My friend and I share together almost everything from daily life work and personal experiences. The talks mainly include talks about firms and their behaviors with us. This is because we stay in the same locality and care of each other’s good. On one odd day when he heard my wife complaining about some construction work that was to be done at my place, he shared with me his experience of hiring a firm named General Steel for some odd construction work that sprung out at his place. His observations about the firm, in short, were good. He mentioned about its transparency and precise attitude. These became primary reasons of my approach towards the firm. I contacted General Steel and shared the construction work that I was looking for and also mentioned the name of my friend as a reference. They said regardless of the reference they were used to providing a service that was user-friendly and equal to all. They said that that was a part of their work policy and I was pretty impressed by their statement and attitude after hearing that. We decided the day from which they were supposed to start the work at my place and the terms of the agreement on which a contract was to be made.
They said that this contract thing was added after they did work on my friend’s place. That was after my enquiry to my friend about the contract thing and his denial of acknowledging any such thing during the time work was done at his place. So, there remained no chance for me to doubt them. I agreed upon it after reading their contract. And the work started. Now one particular mistake which I made even after reading and understanding the contract was that, in the contract, they had mentioned a scenario in which modifications were supposed to be made after seeing the physical conditions of the place where construction work was supposed to be carried out. And in that too, specifically, the person who would decide, what would be the modifications which were supposed to be made and the reasons for the modification. Mind you that these are not the modifications that are too be made on what we suggest them to do, these are the modifications in the design that they prepare on hearing the problem that we describe.
My problem of construction needed me to erect a rectangular prefab steel building of 18’*22’. And these measurements were not something that came to me out of the sky. I am an engineer myself and had taken into consideration the basic necessities and then came to the above-mentioned conclusion. So I had hired them and I was pretty sure that all I needed was a contractor and had mentioned this scenario to General Steel as well that I do not need any engineer so that they do not bother their engineers and in turn charge me more than what I needed. And hearing this, they were very happy. And I thought they understood me and my requirements very well. At least this is what their reactions told me. So then, the contractor started their work. Days passed and the contractor calls me up and says that he wanted to discuss with me some issues with the design. At the back of my mind, I knew friends who had had such issues with other firms but I did not categorize General Steel into the list of such firms. The reason behind this was my friend’s review of the firm. So when the contractor called me up, I went with a positive mindset to discuss and address the issue.
The 1st issue mentioned by him was technical and that required them to fill the spaces that were made between two steel plates. The contractor practically demonstrated the issue and tried to convince me. I knew that they had engineers and since I too was an engineer, I demanded and Engineering drawing of the thing that he was mentioning to me verbally. At first, the contractor hesitated. He was rude and said that he felt rude that I did not consider what he was saying and so I demanded him in drawing. I tried to explain to him that the real issue was not about trust, but the manner in which the issue was conveyed to me. My attempts accounted to be nothing and finally I had to call the company to explain what I meant to say. General Steel told me that it was because I had opted out of the engineering thing that they were providing; I would be unable to get access to the drawing even because of the modification which was made due to a mistake made by them. This to me was totally unfair. It was as if they were completely sure that the modification would occur and that I would need an engineer. Unfortunately, I had to compromise on this fact and let go of what my demand was, which was to gain an engineering drawing of the problem that was described to me.
Anyways, even after the addition of the plates, which was the then corrected design according to General Steel and their contractor and engineer and whatever. The contractor came up to me saying that they needed another modification. Until this time, my patience was at a loss. My question to him was, whether he had not calculated this previously when he suggested the first modification? On hearing this question, he completely took his hands over and asked me to speak to his company, which I did. The company had to agree this time that it was their fault. However while doing the final transaction when I asked for compensation for all the troubles, they disagreed completely. And denied accepting their fault which they did previously.
The building that is currently standing, which is made by them is not structurally sound. I can this because I am an engineer. And I also claim that, had the building been made as per previous design, it would have been more structurally sounding than what it is right now. After this incident, I also tried to be legal with them, but it did not account for much. This kind of attitude by any company is what I strictly disregard. Later, when I had a talk with their engineer i.e. after I came to know that their engineer was a friend to one of my friends. I thought he must know about my stand the building. But to my surprise, he was completely unknown to this. This puts me in a dilemma that, who must have prepared the drawing based upon which my building currently stands! Would it have been the contractor who found it was rude of me to ask him for an engineering drawing which is the correct way to represent any modification in any construction! Or whether the drawing was even made or the Company was faking that the drawing was made. And it is because of the modification that the cost which was estimated increased.