The RC Jones Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy

Imagine the emotional turmoil one might experience if you were on the roof of your house. Below you see the water rising. Your house, neighborhood and friends were all being destroyed.

Personally, I would pray, as I’m sure did this one gentleman.

An inexhaustible emotional range filled the man’s head as he sat strangely assured on his roof. The water was now rising past the eves. Seemingly out of nowhere a man in a rubber dingy came paddling past. He offered the man rescue. “My God will save me,” said the man. Two hours later the national guard comes by in a outboard metal Johnboat and offered rescue. Again, “My God will save me,” shouted the man on the roof. Another hour lapsed. The flood waters were up to the man’s chin by this time. Finally the U.S. Coast Guard hovered above with basket. “My God will save me,” screamed the man who was by now standing tiptoe and struggling to breathe.

God didn’t save him.

Once in heaven, the man had a bone to pick with God. He screamed about his family. And he screamed about how young he was. “Why? WHY! Why didn’t you rescue me? I have faith. I believe. I read your word. Why did you take my life, Lord?” God looked at the man and said, “Son, I sent you a dingy, a motorboat, and a helicopter. When was the bell going to go off?”

Two days ago the bell went off for wifey and me. There have been too many excuses, too many mistakes, and too much deceit.

The boys from RC Jones construction, Jim Hale, President, and Jamie Decker, project manager #2, came by yesterday to explain the additional contract changes. These encompassed the things that we were promised by John Riley, project manager #1, versus what we are actually getting. Long story short, there is an additional price tag of approximately $20,000.

My brain quickly ran the calculations of events past:

  • Contract signed April 9th–check
  • September 20th, I have one wall-to-nowhere–check
  • Too many/too much list–check
  • All things listed in the previous blogs–check
  • Two-and-a-half months without any progress aside from Ernie’s big blue house–check
And with that, I signed all three contract changes, whipped out my walkin’-round money, paid in cash, and gave both of them a big ole kum-by-ya kiss on the lips. Signed and sealed daddy-o. Let the games begin.

The reality of the situation is that I made my case to Mr. Hale and Mr. Decker. It’s the same story that I’ve written about in blogs previous. I then offered Mr. Hale the option to back out of the contract.

There were points made here and points made there–a back-and-forth of yes, but, and, uh, but, point, point, counterpoint continued for about 20 minutes. It was everything that we had talked about. Everything that has been written in this blog sans the mild sarcasm. It was all said again, sometimes twice. However, the bottom line was this. We paid RC Jones $10,000 down payment. RC Jones, according to the BB&T-hired appraiser, has facilitated just shy of $10,000 worth of work. Shy about $250 or something close to that.

I’m sure Ernie’s big blue house is costing something to rent. After all, RC Jones was kind enough to clean up construction debris strewn throughout my yard after only two short months. No big deal, though. What kind of summertime fun could a six-year-old have in the back yard unless he or she was forced to endure repeated tales of lockjaw.

Although I’m certain that all initial costs such as dumpster rent, building permits, etc. associated with beginning a construction project are factored into the first bank draw appraisal, Mr. Hale heavily suggested that RC Jones has much more wrapped up into my wall-to-nowhere than I could possibly imagine. He of course didn’t have a figure. I’m sure he’ll find one.

Regardless, I’m willing to take the $250 bite so that my family doesn’t have to endure this struggle any longer than necessary.

“No, I’m sorry honey, we can’t take our 10th anniversary trip to Rome. But c’mon down here and throw some of these dirt clods against our wall. It’s funner than standing in any ole Roman Apocalypse.”

Two more quick points before you learn the end of this tale. (shhh….it’s going to end with more uncertainty. don’t tell anyone.)

The emotional turmoil clearly came through as wifey preached her testimony of do-you-know-how-we-feel to those in attendance. To keep it brief, I’ll described it as akin to a roller coaster that tops the hill and leads to an increasingly faster dive of disappointment and sorrow.

After her well-deserved vent, I looked at Jim Hale and said, “Do you understand how we feel?” Yes was his answers. I then said, “If you know how we feel, then you’ll do the right thing and allow us to part company, evenly.” The room was silent. Mr. Hale was looking down at the table. Everyone in the room now understood what our family has been going through.

That’s when the meeting should have come to an end. It didn’t.

Within in five minutes it seemed like the other two in the room were completely absent of their previous emotion.

The conversation following made it pretty apparent to me that Mr. Hale and Mr. Decker were struggling with some bruised egos. Subsequently, they seemed on the defensive when the meeting came to a close. It didn’t end like I wish it would have, with a handshake and money paid for services rendered. Mr. Hale said he would have to now consult with his lawyer (…and here we go) and the State of SC Department of LLR about his liability of leaving the project unfinished. I think that seems fair enough, and it sounds reasonable. However, the tone of the departure was not one of fair enough.

As Jim and Jamie walked out the door, Jim turned to me and said, “I want you to take the blog down.”
(ppssstt…wrong words to say to a journalist, dude…just sayin’, that’s all.)

