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  1. #1
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    Default A pretty crappy day

    Today's inspection started out good. 4th house for this client, a Dentist. Today he brings his wife, father-in law (80+) and a brother-in law. His agent is also there.

    I have just about finished and take him thru the house showing him the few things I found. Inspection went pretty well, and nothing on the list was huge.

    The wife asks me how big is the water heater, and how many are there. I tell her there is only one, it's 75 gallons and in the garage. She tells me it's not big enough. I tell her that it actually is sized about right for a 3 bath house, but would probably not be big enough (she interrupts me to tell me she takes 1/2 hour showers)..if she does laundry, runs the dishwasher, fills the whirlpool tub, and 3 people decide to take showers at the same time. She then turns to he father and asks him, "Is that true?". He doesn't say anything that I could tell. I then tell her that it would be very easy to add another one if she thought she needed it.

    A little later she asks me to come out on the deck and smell the pet urine. For the life of me, I can't smell a thing. She then tells me she also smelled it on the front porch, AND the Realtor smelled it too. I stood there for a few minutes as she was guiding me to the smell, and finally caught a whiff of what maybe be pet urine. I do have allergies, and really can't detect odors very well, and told her so.

    I went back inside and she followed me and told me the powder room didn't have GFCI protection. I told her it did, and the re-set was in the guest bathroom downstairs.

    She then told me it was obvious that I wasn't working for her even though she was paying me, and I was covering up stuff for the seller. I tried to explain about the re-set and she started walking out the front door, saying all the time that I was just a crook, and covering up stuff for the seller.

    On the front porch her father told me that in Florida each outlet had to have their own re-set. He was checking the exterior outlet on the front porch, I told him the re-set for the exterior outlets was in the garage, and the GFCI for the whirlpool was a breaker in the panel in the attic. He told me again how in Florida this wasn't allowed. I told him that he may not know it, but he was not in Florida any longer, that this is Tennessee, and the electrical inspectors do allow GFCI circuits to be installed this way. She stared in on me again about being a crook and I just turned around and walked back into the house to pack up.

    Sorry this vent is in real time, but she really got to me.

    Bad day...continued.

    So I'm driving to my next job when I hear an odd sound from my truck. Long story short, A spark plug blew out of the head. Don't know yet if it just backed out, or stripped the threads, or took part of the head with it. I'll know tomorrow.

    It's beer time
    JF
    Thanks for listening

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Dont feel bad, when I was in Florida I had to hear every day how the other 49 states did things. Spark plug doesnt sound too encouraging, especially if an aluminum head.

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jack,

    Not to worry, that guy does not know a thing about Florida either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jerry, who is "that guy?"

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jack - I feel your pain. People can be idiots.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    -- Who is "that guy?"
    /////

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    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Kondzich View Post
    Jerry, who is "that guy?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    On the front porch her father told me that in Florida
    Paul,

    THAT guy.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Dude sorry to hear about your day. I on the other hand I had a very good day. So we win some and ?

    My bad day was on the Tues. Agent calls the Police.

    As to your spark plug I bet it just back out. Stick it back in there.

    puts some lok-tite. the red stuff.

    Best

    Ron


  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    I love it when I get a call a at 8:30 and I am at my first inspection on an 11 month warranty, 3 story townhouse that is about as perfect as can be. This call I get is from a Realtor about 4 inches of water in a clients home because the toilet float valve decided to go bad at the same time the house cleaner flushes most of a paper towel roll down the toilet. I inspected the house over a month ago. When the house cleaner was there there was no water in the house. She was there till midnight the night before the guy moves in.

    The Realtor (been referring me for 4 years now) says how did we miss that. Hmmmmm, how did we miss that????? She says how could I have inspected the toilet and not found a bad valve. I say "it wasn't bad when I flushed the toilet at least three times during my inspection".

    Anyway, it did get resolved by the end of the day by the parties involved realised I am not responsible for future mechanical breakdowns/malfunctions etc.

    I have saved this Realtors client so many thousands of dollars over the years it is incomprehensible.

    The first words out of her mouth were "How could we have missed that"


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Hudson, WI
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    So I'm driving to my next job when I hear an odd sound from my truck. Long story short, A spark plug blew out of the head. Don't know yet if it just backed out, or stripped the threads, or took part of the head with it. I'll know tomorrow.

    It's beer time
    JF
    Thanks for listening
    Sorry to hear about your "bad day".

    Don't worry about the spark plug.

    Even if the threads are shot a Helicoil can usually be installed without taking the head off.

    Did one myself some years back on a Dodge minivan. Made a lot of noise didn't it?

    Hope Friday and the week end go much better for you.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Remodeled 3 years ago. I inspected it today. How about that chimney?
    The Broker/ Owner is having a bad day tommorrow. that might be 11 inches above the ridge

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  12. #12
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Maybe it is no longer in use!


  13. #13
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    Memphis TN.
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Today he brings his wife,
    .
    come out on the deck and smell the pet urine.
    .
    She then tells me she also smelled it on the front porch,
    .
    AND the Realtor smelled it too.
    .
    what maybe be pet urine.

