Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I misjudged someone this week. I made a snap judgement based upon a person's appearance and I could not have been more wrong.

On Monday, we had two roofing contractors come out to take a look at our roof. We weren't sure if there was any damage to our roof from the tree falling. Our house is two-story in the back and we weren't able to see the roof from the ground. We could tell there were branches sitting up there, but could not see the condition of the roof. Ruanita is terrified of heights. I am terrified of ladders. So we weren't about to get up there and check it out.

The first contractor we had come was from a large company that we thought was highly reputable. He was a nice guy....young, very good-looking. He was dressed very nicely in slacks and a button-down shirt. He smiled a lot. He climbed up on the roof to take a look. Upon his return, he told us there was no major damage...just a couple of shingles that needed replacing. He made it sound like it was not a big deal at all, and didn't appear to be that interested in doing the work. Perhaps the job was too small for his company. He didn't even bother removing the sticks and branches that were laying on the roof. He gave us his card, some company literature, and told us to call him if we wanted him to do the work.

The second contractor we had out was a friend of friend of my coworker, Summer. She had given me his number. Initially, I was not going to call him, but then he called me. He came out to look at the roof shortly after the first guy left. When he came to the door, he was filthy dirty. He apologized for his appearance and said that he had been working on a roof all day. He had long greasy hair. He was missing a few teeth. His skin was leathery. He was extremely skinny and wiry...kind of like I would imagine a meth addict would look. He was friendly, but I was taken aback by his appearance and was more than a little skeptical. He immediately grabbed his ladder and climbed up on the roof. He walked around up there for a bit, and when he came down, he had removed all of the twigs and branches from the roof and piled them in a neat pile on the ground. Like the contractor before him, he informed me that there were a few shingles that needed to be replaced. Rather than downplaying the damage though, he told me that I would be really wise to repair it because it could lead to leaking if not corrected. Though it was a minor repair, it could lead to a major problem if left untouched. He told me that the company he worked for had a $250 minimum charge for roof jobs. However, since I was Summer's friend, he could do it for me "on the side" for $50. Not only did his replace the shingles, he also sealed up a plumbing pipe he said that squirrels had been chewing on, and he walked around our entire roof and hammered down every single shingle that was starting to pop up. He was up there for quite a while working on the roof. When he came down, he was covered in sweat. I paid him $50 and he handed me his card and told me not to hesitate calling him in the future if I had any problems at all. He may not have looked like a professional, but he was professional to the core.

I judged a book by its cover. And I was wrong.


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