From one business woman to another…grrr

In December, I was called to home in the East Bay Hills by, what appears to be, a very successful business woman who works in SF.  She just bought this large home, after owning an even larger home in Canada.

Upon moving in, she attempted to unpack and organize herself, but found it a daunting task, given the amount of possessions and the time she had in which to do it.  So, she called me in to see the house and give her an estimate of time and costs.  This I went home and immediately did, and she received a my proposal via email.  I also included links where she could find organizing supplies I would recommend be used for the project.

Over a week later, I received her response:

Hello Gayle,

Apologies for not responding sooner but Xmas activities got priority these last few days.  Anyway, I have decided to go another route.

Now,  this is where the email might have politely ended, but no, our busy executive went on…

To be honest I was pretty shocked at your quote.  Perhaps it’s just that everything in the Bay Area is so much more expensive but I had my entire house in Toronto organized very nicely for less than half of what you would charge.  

What does the cost of organizing a house in Canada have to do with the cost of organizing a house in the East Bay?   Why are you “shaming” me over my rates?  All clients generally have some kind of budget for projects and usually we find ways to work within them…you were concerned with the speed at which this could be done over the holidays, no less.  If my proposal was more than you wanted to spend, why not have a conversation so that we might see if some adjustments to expectations could be made which would lessen the cost…isn’t that what business people do?

Then, she took it to the next level…

I actually forwarded your quote to the organizer I used in Toronto. She is willing to come out for a week in Feb to do this for me and even with adding on the cost of her flight it will be less than $5000 all in.  She knows exactly what I have as she also packed me up and staged my house for sale when I left Toronto.

How kind of you to forward our private email to someone in Canada…I had thought our email correspondence was private, but obviously, you don’t.   In all honesty, if you sent me a proposal by someone else, I would make sure that I could do that same job for less as well.  It’s not hard to do a bid when you know what everyone else is charging.  And didn’t you tell me that you wanted this done ASAP?  But you’ll now wait until February…

Is your Canadian organizer paying taxes in the US and California, which I believe she will owe…is she coming alone or bringing a team of people, which I had proposed, so that the job could get done more quickly.

Does she have liability insurance that will cover her here in California?  I assume her health insurance plan will cover her here as well, just in case she trips going down the many flights of stairs your home has.

What am I suppose to learn from this?  If you are going to all this trouble to take time out of your busy holiday schedule, to rake a fellow business woman over the coals, you needn’t have bothered.

Blessedly, she finished…

So thank you for taking the time to come out and assess the job. Also you asked how I found you – I just did an Internet search on home organizers and I thought your website looked very professional.

Best wishes for a happy new year!

Yes, so glad you liked my professional website, which cost me a small fortune. But then, I obviously should have hired someone in Canada to design it for me for less…

And best wishes for a happy new year to you, too!

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