Every business owner claims the customer is always correct, but remodeling doesn’t always work out as planned. I have found a customer who believes she is always right, but she is also very contentious. She said she wanted to push out the wall of her kitchen to enlarge it, and she wanted everything in it to be top-of-the-line. I have been doing a lot of kitchen remodels, so I thought this job would be an easy one.

When I first ran up her estimate, she complained that I was charging too much. I took her through each line of the estimate, but she demanded I find a way to cut costs. I looked for some less expensive alternatives, and she accused me of cutting corners. I finally went back to my original estimate and told her she might want to consider another company. Thinking she had chosen someone else, I was surprised when she called to schedule the work.

I knew that taking on this job would be a problem, but I had a break between projects and employees who needed paychecks. We began by preparing to install her expanded walls, and she complained as soon as she saw what we were doing. When I explained we wanted to cause as little interference as possible in her home, she said I should have consulted her before making decisions. The day had already been difficult, but I put on my best face and sat down with her to go over the schedule.

She fired me that day because she said my schedule was ridiculous, and I was relieved. A few weeks later, she tried to hire me back. I avoided her until I contacted a few other companies that did the same work. She had hired and fired each of them, so now things will be very different this time.