Customers With MESSY Houses

We’ve all had to do it. You get a call to troubleshoot a power outage at a home, and when you walk in you can’t find the walls through all of the clutter everywhere in the home. Oh boy, here we go…

I don’t claim to be a neat freak…my friends and family will tell you that I live in a sort of organized chaos most of the time. I don’t enjoy living in a place that feels so picked up and neat that it feels like a sterile hospital. There’s just something creepy about it to me. I feel like I can relax in a home that has random stuff laying around and isn’t SUPER CLEAN.

That being said…even I have my limits. As a tradesman, I should not have to clean your house to do work for you. I don’t know what those gross stains are on your clothes that are covering the electrical panel, that smell coming from under your bed that I have to move, or those greasy week-old dishes hiding the receptacles on the countertop in your kitchen. It’s not that I’m above picking something up and moving it out of my way. What I’m above is disrespect and thoughtlessness about someone who’s coming to solve a problem for you.

I should be able to come into your home or business, pull out my tools, diagnose a problem, fix the problem, shake hands and leave. That’s my job, that’s what YOU expect from ME. So what I expect from YOU is to AT LEAST pick up the area that I’m going to be working in. Not the entire house, just make sure the big-ticket items are easily accessible. Or if things need to be moved, at least make it as easy (and not gross) as possible so when we get there we don’t have to do it for you.

I swear, at times, I’ve wanted to charge a customer double for having to rearrange and pick up nearly their entire home while troubleshooting issues in multiple rooms. They didn’t have the forethought to clean for the two weeks coming up to the appointment, or simply move things out of the way in the utility room where the electrical panel was. Rather you couldn’t even get into the room without hauling everything out of the room to get to the panel on the other side. I won’t even get into the rooms themselves, holy hell.

I’m not being an asshole here, there are just some houses that you get to and immediately want to leave or charge double. But you can’t. As a tradesman, you have to act a certain way and conduct yourself in a friendly, respectful manner (well you don’t have to, but if you care about your company’s reputation you will). So we don’t say anything, just do a great job, give outstanding (non-judgemental) service, and go about our way. But sometimes, every so often…you want to be a bad seed, and these customers are the right water to pop roots with.

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