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Blog entry by canadianchips posted 07-02-2016 03:38 PM 1651 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was working for lady since MAr 1. Fixing repairing jobs around her acreage. The job I was hired to do, build staircase and remodel barn for dances, BUT NEVER happened, I was always called away by her to help her do other jobs in yard. At end of first month she decided she is not paying me $32 hr for work around farm. She will pay $25 for those jobs. I gave in, then I realized she is keeping me from doing”carpentry work” . The rate for carpentry work was $32 hr. Thats what I quoted her when we started !.I had to redo “Closet door” built a barn board sliding door. I had the track 1/8” lower on left side. It was built from rustic material, so I was concerned about being DEAD ON !. She saw that and had me remove it cause it bothered her. Then over next few weeks EVERYTHING I did was being done wrong (according to her)
I talked this over with brother and friend of hers. They both said JUST LEAVE ! She is eccentric .(Crazy Nuts)
I gave her bill for 10 days work. She refused to pay any of it, saying I fabricated ALL the hours. Then she told me I ordered wrong materiial for steps. (She phoned the order in, I went to city and picked up what she told them she wanted)
3rd txt was she is going to publish my name in local paper to prevent other people having to deal with me, she thinks I dont know what I am doing!......REALLY !
Month and a half later I have nothing from this, I used my vehicile 2 to get things from city for her (120 mi. rd. trip)
Customers like this PISS ME OFF !
Part of leaving , while I was there she complained about roofer that did work for her, she complained about windows that were put in, she complained about people that sold her the house (they were dishonest, there is bugs in walls)She complained about guy that laid flooring in house.
COMES across as trying to be high end home owner….............. OCD, ADD, talks about having concussions and suffers memory loss !

Not happy donating TIME, GAS and money at this point in my life to some stranger I never knew before. The local town all says same thing when they hear I am working there…...make sure the “crazy lady pays you”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

16 comments so far

View bladedust's profile


218 posts in 2867 days

#1 posted 07-02-2016 04:18 PM

Have you considered taking her to small claims court? If she has that kind of reputation, I would think it would be pretty easy to find other tradespeople with similar experiences. You probably want to document in excruciating detail of all the work you performed for her and her reactions. Just my thought.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View PhilBello's profile


411 posts in 2568 days

#2 posted 07-02-2016 04:21 PM

Sorry to hear that…I hope you get it sorted soon!

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1500 days

#3 posted 07-02-2016 04:39 PM

The days of a hand shake deal are gone. Got to have a contract.
The fact that you kept working for her, after she decided what your pay should be, is your bad.

Unless trying to take her to small claims court, I think this will probably be a school lesson.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2054 days

#4 posted 07-02-2016 04:47 PM

Go over to her place with the full bill. When she refuses, sit down and say “I’ll wait.” She can call the cops but they will all be on your side. When they tell you to leave tell them you’ll leave after you have reclaimed all of your unpaid materials – and start tearing them out as messily as possible. She’ll pay.

Alternately slap a mechanic’s lien on the property and you’ll get paid when she sells.


-- Madmark - [email protected]

View GnarlyErik's profile


327 posts in 2735 days

#5 posted 07-02-2016 04:59 PM

Most people are basically honest when dealing with others, but occasionally you run into a person who isn’t. Sometimes it may be a kind of psychosis they are afflicted with, but their victims suffer just the same as if it were deliberate cheating. From the sound of this gal’s reputation, it sounds like the latter.

I would explore the idea of a ‘mechanic’s lien’ which is designed for exactly this kind of problem – someone hires you to work on their property, then does not pay you. The lien is against the property, which keeps it from being sold or further encumbered until the lien is settled (paid off, generally). Most states make this available at minimal cost, and it is a good first step before Small Claims Court anyway. Generally, you must ‘exercise’ your lien within a certain amount of time, which means you must bring legal action of some kind – but there is no penalty if you do not. The filing of a lien will affect her credit rating, for what that is worth, but it will also act as a warning others who might be victimized by this person. Whatever you do, good luck! Often, just the threat of a lien is all it takes.

If she ‘publishes’ anything untrue against you publicly, she is exposing herself to MAJOR trouble as in a defamation action.

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23740 posts in 3706 days

#6 posted 07-02-2016 05:27 PM

Live and learn, but I would alert others who might think about doing work for her. She sounds like she will never be happy or uses that to get out or paying!! The lien idea sounds good. You have to look at legal costs, too.
i was going to do some cabinets for a Chinese restaurant here in town and happened to talk to guy who worked there before. He said they had agreed on the price and when it was completed the owner wanted a discount on the work and stiffed him for part of the agreed price. Needless to say,I turned down the job.

