We have an on and off again relationship with a carpenter here. He does nice work when he does it. He starts out great - promising something by a certain date, and when he's 'on', he usually hits within a week or so.
So after he completes the first project, we give him something else to do. And then the problems start. He takes the deposit for material, gives us a date when he'll be back to install...and doesn't show up. This starts a daily cycle for Miguel...drive by his house, and if he's home, ask him when he's coming.
"Tomorrow - 10 am". Miguel looks him in the eye and says "Sure?". The carpenter looks him back in the eye and swears he will be there. Miguel continues to look him in the eye. "Que mes?" (which month?). The carpenter sheepishly grins but swears he will be there. "Faulta nada" (nothing will keep him away).
This went on a couple of years ago for WEEKS. Finally a threat to go to the police to get back the deposit resulted in a shoddy installation and a broken relationship with a good customer. We moved on to another carpenter - a retired man who is only here now and then. When we passed the other carpenter in the street it was all I could do to wave at him, with gritted teeth.
I figured that carpenter was history, but when the retired carpenter let us down a bit, I was surprised to hear that Miguel had retained the other carpenter again. That is one thing about men and/or Mexicans - they get mad, have it out, but they move past it and are able to continue working with each other. I've seen this over and over, and I don't think women work the same way. Once we have a conflict with someone, that sort of seals the fate of the relationship. At least, that's what I've observed in my working world.
Anyway, so we are back working with this carpenter again, and he told Miguel he saw the error of his ways. He lost a lot of good customers from his unreliable behavior, and those days are over. He will deliver what he promises. And he did, for the first project. And even the second, although he still has a tiny piece to complete. Now we're at the third project and seeing a repeat performance from two years ago.
He says he will be here. He isn't. Miguel drives by his house, looks him in the eye...you know the drill.
The other day, after not showing up for more than a week, as promised, he stopped by in the afternoon just to tell us he wasn't coming. I was right there when he promised he would be here tomorrow, it's a free day for him, no other clients needing his attention. 10 am sharp, he will be here.
By three o-clock the next day, having forgotten all about the carpenter until then, we realize he has not shown up. I guess we sort of expect him not to show up, and so he is just meeting our expectations.
So we went to Cancun, and if the carpenter came by just to tell us he wasn't coming, we weren't home to hear it. Take that, you carpenter, you!