Now, I made my case during our meeting on the assumption that everyone knew about my blog. C’mon, Hoffa called me last week about it. I could only assume that everyone involved knew. Regardless, Jim made it a point to acknowledge the fact that I have written about my life in my blog. He also seemed to alluded to my blog posts as being in some fashion a bargaining chip in further discussion. This is the read-between-the-lines interpretation that I gleaned from his fairly aggressive final words. He made no such overt claims.

So on top of everything else that has happened with this fiasco, I get the feeling that my honest emotional journey through one of life’s mile points, as well as my first amendment rights, are going to factored in to how this all shakes out. The RC Jones Company could try to enforce making us pay a 25% fee for breaking the contract, in this case the fee amounts to the cost of a year-old SUV. I guess it’s reparations for all the pain and suffering I caused them.

Jim Hale could try to enforce the contract and make us abide by the full amount. Or, the RC Jones Company and my family could to part ways on an equal $10,000 fair payment for fair services deal. No harm, no foul. Have a nice day. There is also the possibility that such an agreement is dependant upon me pulling the RC Jones Chronicles as a “courtesy” for providing my family the opportunity for a fair split.

Why do my first amendment rights have to play a part of any of this? Is it fear of truth?

Mr. Hale informed me as he was leaving that he hadn’t read the blogs yet, he just knew about them. “It was your banker who told me.” He paused, looked up again and said, “Always have an exit strategy.” He then turned and walked to his truck.

I don’t know what that means. Is it a threat of some kind? Is he trying to teach me a lesson or something? Maybe he thought we were talking about presidential war politics, I don’t know. I’ll keep you posted.

As a quick side note, I’ve put together a time-lapse video of the construction project. Have a look.

Oh, wait. One last thing: It occurs to me that my blog entries are now of some value. Laughable I know, but seemingly true. Therefore, rights to the RC Jones Chronicles are now for sale. Please feel free to inquire with your best offer.

(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI –
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager

RC Jones provides home and commercial improvement, repair and restoration. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.

Original posted on August 15, 2008. Accidentally reposted on August 23, 2008.

Hoffa Not Dead
Former project manager and R.C. Jones Company salesman Jimmy Hoffa has reappeared from the shadows of courteous communication with questions of how things are going.

Nice.

So glad you care enough to call. P.S. You forgot the reach-around.

It seems that Hoffa’s associates tend to google the R.C. Jones Company name on occasion. Hence this response when I answered the phone, “Hey [me], it’s John…AKA Jimmy Hoffa.”

I wanted to snicker. I couldn’t. It’s just not funny any longer. More on Hoffa later.

Comprehending Incentive
A payment plan discrepancy, otherwise known as a draw, is the latest in the Cirque du Jonesleil festival of incompetence. A standard construction loan works thusly: A loan is obtained, a construction contract is signed, and a portion of loan–about 10 % of the loan value–is given to the contractor so that he can start purchasing materials, etc. The contractor begins working. The bank then allows the loanee to pay for services rendered. The one exception is that first 10 %. In return, the contractor must provide more than 10 % of the work in order to collect the next draw. An example might be that the contractor finishes 20 % of the work. The contractor then fills out the appropriate bank draw form and submits to the bank. The bank sends an appraiser to the construction site. If the appraiser agrees that 20% of the work is complete, the contractor would then get paid another 10% draw. What this does is protects the bank’s investment and the people who are investing in their home. Easy enough. Good. We move on.

The boys at R.C. Jones construction don’t have the same policy. They want 25% down, 25% very soon after the project starts and so on. The outstanding point is that they get all of the cash before the work is complete. The argument, if you will, is that the construction company isn’t a bank and that they shouldn’t have to put forth cash in advance. However, this leaves the loanee without recourse–aside from a lawsuit–if the contractor decides not to finish the work.

HUH?
Hoffa had no problem with the bank’s concept of incentive draw. We amended the contract and signed. After Hoffa disappeared and Jamie Decker took over as the project manager, RC Jones balked at this idea.

“Imagine that RC Jones takes all of the door knobs off of the doors before they are installed.” This is how I began my explanation to Jamie about the draw incentive. I continued: “RC Jones does this because they want the doors to be painted before the door knobs are installed, painting (and then installing the door knobs) being the last part of the project. If RC Jones has all of the money before the door knobs are installed, what is the incentive to return to install said knobs? Someone certainly isn’t going to go to court for door knobs.”

Now, to me this seems like a relatively simple verbal illustration of the incentive draw. Jamie’s response: “Umm, we don’t do that with our doors.”

Huh?

 The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company.  JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.  My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.

Progress….kinda (Keep in mind while reading this section that the contract was signed on April 9, 2008.)
Maybe progress is a bit too honest of a word to describe what has happened in the last two weeks. The stress on my family has certainly increased. My blood pressure has increased. The non-effective progress of RC Jones has increased. However, we do have movement. You’ll notice in the photos that we now have a whale of a trash can sitting in our driveway. You’ll also see an RC Jones….wait….strike that…..a J.D. Hale, Co. company sign in our yard. Why Mr. Hale decided to put the sign of an RC Jones wholly-owned subsidiary in my yard instead of a RC Jones sign is still a mystery to me. I have some speculation but nothing more.

