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Take my money, contractors! Fri, Mar 10, 2017
I've been scoping out a few different home renovations recently, and I'm surprised how difficult it is to find a reliable human being who'll take my money in exchange for a service performed.  Just getting someone to pick up the phone or call back can be a pain in the ass.  One contractor answered his cell phone with a loud, "HELLO?", and I assumed I had the wrong number.  Even he seemed a little unsure about why I was calling him.  You're a contractor, right?  "Oh yeah, what do you need?"  *eyeroll*

Then there's the issue of getting a person to show up for an estimate.  Look, I get it.  Estimating a job is easily the worst part of the whole deal.  You're essentially planning out your livelihood and work schedule, with the very real possibility of the customer going with a different contractor.  But hey here's an idea:  Show up to my house at the desired time on the desired day, or let me know if you need to reschedule.  I'm not a slave driver, and I'm not in a rush.  But when your "truck breaks down" and you happen to "lose my number" (this was an actual excuse), you've just wasted my entire fucking Friday afternoon, asshole. 

Finally there's the estimate, which "you'll get in a day or two."  No problem; I'm not in a rush.  A week goes by; where's the estimate?  "Oh I emailed it to; it's probably in your spam folder."  Do we really need to play this game?  It's not in my spam folder; you didn't send it.  Don't be a shithead. 

I just don't get why this needs to be so difficult.  I'm trying to give you money.  Take my money!  I have money!  Take it from me in exchange for doing a job!  Why contractors are so shitty when it comes to customer relations is beyond me.  Look, I get that your job is construction and demolition and not sales, but if you had put in a fucking ounce of effort in this, you'd have about $7000 extra in your pocket right now. #business

Ski resort directions Fri, Mar 10, 2017
One issue that always comes up when skiing or snowboarding is how to get to another part of the mountain.  Ski resorts hand out pocket-sized maps, and big maps are available at the top of most ski lifts.  But planning a route down the mountain rarely goes as desired.  It's often hard to see which trails are linked to each other, and it's sometimes even hard to tell which direction certain trails travel.  A simple solution would be to have an app that could give you directions like Google Maps:  "Go on this trail, turn right at the intersection, take the second lift up to the summit," etc.  It could even have an option for avoiding flat areas, which are the bane of every snowboarder's existence.  Several ski resorts already have apps that tell you the wait time at different lift lines, and cell service at most mountains is now pretty standard.  I'll be waiting for this to appear in the coming years. #sports