Please warn others so they don’t get dragged into that situation.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MikesProjects's profile


172 posts in 2503 days

#7 posted 07-02-2016 07:53 PM

Save all your text / voice messages, contracts, ect… Like others said document your time in detail similar to a journal & try to be precise with the time , round it to every half hour. I don’t think you can legally remove anything you did from the property (not sure) But the other commenters are correct about public slander, placing lien on the property & small claims court. You need to prove she agreed to pay you so much per hour & you need to prove those hours & material. Do follow up on this, crazy high end home owner needs to learn a lesson. Sorry man!

-- -Mike, Southern California, YouTube User ( Give & Take )

View john_s's profile


3 posts in 3965 days

#8 posted 07-02-2016 08:57 PM

I’m sorry to hear your story. Not all customers are honest. The best thing you can do in that situation is cut your losses as soon as possible. As frustrating as this is, don’t try to get emotional satisfaction – anything you do toward that end is likely to back fire.

As others have mentioned, small claims court or a mechanic’s lien might work – you may need a written contract depending on your state AND neither is guaranteed to pay off. So you need to consider how much of your future time that you could be working are you willing to invest to try to get this rectified.

I think if you tried to stay at her house when she asks you to leave and especially if you try to dismantle anything there the cops will NOT be on your side. Those are crimes of trespassing and vandalism (or worse) and the polices are not likely to take the position that two wrongs make right.

Good luck. Consider this expensive education.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4269 posts in 3162 days

#9 posted 07-02-2016 09:07 PM

That is what Small Claims court is for than make sure it was for the agreed of$32 and add your time of going doing everything of going to court which costs you down time money. You can also Legally put a lien on her house so if she ever sells it the money will have to be paid to you before sale.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View atouchofoz's profile


131 posts in 1660 days

#10 posted 07-02-2016 11:17 PM

I am in a state of OMG!
You just described someone I know!
The bugs in the big house, and the floor being laid wrong in her cottage.
It is very disappointing to read there is more than one person out there taking advantage of good honest helpers!
She also threatened to take a fellow who drove from Texas to Az to help her. What a nightmare that was for him!

-- Suzanne, A Touch Of O.Z.

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 2054 days

#11 posted 07-02-2016 11:31 PM

This is work for hire, since the materials are still yours (bill not paid) then you can remove your materials. They are not hers to impound.

-- Madmark - [email protected]

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1500 days

#12 posted 07-02-2016 11:37 PM


View Mean_Dean's profile


7016 posts in 3748 days

#13 posted 07-03-2016 01:18 AM

Man, what a nightmare…......

In addition to the above advice, you might try this approach also:

Keep sending her bill statements for the materials and work performed. After about 3 months of non-payment, turn the account over to a collection agency, and let them pester the hell out of her. You’ll only get a percentage of what they collect (if anything), but it’ll be something, and you may get some measure of satisfaction knowing they’re hounding her.

Also, check with your CPA, as uncollectible accounts can be tax deductible.

Good luck, and keep us posted!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3598 days

#14 posted 07-03-2016 01:58 AM

Thanks everyone. I do keep diary of work I do, probably not detailed enough…... I do have dates, times I was there, brief description of what I did. I have NO intention of driving into that yard. She pulled a gun on land renters 2 years ago. They were spraying their crop. She thought htey could do it another day, cause she wanted to work outside,chem smell bothered her. These farmers have 30000 acres ! I dont think another day was an option.
For the most part I will politely ask for money every month, then go to lawyer, I reallt have no money to go to lawyer/

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View atouchofoz's profile


131 posts in 1660 days

#15 posted 07-03-2016 03:09 AM

A lot of good advice!
I’m with Mean_Dean.
Keep sending her bill statements for the materials and work performed. After about 3 months of non-payment, turn the account over to a collection agency, and let them pester the hell out of her. You’ll only get a percentage of what they collect (if anything), but it’ll be something, and you may get some measure of satisfaction knowing they’re hounding her.
And what What MikesProjects said. Save all correspondence.
Keep sending her a reminder notice and proof of her exchanging her needs of your service. In doing this it should keep her thinking. She may not have any real remorse but at least you are not giving up on payment so easily and you are sending her ‘a stir in her conscious’ memory! Don’t give up so easily! Sounds like she has gotten away with this before.
Keep us posted as to how you handle this, someone may be in the same boat someday.

-- Suzanne, A Touch Of O.Z.

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