Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dear West Virginia: F*ck You

A few months ago we decided to sell our house and move out of West Virginia, as you may recall. We put our house on the market for a fairly reasonable price, considering the local economy, and had lots of interest. I was, of course, losing my mind trying to keep things neat and tidy all day every day, plus vacating my ultra-tidy house with all four kids whenever the realtors came a-calling. But it was going well, this house selling process.

Or so it seemed.

Most of the "interested parties" we had were very concerned with the exterior surface of our house, which is a synthetic stucco. So to calm all of the fears, we had it inspected. And there were some issues. Still, we hadn't scared off everyone, so we set about finding a contractor to makes the necessary repairs.

We had three companies give us quotes, one local and two from the Pittsburgh area. The work is pretty specialized, so there aren't an abundance of companies who even do this kind of thing. The guys from PA were specialy trained and certified to work with this specific material, but the guy from WV wasn't. The bid from the WV guy was the lowest in price, but we had heard from several people we trust that he was likely to jack up that number once the work was started and we were at his mercy. Plus, by now we were only down to one "interested party" and they were from the Pittsburgh area, and more comfortable with the work being done by someone who was bonafied. AND! Not to toot our own horn, but generally speaking we are pretty decent folks who would feel badly about getting a cut-rate guy to do this work just because we're trying to sell the joint.

Long story long, we went with one of the Pittsburgh companies. Two weeks into a six week job, when a good portion of our house was torn apart, someone made an anonymous call to the WV division of labor about our contractor. He's a stand up guy, but some of his documentation required by this state had expired, so he was served with cease-and-desist papers by the state of West Virginia.

No one really knows who made that call, but I've seen WV contractor's truck in our neighborhood once or twice in the past few weeks, and I can't really imagine that any of our neighbors would do that to us. So now our contractor has one week to weather-proof our house and then his crew has to stop working until he gets all of his affairs in order. SOB has tried to make some calls to some of our local government guys, just to see how long things might take and if there's any way we can help facilitate the process. You know, since we're living in a house that has half of the windows and doors sealed shut temporarily, but he was basically told to go screw. In fact, one guy told him that we were probably going to be scrutinized even more for making the calls.

And why is all of this happening? Because we are not from West Virginia, and we opted to use a contractor who also isn't from West Virginia. Just like everything else here, from housework to hospitals, it doesn't matter how well you do your job, what matters is where you were born and where you went to college. And who does this hurt? The people of West Virginia.

Which is why I'm counting the days until we are no longer among their numbers.

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1 comment:

Arizaphale said...