and we left messages at probably a dozen. But of course had little luck getting through to anyone on a Saturday morning. We ended up taking a leap of faith and went ahead and fixed the unloader as planned. Saturday night we finally get a return call from guy #2. He thinks he can get it done but will let us know for sure by noon Monday. Monday afternoon comes and no call. Ern calls him and he says he’s still making calls himself. He’ll get back to us today. First thing this morning he calls and says he can do it Thursday. But he’ll do only the bare minimum needed to fill it without it falling over and he wants $5500. Ouch. I can come up with the extra $2k if I have to, but it’s going to rob the funds we need for fertilizer next year.

We have till noon to get an answer to guy #2. Ern decides to make one last effort to get someone else. As it happens, the first one he gets through to is guy #3. He tells guy #3 about our silo, and #3 knows all about it. Even has a price quote ready. How? Guy #2 had already called him looking to subcontract our silo. What’s guy #3 want? $3500. He knew he was being subcontracted but not how much guy #2 was going to charge. Guy #3 didn’t think much if the inflation and agreed to cut out guy #2 and deal with us directly.

To me, the right thing to do would have been for guy #2 to tell us he was booked and give us directly to guy #3. I realize that doesn’t make his business any money so barring that tacking $100 or even $200 onto whatever guy #3’s final price was would still have been an obscene profit for making a couple phone calls. And that’s what has me so wound. Because he knew we were in such a bind, guy #2 was trying to gouge us $2000. I couldn’t sleep at night if I did that to someone.

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