One of the things that Stefania and I do twice per year, usually after bottling and harvest, is rate all of our vendors. There are usually somewhere between 15 and 25 vendors that we rate. We give everyone a grade from A to F. A’s and B’s we keep. If there was a reason someone got a B we make sure we communicate what we want to be done better next time.
C’s and D’s are on notice. We tell them that we are unhappy and why. We also tell them that we’re looking for alternatives and unless they improve we will replace them. We end up replacing a lot of C and D companies. They reason they get those grades is usually systemic to the company and not a matter of a few correctable items. F is for fired. We do give F’s and we do have vendors we won’t work with anymore.
So what in the world does this have to do with me and a sledgehammer? Well we finally got the budget to break out the old cement slab in the backyard as the first step in installing a redwood deck. Stefania and I did all the demolition with heroic help from our friend Eric. A few people asked: ‘Why don’t you just go down to Home Depot and hire a couple guys?” Well I thought about that, and I also thought my dad never went out and hired guys when I was a kid, he did it himself with a friend or two. It occurred to me later that when I was a ‘kid’ my dad was 27 not 45. No wonder he never needed to hire a couple guys.
The previous homeowner here we lovingly refer to as “F…in Jackwagon” had some surprises in store for us as we demolished. Re-bar sticking out of the foundation, a buried 1/2 ton cement block (why dispose of properly when you can bury it???), an unsteady pour of cement that went from 4 to 10 inches thick and my favorite a McDonalds soda cup circa 1967 embedded in the cement. In all we hauled out by wheelbarrow 6 cubic yards.
It’s where we hauled it to that brings me back to the vendor list. One vendor we’ve used now since 2009 is Steve’s Hauling. We use Steve to take pruning out of vineyards and haul away any other debris we have from site construction or maintenance. We call, give him the address, tell him what we need done, and he does it and sends a reasonable bill. Every year we’ve given Steve an A+. We used him again for this job and once again an A+ job. Steve Stone – Steve’s Hauling 510-719-2994 A+!