Contractors: The Profession That Time Forgot

Carl: Didn’t you get the email?
Homer: What’s an email?
Lenny: It’s a computer thing, like an electric letter…
Carl: …or a quiet phone call.

– The Simpsons

We are trying to get a few bids on our possible loft project. Actually, we have been trying to do so since early November, and having now semi-emerged from the festive season, I’m revisiting the effort.

Typically, I am the one who contacts tradespeople for quotes, but (also typically) I work during the business day. For me, the option to email a potential contractor after hours and hear back from them later (by email or phone) is very convenient. I imagine it’s more convenient for the builder to be able to pick a time to respond, rather than having me call when he or she is busy. And I like that I can put down the project basics so that the company has some background to start with. That all seems efficient and civilized, yes?

If you agree, then please allow me a tiny rant.


I come not to praise email, but to bear witness that YOU PUT EMAIL ON YOUR WEBSITE. If you don’t want to use email, don’t do that! If you put an email form or address on your website, could you please monitor it? Check your spam filters once in a while? Get email on your phone? Give the first flying furball that I’m looking to give you money?

This isn’t freakin’ Brigadoon, people. We’re 20 years into widespread email use.

People using email in 1993. You can tell it's 1993 because it's in black and white. (via)

People using email in 1993. You can tell it’s 1993 because it’s in black and white. (via)

A special shout-out to the ONE GUY out of eight since the beginning of November who responded to email from a website offering an email option. If he didn’t think that the dormer should be braced with carbon fiber and painted with the tears of the righteous, I’d probably give him the work just for keeping up with email.


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