A while back, I published a post regarding a contract I had that turned out to be one of the largest and lengthiest jobs we had ever been involved in. It was two years ago that we did a complete re-make, involving a huge amount of preparation and detailed work. I was glad when it was over because I have never liked being on one job too long.
On Monday, all our work went up in smoke as you can see here .
It is the house on the left, with all the exterior rail banisters. The neighbour was storing gas powered tools as well as gasoline in a shed that also contained a swimming pool and hot tub natural gas heater. The open flame on the heater ignited fumes, the shed blew up, the resulting fire engulfed a cedar hedge adjoining two houses, and my customer's house was engulfed in flame almost immediately. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the damage has now been assessed and the house will require a complete restoration.
As I expected, the owner contacted me today and asked me if I would do the work when it was ready for my expertise. I was prepared for her call and had my answer ready. "No." This is a huge job and I am winding down in my business, not gearing up. It will be "new construction" and I do not handle that as I have concentrated on re-decoration for the last 25 years. I appreciated her offer and her confidence.
I go back a long way with her family. I have worked in every home her parents ever built or lived in. I have done two houses for her. I have done her sisters, and at the present time I am working for her brother as we re-decorate his home for the second time.
And this is the struggle I have. I have built relationships through and because of my business. I have become friends with so many of my clients over the years. And now I have to entrust the work they require to someone else. It is the saying "no" that also probably means saying "goodbye". I never thought I would struggle with that. I suppose it is the sense of being useful to people and at the same time becoming their friend. It has been so rewarding over the years that I am not having an easy time turning my back on something so valuable.
I sit here tonight, after a hard week, with a sore back, aching knees, a nagging Charlie horse in my right leg, and too tired to go out on a Friday night. And yet, I cannot say goodbye to this life? Call me crazy, but it is true.