    Jack,

    Thanks for the heads up.

    I'll add it now.

    This home Inspection was performed in accordance with Tennessee Public Acts Chapter 65 Senate Bill No. 302.

    This Home Inspection does not address:
    Lead based paint, Radon, Asbestos, Cockroaches, Rodents, Pesticides, Treated lumber, Fungus, Mold, Mercury, Carbon monoxide, PET or any other Known or Unknown URINE type ODORS.


    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 06-12-2008 at 07:15 PM. Reason: spelling
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jack,

    Strange you mentioned the pet urine thing.

    For years, I have walked up to homes and got that strong pet urine smell only to find out the homeowners had no pets.

    What I latter found out was shrubs known as "Boxwoods" have that odor about them.

    Maybe that was what the old heifer was smelling.

    rick


  15. #15
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Strange you mentioned the pet urine thing.

    Inspected one home that had a strong smell only to find out the homeowners had no pets.

    The dude just step up to the sliding glass door and did his thing on the floor and rear decking.

    I wish he had shrubs known as "Boxwoods".

    Thats why i always use a Screwdriver or something to pull back carpeting.

    Best

    Ron


  16. #16
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    It's very likely it could have been shrubs. The front porch was brick, and not so much as a stain or discolored spot anywhere. The rear deck had been painted, so hard to tell there.

    I guess what really got to me was that she was questioning my ethics. I pride myself in the way I treat my clients, and ethics is probably THE most important part of my general business plan (if you will). In almost 20 years, I have never had a client tell me I was a crook and unethical. It really stung.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jack, the woman must have come into the inspection with a chip on her shoulder and was probably looking for any little thing she could grab ahold of and twist around.

    Whether provoked or not, there are many skeptical and paranoid buyers out there who don't trust people in general. From a business standpoint, I market myself as not marketing to or working for realtors and doing so really prompts some clients to tell me that they don't trust the realtor-referred inspectors. I'm not saying this is the case with you Jack. It's just that some people (like that woman) don't have a lot of faith/trust in others and think everybody is in cahoots.


  18. #18
    David Banks's Avatar
    David Banks Guest

    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    It's very likely it could have been shrubs. The front porch was brick, and not so much as a stain or discolored spot anywhere. The rear deck had been painted, so hard to tell there.

    I guess what really got to me was that she was questioning my ethics. I pride myself in the way I treat my clients, and ethics is probably THE most important part of my general business plan (if you will). In almost 20 years, I have never had a client tell me I was a crook and unethical. It really stung.
    I had a similar experience. I saved this guy from a real piece of S.... He could not thank me enough. The next house I got their early and was talking to the Realtor when he pulled up. The Realtor walks away to open the door and he says to me " So the fix is in" I thought he was joking but after he got his report he called complaining I did not address a couple of issues which I then went over the report and showed him I did. He got mad and hung up. He would not answer my emails after that. What a rubber head.
    Luckily it is rare. You did the right thing and packed up and left.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    She then told me it was obvious that I wasn't working for her even though she was paying me, and I was covering up stuff for the seller. I tried to explain about the re-set and she started walking out the front door, saying all the time that I was just a crook, and covering up stuff for the seller.

    Jack, I think this is one of those folks that deserves to be fired. You must have more patience than I to have lasted as long as you did. When someone questions my ethics or integrity, that cuts deep.

    To contrast your day, I had a great one today. I got to do something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I was at my morning inspection doing the final show and tell with the client with two kids in tow and her realtor. The client is interrupted by a phone call and spends several minutes out of the room on the phone. The realtor mentions in hushed tones that she is having issues with her youngest child who is at a relatives house nearby. And mentions in passing that the client lost her husband in Iraq a little over a year ago and is having a tough time with the decisions about moving, etc. so please bear with the interruptions.

    We finish up with the inspection and she gets her check book out and I am able to say "no charge" and then I got choked up and had to leave the room before I could explain myself. They wondered if they had done something wrong, very perplexed since I was all but blubbering and could not talk. I finally was able to communicate it was my way of saying thank you to her and her husband for their sacrifice for me. It is such a small thing for me in comparison to the big thing for her and her family.
    I got my pay with a hug and tearful thank you.
    I have my doubts about posting this here, since it can't be anonymous, but I wanted to tell you guys even though I can use the money, it was just the right thing to do, and it felt great.
    I don't get to interact with many of our military, but just this once I was able to say thanks.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  20. #20
    Steve Lowery's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Way to go Jim. My son joined the army 1 1/2years ago to be a combat medic. Going over to the sand box thus autumn.

    You made my already good day even better. I'm looking for some way to make him and his oufit know they're appreciated.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Way to go Jim.

    Nick,
    The husband has used me 4 times before, only two times with this Realtor. The funny thing is, I wasn't chatting up this Realtor anyway. I addressed almost all of my comments and attention to my client, HER husband. I really only talked to her when I greeted her and shook her hand, then when she wanted to argue.

    On one hand, I want to tell the husband "no thanks" should he call again, but I think he respects me and my skills. I have also made close to $3,000 on his inspections. While that may not be in the Jerry Peck ballpark of fees, it's a pretty good payday for me.

