If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

How to get screwed over by an Alaskan!

When we last visited, you and I, (and that creepy girl over there who keeps staring at me)  were in the midst of a large undertaking.  Not the body preservation type of undertaking but the other kind where you.....oh sheesh forget it.  I was in the middle of a job.  Let's not complicate things with extra words and shiny letters.

I was playing with my wood, no... another guys wood, no.....hell no... why do these things always come out in such a masturbatory disturbing way.  I am getting way off track and I'm only on the second paragraph.
Better yet just go back and read the last post.   LAST POST 

OK now that were all up to speed. I will refresh you on the details of the wood stove bartering system.
We will just call the guy Alaska because that's where he lives most of the time and I hear the weather is crazy, cold and mind numbing.  (sorta fits).
Alaska tells me that I have to haul the firewood out of the woods, split it and stack it and when I reach 22 face cord then we are even.  (A face cord is a stack of wood cut 16" wide, stacked 4 feet high and 8 feet long).  He will supply: chain saws, tractor, trailer, splitter and gas.  I supply: My ability to work like a pack of migrant Mexicans.

First weekend is over.  16 of 22 face cord finished.  6 more to go.

I show up Friday, after working overtime at my real job, to get a jump on the last part.

Now before I go any further let's refresh the numbers of the job.  Last year he told me he paid $250 for the stove and he just wants to get his money back.  This year he tells me $375 plus $50 for delivery.  I know the delivery charge is a flat out lie because my co-worker is his nephew and he and another coworker of mine went and picked it up for Alaska and never received a dime in compensation.  So now we went from $250 to $425.  Not much I can do about that.  I didn't get it in writing the year before.  Chalk one win up for Alaska.

Alaska sells his wood for $55 a face cord.  That is roughly $1200 bucks for 22 face cord.  His only cost on that is the fuel involved for me to collect it.  His idea is that I receive a 1/3 of the profit on the wood sales which roughly equals the $425 number from above.  OK.  It really sucks knowing that I should only be working for the original $250.

OK back to Friday.  I show up and he is out on the splitter stacking wood.  He has finished stacking my pallets which I had set up to hold 22 face cord.  I didn't like this much because now I had to re-set everything to finish.

He has the tractor hooked up to the trailer, the splitter right next to it.  He has the crane on the splitter (which was magically vacant when I was splitting)  He simply lowers the grapple hook into the trailer full of firewood rounds, grabs one, hits the button and swings it over and places it on the splitter.  Exactly what I had wanted to do but of course when I was doing it the splitter wasn't available and the neither was the crane.
I shake my head in disgust as my back screams at me when it notices how easy this job could have been.
This is where it gets interesting.

Alaska looks at me and says, "I don't know why you didn't do it this way.  It's so much easier.  What you were doing was just plain stupid".

Dumbfounded I stood there.  I didn't know what to say.  It was like the time that kid hit a deer with his car in front of my house.  The cops showed up and put the deer out of its misery.  The kid didn't want the deer so the officer gave me a permit to keep it.  I drug it into the garage and skinned and cleaned it.
The next day the same kids shows up and knocks on the door.  He asks me if I can make jerky for him out of the deer that he hit with his car.  "I mean cuz after all it was my car that killed it".
That was the dumbfounded look I had on my face now.
Chalk another one up for Alaska.  Not too often that you can leave me speechless.

So with that said he looks at me and says, "what do you think about paying for gas?"
"It's only fair.  When I need a part flown in, up in Alaska, I don't just pay for the part I have to pay for the fuel in the plane too.  If you don't pay for gas then I'm losing money on this deal.  I should have just taken cash for the stove."

Once again the deer/car kid is knocking at my door.  This is like Stephen King wrote the movie Ground Hogs Day.   I'm speechless!  Again!!

After a few seconds, and swallowing a mouthful of blood that I had been collecting from my tongue where my teeth had just crushed it I calmly said, "No I don't think that's fair".
"You don't think that's fair?", Alaska says.
"Nope and I think the 22 face cord price is pretty steep too", I tell him.  (I'm starting to get my feet back)
"You do, eh?" Alaska torts.
I shake my head up and down, once again getting a firm grasp on the tongue with my molars.

He stands there for a minute, kinda looking me up and down.  Weighing, measuring me.  Reading me, which was quite easy at this point.  I'm sure my face was as red as the blood that was about to pour from this guy's nose.
"Well I guess we're even then", he says.

Mother F^&%#$!!!!!!!!!

If that kid knocks on my door one more time today I'm gonna lose it.

Once again speechless.  WTF did he just say?  We are even?

"Come again?", I say.
"All square", he says.

At this point I don't know what to do.  I still had 6 face cord to go.  Why would he pull the plug on the deal?  Was he going to try and take the stove back?  Did he realize the error of his ways?  Was he just trying to get rid of me so I wouldn't ask to hunt his land or cut anymore wood for my own house?

"Well I'm sorry it didn't work out the way you had hoped it to," I said to him.
"It's better this way", he responds.  Once again I am dumbfounded by what comes out of this guys mouth.
Why is it better this way?  You just lost out on 6 more face cords worth of labor.  I don't get it.

I turn and walk back to my truck.  I'm still a little baffled by the sequence of events but I have a wood stove.  He ended up with $1650 worth of sale ready firewood.  To me it's even.  I'm not upset about the 16 face cord.
I am upset about the fact that he would do that to me.  I had done nothing but work my butt off for everything we had bartered for.  I wasn't out to screw him over by any means.  Just doesn't make sense.

So in the end I learned a few valuable lessons.
#1 Get everything in writing before you agree to a deal.
#2 Don't trust Alaskans
#3 Don't think everything has to make sense (at least in your mind)
#4 Lastly, don't open the door when that damn kid is knocking!

OK Now I get it!

Stay tuned, Deer Camp is in two weeks.  Preparations begin today!

1 comment:

  1. Geez, the least he could've done when he was screwing you was give you a reach-around.


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