Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pavement Hell

Let's start with the assumption that inhaling the fumes from hot asphalt year after year destroys brain cells. At least that would provide some plausible explanation as to why my 4 DAY paving project took 4 WEEKS to complete.

Yes, I've been living in blacktop hell and I think of Phil as the Devil himself.

Phil is the person that we contracted to dig up our front parking lot, add several inches of new limestone for drainage and repave... IN APRIL!

We had a very wet spring. That put Phil behind. I understood. Mother Nature is not to be messed with. Phil assured us that he would be here in May. I understood, shuffled classes, made adjustments. No Phil. June 1st, Phil was still behind. More shuffling, more adjusting. I suggested that Phil wait until the first week of August to do our job. We are closed the first week of August and he could have the whole place to himself for an entire week. Phil laughed. He would be long gone by August 1st. Ours was a "little" 4 day job - if that! Probably wouldn't take more than 3 days. He would be here next week at the latest... he recited that exact statement to me each week for 4 consecutive weeks.

July 1st, just 4 months behind schedule, Phil delivered equipment to our parking lot. Then Phil got sick. He sent his "crew" to do the job. "The Plan" was for the men to dig up 1/2 of the lot, stone it and put down the base. Customers would have half of the lot to use. The next day they would repeat the process for the other half of the lot while customers parked on the base. Day three was "planned" to be a Sunday when we are closed, the top coat would go on the entire lot.

That would have been nice.

That isn't how it happened.

Phil's guys didn't understand "The Plan"

Phil's guys tore up the pavement and delivered crushed concrete. Crushed concrete isn't limestone. Limestone drains, crushed concrete doesn't. That explains the giant puddle in the photo. The whole reason for doing the job was to provide drainage and prevent heaving in the winter. We paid for limestone - We wanted limestone. We made them rip several ton of crushed concrete out and do it again. That took a week. Phil's guys weren't happy. Phil understood, but he still couldn't make them understand "The Plan".

Then the hydraulics broke on the paving machine and I left town for a week. My darling husband promised me that he would do his best to have Phil out of our life by the time I got back. I still love him anyway.

While I was away the Stooges managed to dig a trench and fill it in, forgetting that it was to be filled with the rock that was in the truck just 3 feet away. Do over #2.

They also managed to dig up our entrance drive (thank heaven we also have an exit drive at the opposite end of the lot) park their equipment and leave for the weekend. I was not happy when I returned and neither was Mother Nature. She stormed and dumped 18 inches of mud in our catch basin. Phil's guys had to clean it out.

I have a friend that keeps threatening to make t-shirts that say "Life is hard. It's even harder when you are stupid". I would like to buy them for Phil's Stooges.

Yesterday was the virtual straw that broke the camels back. Paving day. They were finally ready to put the top coat on the entire lot. Remembering "The Plan", they were to pave one half at a time. I remembered the plan - they didn't. I began to eye the steamroller and plot evil deeds.

All of our customers were forced to use the back parking lot - where the workmen stashed all of their equipment and trucks eating up more than half of the parking spaces. Then they had to enter through the back door and climb down a flight of stairs! We also had to receive UPS, FedEx and a tractor trailer delivery of a sewing center and cabinet down that same flight of stairs. Phil had to go. What ever it takes, Phil needed to be gone by the end of the day!!! I had had ENOUGH!

At 6pm I returned to the lot to find this. They ran out of asphalt with 3 feet left to go!

Just shoot me now....

Today they returned to "finish" the job, get out of my life, and they are done....

Except that they have to come back "later" to paint the lines for the parking spaces. I said "Great, you can do that next week while we are closed". Phil looked at me with his best Customer Service smile and replied "Can't. I'm on vacation next week."

I hope my $24,000 has a good time at the beach.


banjo795 said...

I stopped by the store at lunchtime, mostly to check and see if there was a new "Mount Phil" in the center of the new paving....

bmayer said...

What do they say about "the road to hell is PAVED......"?

Anonymous said...

I'd be curious to know if you had receieved bids from multiple paving contractors or even reference letters....

Gayle and Rob said...

Make sure you report this to "Angie's list" - the web-based referral and recommendation site for finding good service - so no one else has to go through this monkey business. You could also call your local Better Business Bureau - they keep track of these things.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Phil reads your blog? He might have a basis for a slander suit.

Karen said...

Yes, We received multiple bids for our job and Phil was neither the highest or the lowest and he has done work for us before. I doubt Phil reads my blog, but it wouldn't matter if he did. Our frustration isn't news to him. BTW, it is only "slander" if it isn't true. I didn't tell you the name of Phil's company because I know that he was almost as frustrated as we were with the whole situation.