We are having some fun with blind companies at the moment. Through an overly-complicated typical BlackLOG type scenario we have ended up using two blind companies to install some shutters – what could possibly go wrong?
Blind Man – No.1
We had used a particular blind company for some of the windows at the front of the house previously. This company seems to have the exclusive rights to the style of shutter that we like (“exclusive” translating as “expensive” - I don’t know how Mrs B finds these “exclusive” companies, she just has the knack I guess....) so we were committed to using them again for the remaining front windows at least.
We instructed the original blind company to match the new shutters to our previous order – they came out to measure. At this point I’m tempted to crack the old joke that Mrs B was in the shower when they knocked and she could not find a towel –
Mrs B - “Who is it?”
Man at the door – “It’s only the blind man”
Oh well thinks Mrs B what’s the harm and opens the door.
Blind man - “Nice boobs madam – now, where do you want the blinds?”
But I don’t think I should as it’s a bit corny....
The original blind company were happy to match the style of the existing shutters but despite offering a healthy 15% discount for being previous customers of good repute (i.e. good for the money) their quote for the windows at the back of the house was about 30% more expensive than blind company number 2.
Alarm bells should have started ringing, however, when the fitter for the original blind company said, in a rather puzzled voice:
“That’s odd, the open shutter blades shouldn’t touch the window handles.”
I looked at him and mentioned that he had been one of the people who had measured up for the shutters.
He assured me that it would not be a problem it just needed a bit of adjustment....
It was only after the fitter left and I was looking at the windows from the outside that I noticed the blades on the new shutters were a different size to the blades on our existing shutters.
With a heavy heart I checked the paper work for the order we had authorised and for the first time noticed that they had quoted for shutters with the right size blades for the rear windows (being the ones we decided not to proceed with) but bigger blades for the front windows. The first part of our defence was that on all our correspondence with the company we had always requested that the new shutters must match those of our original order. The second was the fitter’s comment about the blades touching the window handles - they had clearly built the shutter frames for the smaller blades.
I phoned the blind company with righteous indignation on my side, mixed with a sickening side order of knowledge that we had signed off the incorrect paper work. I had worked out all my arguments and was ready to fight my corner, like a ninja hamster who has just had his family wiped out by a slightly inebriated elephant on a unicycle. After a faint claim that they thought Mrs B might have requested the bigger blades and my firm rebuttal that she most certainly had not, they crumbled (like a biscuit at the bottom of the packet that has been through your tumble dryer) and agreed to either replace the shutters or give us a hefty discount. We decided on the replacement option at the expense of most of their profit margin.
Don’t you just hate it when you put all that preparation into an argument, ready for the fight, only to find the damn elephant in the room has left taking his unicycle with him trailing empty beer cans and bits of dead hamsters....
Blind Man No.2
The second company won the contract to fit shutters to the windows at the back of the house, including the conservatory. While they did a good job on the kitchen and utility windows unfortunately it all went tits up when it came to the conservatory.
First off the shutters for the conservatory doors were manufactured to the wrong dimensions - while they got the width right, for some reason they had a major cock up on the height front. It sounds like the window lengths somehow got used for the doors, which would have resulted in us having saloon doors. Seems rather appropriate if you think in terms of Cowboys....
Still, to be fair to them, they noticed the problem before installation and rather than try and fit them and hope we would not notice the missing bits, they let us know that the doors would have to be installed at a later date. What they did try and get away with however was fitting different height shutters on one wall to the other – only about 5cm but very noticeable and odd looking. This was made worse because the shutters are split so that you can have the top one open and the bottom ones shut. The split has been made at different levels and so when in operation looks as daft as a Duck Billed platypus driving a Formula 1 racing car up the side of Everest ....
The fitters agreed it wasn’t right and fortunately backed us when the guy who had done the measuring tried to claim that it had to be done that way. The company were apologetic and, other than Mr Measurer (whom I’m guessing lost his commission), agreed with us and are in the process of remaking the shutters to the correct specification.
So all in all, slightly annoying and a bit of a delay but overall not the end of the world.
Valentine's Days massacre
I got Mrs B tickets for Midnight Tango – the West End show starring Vincent and Flavia, professional dancers in one of Mrs B’s favourite TV programs – “Strictly Come Dancing”. Mrs B loved the show and I managed to catch up on some zzzzzz – interrupted occasionally by a loving elbow, which accidently and rather viciously collided with my ribs (still slightly bruised, thanks for asking). I’m afraid this somewhat reduced the number of brownie points that I had received for getting the tickets in the first place....
Looking around it appeared to be a similar story played out over a large number of relationships, lots of bored-looking men sitting next to bright eyed, over excited partners who could barely contain themselves.
Alfie to become legitimate
Congratulations to our young friends Joe and Kirsty who have got engaged – Kirsty got a massive sapphire and diamond ring, while Joe seems to have got a Range Rover out of the deal. It has a private number plate on it - “30 KJ”. Joe explained that it was on the car when he bought it but would be going back to the owner, once the car had been re-registered with a replacement plate. Being typical men we hadn’t noticed anything significant about it – A different story when Mrs B saw it –
Mrs B – “Nice touch: KJ”
Joe – “What?”
Mrs B “KJ – Kirsty and Joe”
Joe – “Oh Yeah”
Even better I believe they were 14 and 16 when they first met (I’m sure you can do the maths...) – So it’s a bit unfortunate that they won’t get to keep it – unless they stump up about £10,000 for it....
|Alfie happy to be losing his|
"Alfie the Bastard" tag from
the other pups at obediance
The regular section in support of Joe (Stunt Cock) and his growing watch business Xupes. Joe mentioned that they had been getting a number of hits via the BlackLOG.
Xupes has been trading for over 2 years and Joe has recently developed some great contacts in the trade which enables him to pick up surplus stock and sell them at great prices. Mrs B is a regular purchaser from his jewellery section, going self service once she finally realised that her husband is not the jewellery buying type…
Record of the week
Blind among the flowers by The Tourist – Featuring a certain Miss Annie Lennox from way back in 1979. I wrote and asked her if she could change the title to “Blind among the fitters” but she declined
Blind before you stop by Meat Loaf – Makes me think, should the law be changed so that all blind men must have either a white stick attached to the front of their van or be led around by a guide vehicle????
Blinded by the light by Manfred Mann’s earth band – We’re not anymore. Although we currently have the wrong blinds fitted they still do the job while we wait for the replacements....
All pictures by The Beast
|Local Birds auditioning for the remake |
of Alfred Hitchcocks "The Birds"
|Henry Moore they sure were some|
powerful drugs that he was on...
|Kirsty spotting for Alfie in his bid|
to make olympic qualification in
the clean and Jerk...
|That's it for another week...|
tune in next time for Kaiser Chiefs
and deatils of a competition
that I've entered....