Just got the keys to our old house back from an employee.Warning: Long, dumb story to follow! (Click to show)
We have a long-term employee (almost 50 years here!) whose son is kind of a mess. I think he (talking about the son) has hearing issues that make him seem even more impaired than he may actually be but I think there have always been some issues with him. I've known him since he was a kid and he wasn't always quite so screwy (he's probably early 40s now). Anyways, he does some handyman work and does absolutely perfect, gorgeous work. He is a real artist and his stuff is always of great quality. We have used him to do work here at the office on many occasions... but had stopped using him of late because he is just so dodgy. If you can get him to show up, the work is wonderful, but he'll show up one day, set up his stuff, then disappear for a week. It became overly problematic. Obvious the guy has some issues with the drink, maybe into some drugs, but tough to tell.
My wife and I have not sold our old house and it is in desperate need of some sprucing up, so we thought to use this guy for a few odd jobs. There was no huge rush on it and we didn't mind if he was a little flakey so long as he got the job done. Furthermore, since he lives with his Dad and the dad knew he was working with us, I figured the father would make damned sure the work would eventually get done. So we had him do some small jobs and he was doing beautifully. Taking his sweet time, but stuff was getting done.
Anyways, he kept talking us into doing more and more work, which was all fine. Finally, we agreed to have him do a significant chunk of work for about $1200. So I gave him a deposit of a few hundred bucks for material and we said he'd get a "bonus" if he got the work done by a certain date. Anyways, a week or two later he said that a few things had not gone well, recommended a few other things, and asked for some more money based on the progress he had made. We did not check the progress, trusting him, and gave him a few hundo more. $750 in total.
Anyways, the weeks dragged on, the work was not getting done, and he started getting more and more dodgy about answering the phone, returning calls, etc. We started to worry.
My wife mentioned something to the father at our company Xmas party (my wife used to work here so she knows the father well too). Within hours, we at least get our first phone call back, but there's lots of excuse making and promises to finish, but eventually the lines go silent again. My wife eventually leaves a message saying "I know what's going on, you spent the money, you need to call me and figure out a plan to get this right, or I'm going to tell your Dad to bring the keys back into work." The next morning, she gets a really sketchy call from some dude pretending to be X's "boss" saying "oh, hi, this the only number in X's phone, he left it at work and I can't reach him because his mom was in a serious car accident. They're not sure if she's going to make it. He's at the hospital with his family." Obviously, one of his meth buddies or something but this cockamamie scheme forgets that we both know the family. So my wife contacts the father asking "Is Y alright? Heard she was in a major accident" and of course there has been no such thing. So the jig is really up, and my wife gently says "hey, this has not gone well, we need the keys back so we can get someone else to finish the work." Father says some stuff about son needing to collect his tools, can't give the key back yet, etc etc. She says "figure it out, I'll have Douglas bring his tools into work if that's necessary, we're done."
Anyways, the upshot is that I finally have the keys back, which I guess is good, but it's sort of the final nail in this coffin. I'm out $750 for halfway done work I'm going to have to pay someone else to do (things are torn up but I think most of the "material" never materialized, and ended up in someone's arm/nose/whatever). But ultimately sadder and worse than any of it is just the loss of innocence of the whole thing. I'd let my wife handle the business with the Dad, as I was trying to be sensitive to everyone in the affair, in particular the father and his professional position within the company. Though he had "marketed" his son's work to me personally, and to the company, before. That he has not mentioned anything to me, or really apologized, or made sure the work got done, or really addressed the issue at all other than silently handing the keys back suggests the son is really pretty far gone and that he is pretty ashamed about the whole thing or in denial or whatever, and that's much, much worse. A truly sad, pathetic situation, and it's bringing me down.
tl; dr version - I'm out $750 and got a front-row seat to a sad, crumbling family/drugs situation.