Hello from our dusty, messy, under renovation home!
Auntie Fake Jr.
I’m usually an eager hostess, because I love having guests at home. But for the past months, I may have offended some friends who have expressed interest to visit or stay in our home. I met their eagerness to touch bases with cold indifference. Tuloy, I remember a relative whom Motherhood calls our “Auntie Fake”. During family reunions, “Auntie Fake” would always gush to Motherhood: “Huy ikaw talaga! Pumunta pala kayo sa ******, hindi man lang kayo dumalaw sa bahay!” Mom would force a smile, but deep inside she would think, “Weh?!” Because countless of times that we were in ******, Mom would call up “Auntie Fake” to hint that we want to drop by. But “Auntie Fake” would never run out of reasons why we can’t stay with them: magulo in their place, may ipinapagawa, etc. etc. etc.
In all honesty, I’m not turning into Auntie Fake Jr. I have delusions of being Martha Stewart, the consummate hostess. But the current state of our house makes entertaining such a chore. Wala na akong ginawa kundi magwalis nang magwalis, mag-mop nang mag-mop, pero lusot pa rin nang lusot ang alikabok! Ako pa naman, I can’t just ignore the feel of dust on my feet and on my hands. Plus, our things are strewn up everywhere, because we dismantled old cabinets to be replaced with new, modular ones.
Basta, ang gulo! There was even a time I lost my temper because the workers were drilling the cabinet (alikabok galore) without bothering to remove or covering our beddings, towels, clothes and bags.
My body itched like crazy when I used the dusty clothes. We had to wash all of them, even without wearing any of them.
Anyway, we got seriously upset with the contractor we got in renovating our house. The agreement with the contractor is that since the house they’re renovating is occupied, they should do things section by section. Example, kung kitchen, kitchen muna. Pag perfect na ang kitchen, proceed to the living room. And so on. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Like, our kitchen underwent an overhaul. But because the materials haven’t yet arrived, the workers proceeded to Raviv’s bedroom. And since kulang uli ang materials for Raviv’s bedroom, ‘yung dining room naman. Everything was half-baked, and every inch of our house was dusty and messy! Nakakaloka! Hindi ko alam san kami pupulutin. And then when this contractor got a new project, he pulled out most of his men and left us with only a few. Translation: bumagal ang renovation. Translation uli: messy house for a longer period of time.
So when after the nth time that the contractor promised that he would bring the material but didn’t, the workers had nothing to do. They wanted to break another wall. I dissented. Wala na talaga kaming paglalagyan. I told them to cover a certain area first before proceeding. When we talked to the contractor, he expressed anger. Kesho why did we stop the workers from what he told them to do, eh binabayaran n’ya raw yun.
It really, really upset me. For a long time, we’ve been bending to his schedules and requirements. There was even a time when they would arrive and start work at 2 p.m., which means they would work until nighttime (in our bedroom pa! So we can’t retire early, and our helpers have to work overtime to clean our bedroom after them). What he promised would be finished in a week still wasn’t finished after a month. So many promises he broke (like scheduled meetings) and for the first time I stepped down and insisted my way. At nagalit.
For the record, I get that construction is dusty and messy. But for the record din, we had an agreement how to minimize it: finish an area first before proceeding to another part. Which was not followed, and we stretched our understanding and patience. But I think we’ve bent enough. We literally would have no more place to go outside the bedroom if I didn’t interfere. There are always excuses as to why everything is delayed, and yet this contractor is still accepting projects left and right. I couldn’t help but think: what if we also gave excuses every time it’s time to pay? Would he have also stretched his understanding?
Because of that, Randy decided to get another contractor to construct the 3rd floor of our building in Sta. Rosa. He was choosing among his contractor friends. I am against it, because construction is very mabusisi. It’s costly, it involves so many people, and it’s messy. Misunderstandings, broken promises and kapalpakan are inevitable. In short, it’s a sure recipe to ruin friendships. I still prefer to work with our current contractor, because he has already apologised. Despite his misgivings, I still prefer him over any contractor friends.
My mantra is that when it comes to big and critical undertakings, I won’t get a friend’s services. Especially if it’s a start-up, or a sideline.
In fact, I myself don’t even salestalk my friends into getting our services. If they want to avail of the services we offer, Thank you very much! It makes makes me happy. If not, no problem with me. I would feel disappointment, of course. But I wouldn’t force my friends.
Let’s face it: friends expect special treatment, right? Aside from discounts (OK lang with me if the friend is super close to me; in fact, I would even offer it without them even asking or making pairing), they also expect that we bend the rules for them (this I’m not willing to do, no matter how close I am to a friend). If you don’t, they’ll get really upset. All the more if they felt pressured to avail of our services.
I remember a time when I purchased a signature item from an acquaintance who was on the brink of becoming a close friend. I wanted to show my support to this person by buying from her. Then I found out that the designer item she was selling was fake. I seriously contemplated as to whether to return it to her or just turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not fake. I didn’t want to offend her. But it was pricey, and I didn’t want to support counterfeit items. I told her my concern, and she accepted the item back. But our friendship never blossomed. We no longer chatted on Facebook, she no longer “Liked” my posts, and we never saw each other again. She may be embarrassed, she may be upset, I don’t know. Bu I’m sure we’re not gonna BFFs any time soon. Or ever.
I’ve read that:
And of course, I want to support my friends! But when it comes to things that are really expensive and critical, I choose not to get a friend’s services. For example, if a friend has a new restaurant cum catering services, I would eat at the restaurant. I’ll even Instagram photos of me in the restaurant. But since her business is a start-up, I wouldn’t risk getting her catering services for, say, my wedding. I would have big expectations, and if she won’t meet those expectations, I’d be upset. And I won’t be able to help but express my frustration. Her feelings would be hurt, and she would even think, “Lugi pa nga ako kasi diniscount-an ko siya!” Sounds utterly familiar, right?
It’s a different case, though, when a friend’s business is already established. For example, if I have already seen/witnessed my friend’s work/services numerous times on different occasions and have been consistently impressed, then go. And no, I won’t insist on a discount. If I’m given a discount, thank you very much! But I would want to make it clear that the discount would not mean receiving inferior services. It’s also a different case if it’s not too expensive and it’s not important to me. If it fails or if I am unsatisfied, I could turn a blind eye and say nothing. No raves but no rants, friendship still intact.
So to my friends, please do not be offended if I don’t seem to patronise your business. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to support you, or I’m not impressed by you. It just means that your friendship with me means a lot, and I do not want to jeopardize it.
What about you? What’s your take on patronizing your friend’s businesses? Do let me know and share your thoughts with me in the Comment Box below!