    But I think they will probably buy this house. And I think HE will probably refer me to people he knows. He may even use me again should this one not work out. I have a feeling he runs the ship. His Realtor does not care for me**, yet I am the one doing his inspections - not her favorite guy.

    **Her comment to me yesterday was..."She (the wife from hell) didn't want this house, she wanted one down the street, but Dr. D... liked this one. And he chose you to inspect it. I don't know where you met him, but he really likes you, and respects your opinion, and didn't want to use anyone else (meaning her guy I guess), and was willing to wait for you...."

    Story on the truck is not good. Plug blew the threads out. Chasing it with a tap did not work. They are going to try another technique Monday, but worse case is a new head. Apparently, when a plug comes out, excessive heat or sparking happens and melts the aluminum at the threads. This has happened to mine (of course). They are trying to take the least expensive route to save me money - but may not be able to save it. Got to drive the wife's Highlander today...not too bad a ride for a change.

    Jim, again - proud to know you.
    JF


  22. #22
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Hey jim. dude I got choked up over you getting choked up. Any time some one starts talking about our boys in harms way I get choked up. you did good jim

    Bless you man and all our boys in harms way keeping us safe.

    Best

    Ron


  23. #23
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jim,

    Great story!

    Its not always about the money is it?

    rick


  24. #24
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jim, thats a great story. You definitely did the right thing, and Id like to think any of my peers would have done the same. The folks in the military definitely arent doing it for the money.

    Every year around Christmas, I offer 4 free inspections (not the full blown ones) to handicapped people, elderly, and single moms. Im thankful that I have been blessed and am able to give back, just as you were.


  25. #25
    Jake Guerrero's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jim,

    Great job!

    Jake


  26. #26
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jim,

    Being an old softy, I teared up just reading your story. Thanks for sharing.

    And thanks for showing your support to our fine men and women serving in the defense of our country.

    Actions like yours have a way of producing great returns even though I'm sure you feel paid in full already.

    All the best.


    Mike


  27. #27
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    UPDATE!!!

    Got the truck back this evening. They were able to install a threaded insert and get me going again. Couple hundred dollars, could have been much much more if it was a new head. I'm thankful for their efforts.

    My client called me over the weekend asking for me to fax the report. I told him that was not possible because: 1. photos do not fax well, and 2. way too many pages to fax. Besides, it was posted on the website on Thursday and he should already have a copy. I told him I could e-mail it again if needed.

    Not one word from him about his wife's behavior - nor an apology. I know he knows I was upset, because his Realtor told me she was going to say something to him. Besides, I'm sure his wife told him word for word how she "gave me what for", and of course the father-in -law probably chimed in too.

    I decided - he is "fired". Hope this one works out for him, because he will have to find another inspector to his dirty work from now on if it doesn't.


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Mustang
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    Thumbs up Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jim, Thank you for posting your story. I know it had to be hard to share, but it was well worth it. I'm looking forward to doing the same thing if the situation presents itself. Our men and women over seas deserve our respect and honor. Very seldom do we get a chance to show them how much we care. ATTABOY Jim!


  29. #29
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Jack Good to know your truck is up and running.

    I think sometimes that i will not work for some one. but then they call and I go and do the report. It's like a cold glass of water on his head... just as the good book points out.

    Sometimes we don't need any words.

    Best

    Ron


  30. #30
    Brian Thomas's Avatar
    Brian Thomas Guest

    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Jack, I think this is one of those folks that deserves to be fired. You must have more patience than I to have lasted as long as you did. When someone questions my ethics or integrity, that cuts deep.

    To contrast your day, I had a great one today. I got to do something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I was at my morning inspection doing the final show and tell with the client with two kids in tow and her realtor. The client is interrupted by a phone call and spends several minutes out of the room on the phone. The realtor mentions in hushed tones that she is having issues with her youngest child who is at a relatives house nearby. And mentions in passing that the client lost her husband in Iraq a little over a year ago and is having a tough time with the decisions about moving, etc. so please bear with the interruptions.

    We finish up with the inspection and she gets her check book out and I am able to say "no charge" and then I got choked up and had to leave the room before I could explain myself. They wondered if they had done something wrong, very perplexed since I was all but blubbering and could not talk. I finally was able to communicate it was my way of saying thank you to her and her husband for their sacrifice for me. It is such a small thing for me in comparison to the big thing for her and her family.
    I got my pay with a hug and tearful thank you.
    I have my doubts about posting this here, since it can't be anonymous, but I wanted to tell you guys even though I can use the money, it was just the right thing to do, and it felt great.
    I don't get to interact with many of our military, but just this once I was able to say thanks.
    Way to go jim...that was very nice of you and Ill bet you made her day.


  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: A pretty crappy day

    I've heard from other inspectors - but don't know if this is correct or Urban Inspection Legend - that if you decide to waive an inspection fee you should instead take a token payment of $1.00 so that your work is performed "for consideration given" so as to insure the legal validity of the contract and/or that you E&O/liability insurance is in force.

    I'd be interested to know if this is true.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

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