Log Rhythms: Delivery Delays…

Interior of Great Room as of 8/9/16

We are on the verge of something long-awaited: The outside is almost complete! When this occurs, the rest of the Solitude cabin interior construction is up to our family to complete.

I’m thankful that I belong to a family with two important qualities: a great amateur skill set and a hard work ethic. Thus, the skillful will be guiding those of us (myself included) with fewer construction skills in the months ahead. What we may lack in skill, we make up for with determination and a willingness to learn and work hard.

What does all of that translate to? A lot of financial savings! So yes, I’m very grateful for the sacrifices our family makes to assist us in completing this cabin.

There’s only one “wrinkle” to this plan.

Delivery of materials.

Despite how hard the hubby has been trying to get materials to Solitude, he has been thwarted at just about every turn by the folks and companies entrusted with delivering them. Yes, sometimes it’s a failure to order things on a timely basis and sometimes an item we want for the cabin is not as available as we’d like, but most of the time it’s the fault of delivery people.

This occurs for several reasons. Reason # 1? Solitude and the Reserve are not easily visible from a great distance away like most Texas addresses. It’s nestled inside the heavily-forested Reserve and even the Reserve security gate blends into its surroundings and is recessed into the forest a bit. There’s a “bend in the road” immediately after the gate, so I’m sure many delivery folks are concentrating on taking the curve safely and don’t realize they’re going past the very place where the goods need to be delivered.

Reason # 2? If the delivery people have been there before, aka people like UPS and FedEx, summertime is when the “regular drivers” take vacation and the relief drivers still haven’t learned where the Reserve is located. Note to self: Build the next cabin in the wintertime!

Reason # 3? Delivery people aren’t neurosurgeons. I don’t mean to belittle anyone doing a hard job in the Texas heat just trying to make a living, but sometimes I just want to shake delivery people when they promise one thing and then carelessly do another and ask them to “wake up.”

The most frustrating? Concrete delivery.

Yes, concrete. If you need more than 1 truckload of concrete (We needed 3, initially.), it’s helpful if the trucks arrive at certain time intervals to allow the concrete from the previous trucks to be poured where needed before the next one arrives.

The hubby thought he had this properly set and the builder and crew were all ready to receive the concrete and zero trucks arrived. The hubby even went out to the county road for the entrance to the Reserve to ensure the drivers did not miss the Reserve and still no trucks at all.

He called the dispatcher several times and she said she would get messages to the delivery drivers. It must not have happened because all 3 trucks arrived within an hour of each other and the first truck was several hours late.

I think delivery people get so tired of their work that they don’t stop to realize that delays cost money and monumental inconvenience for builders and the owners. I can excuse a lot of this since most don’t know what exactly they are delivering. But some do.

Our windows arrived on a truck dedicated to delivering windows. Concrete trucks are dedicated, as well. Surely concrete truck drivers know that timely delivery is critical!

The last reason for delivery delays is even more annoying, although almost entirely my fault.

I’ve ordered a lot of things online and after 4 to 5 hours of researching what is best for the cabin, consulting the hubby to make sure it will work engineering-wise (who is often on an airplane or with a client), making a choice decision, and researching who has the best price for said item (taking into account all coupon codes, etc.), I get information overload and fail to see the tiny print that says it will take 6 to 8 weeks to deliver!

Since the builder is leaving for his next job in MONTANA, I can’t wait 6 to 8 weeks! Often, this info is not given until you put the items in the online cart, give them all the delivery and billing info, and are ready to enter your credit card number.

It’s enough to send me to the funny farm. And it’s not FUNNY.

Add to that those who promise to order things on your behalf and don’t, and primal scream therapy starts sounding good. And that doesn’t even take into account weather delays, which we had piles of in the beginning.

If I were to wave a wand and start this process over, I think I’d come up with a spreadsheet of when things were ordered, where I ordered them, all the vendor’s contact info, when I expect it to arrive, proposed confirmation dates, and then make the decisions in order to try and mitigate what has often been a near disaster.

I now know why general contractors get paid so much. They are constantly calling vendors, checking on delivery status, and researching options. It’s a full-time job, for sure. Even with the hubby and I tag-teaming each other, it’s still taken more time than I would have thought.

When I’m ready to blow a gasket, I try to remember my eldest’s contention: “These are all first world problems.” I try to remember what I’ve learned from surviving 4 heart attacks: “Any day not in the hospital is a good day.” When the delays mean more physical work for me, I remind myself that I have both the time to do it and a waistline that could use additional exercise.

Unfortunately, I do not get to those thoughts as soon as I should. And I tend to have a one-track mind. So, if I’m in the middle of working on something totally unrelated to the cabin, I’m easily irritated that my train of thought and progress on some long-overdue task is being, yet again, thwarted. I don’t change gears easily.

The hubby, thankfully, is a true multi-tasker. He can juggle 19 balls in the air and never drop one of them. I’m sure he wonders why his wifey is so easily irritated by just one “ball.”

To the hubby, I’m amazed you put up with your spoiled rotten wife and I’m sorry. You put up with all of my guff, along with everyone else’s and don’t get much in return. I’m hoping and praying that when we’re all done with Solitude, it will, indeed, give you some much needed…solitude.

Probably away from your wifey. 😉

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 at 11:54 am and is filed under Log Rhythms. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. August 11th, 2016 | Ann says:

    Remember to breathe!

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