Also, my brother and sister-in-law have graciously offered to allow us to move in with them. I love my family.

The project manager did send his guys to get rid of some of the trash in my yard. He also instructed his men to toss approx. 15-20 2x6x16 pieces of pressure treated lumber that were neatly stacked beside my lawnmower. I purposely removed these from my deck before any construction started. I guess I should have simply tossed my lumber into a littered pile. To his credit, two days later the pieces of lumber were stacked neatly back where I had them. The hardened concrete remains on my lawn.

Okay, that pretty much wraps up the progress report.

The Worst Kind of News
I’ll say it in every post; it’s my fault for not allowing a complete comprehension of the contract to seep into my brain. I guess I got a little too excited. I do however, share the same amount of blame–if not more so–on the afore mentioned Hoffa. He knew exactly what we wanted. He repeated it to me on the phone yesterday. I completely believe that he didn’t even read the contract. If he would have, he would have caught the errors.

I explained to Hoffa how the contract actually reads. He explained how exasperated he was with RC Jones and how this is all turning out. We spoke for a good long time, most of which was him trying to explain to me why he is no longer in the employ of RC Jones. Cue violin concerto.

The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. My experience with the RC Jones Company of Greenville South Carolina: A review of experiences, promises, and contract issues.

I wonder if he thinks that I believe him? Actually I do, slightly. Maybe it’s that I can’t get over the fact that he seems to be such a nice guy. Regardless, my faith in anyone within the realm of RC Jones is lackluster–to put it mildly.

So on with the meat of the bad news. Here is what Hoffa understood and promised us that we would get, which so happens to be exactly what we wanted. Keep in mind I’m only covering the stuff that we expected but are not actually getting.

We wanted a finished basement. The contract reads that we will have half of the downstairs area covered with a concrete slab, the other half dirt. If you’re planning on spending as much money as we are, what the f*ck would anyone want a frickin’ dirt floor room?

We wanted new HVAC, or at least an extension of our HVAC system to cover the new addition. Nada.
We wanted a 22′ x 12′ deck that would double as a car port. Nada.
We wanted our basement finished, with a concrete slap, drywall and electric. Nada.
We were promised that we could stay in our house with our two daughters, one of which is a baby. Uh, nada.

But wait, it gets worse. The bank informed us that we can decrease our loan amount but not increase it. If we need more, we’ll have to apply for another loan and then pay all the closing costs and additional fees yet again. This means that we’re going to have to come up with somewhere between $10,000 – $15,000 out-of-pocket to pay for what Hoffa said we were getting. Ah, trust. How wonderful.

The Wrap
Hoffa lives, and called because someone pointed out that he is mentioned in my blog. RC Jones became angry because they wanted to be paid for work not yet complete. The project manager can’t grasp the idea of concept. Progress on the project is nothing more than frivolous phone conversations. My lumber was tossed and then untossed. We have a place to say if necessary. We now have to come up with an additional $15,000 to actually get what we were promised. RC Jones wants us to sign another contract with them to do those things that we were promised. The wall to nowhere now has a trashy, whale-sized blue friend.

C’mon now, make me smile. I need it. Pontificate on what you believe will happen next. The winner gets his or her choice of one of the 700 bricks stacked on the side of my house.

(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI –
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week

Getting Hit

On the Attack

Kicking Something

Damn it….damn it..damn it..damn it… Damn-it.


(Editor’s Note) We are the target audience for home improvement, repair and restoration companies such as The R.C. Jones Company. We are of the right age and income. I understand that such a target audience tends to find product and service references via the Internet. My review is not intended as one of malicious intent, but only as a truthful review of promise, service and contract with the RC Jones Company. I will continue to update the RC Jones Chronicles with the experiences of my family, as we see them, over the coming months and until the project is complete. The RC Jones Company provides home improvements and commercial improvement, repair, restoration, construction, and several other similar services. They are based out of Mauldin, SC, and service cities surrounding the Greenville, Spartanburg, Simpsonville and Anderson South Carolina markets. The J.D. Hale Company (JD Hale, Co) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RC Jones Company. Jim Hale is the owner of the RC Jones Company. JD Hale construction company advertises using the following words: Build Remodel Roofing.

The RC Jones Company Chronicles
Part I – The RC Jones Company of Greenville, SC: A Woeful Home Improvement Experience
Part II – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: The Project Manager Switcheroo
Part III – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Soccer Metaphor of My Week
Part IV – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: What Now Pow Wow
Part V – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Hoffa Found Alive, Concept Confuses Project Manager
Part VI –
The RC Jones Company Chronicles: Always Have An Exit Strategy
Part VII – The RC Jones Company Chronicles: A Glimpse Into Personality

 

Visit Worlds Beyond Rittman Photoblog.