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Old 01-06-2023, 18:57   #1
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Apparently I am losing my people skills.

OK. Yes I know. There will be some jokes. I don’t have any to begin with. Right? Lol

but today I pissed off my Rigger. And I’m not exactly sure how it happened.

I was in the middle of very intense work. I have had to put in 10 and 14 hour days this week. And not on the boat. This is office work while I am here at the boat. it’s 10 PM now and I’m just wrapping up after starting at 8:30 AM. no breaks.

in the middle of all my hectic stuff he knocks and I have to open up and answer some questions and things like that. I don’t have my mind quite on what he is talking about because I am really busy. My phone is exploding

at the end we get to a point where something needs to be purchased.

he asked me for the money to purchase it. It’s like $300. It’s a VHF antenna and mount. It sounds very expensive but it’s like the way he wants to do it or something.

i’m good with that because I am very busy and it sounds like he has a good plan worked out. so I say OK. Sounds good. Let’s go with that.

so I have already wired him $21,000+ for parts.

He has purchased a roller Furler and some lines. And I think maybe a new forestay. I think. I have only seen the roller Furler and a spool of line.

I have seen no accounting of what has gone on with the purchasing other than the Furler. And the only reason I knew about the furler is because we hammered the price. So I know what it cost. It was like $6000 and change.

so I was really busy and I was like just take the $300 out of the $15,000. Because that’s what was left after the Furler. 15,000.

and he’s like no that money is already accounted for. But he didn’t actually order anything with it yet. So I’m thinking you can use that until we get to a point where we are running low.

and he got really mad. I saw his face turn red.

and he raised his voice. But I was holding my ground that we should use that money and that I need an accounting of the spending. to know what we have purchased and where I stand, financially.

and he got really mad and yelled fine and walked away.

I really don’t know where I went wrong.

Any ideas?

I think this is the part of Boat building that I hate the most. Dealing with other people. In the marine industry. It’s so stressful. It nearly makes me sick to my stomach. There are problems everywhere you go. It’s hard to work through them.

and I am well aware of the fact that if you are having problems everywhere you go it’s not them it’s you. But I don’t know how to be fake and put on that sailor act that all the people around the water use. you can see them filling up every bar in the area. They are all dressed the same. And they all talk the same. They are often drunk, very gregarious and outgoing. And that’s what makes people like you in the marina and sailing world apparently. I don’t know how to fake that.

i’m in this for the sailing. For the boat. For the water. Not for the atmosphere or whatever people do on land. To make it look like they are part of a sailing social group.

I am plenty likable in every other world. I don’t have any trouble in life with that. but not this one I guess.

I am already forking over tens of thousands of dollars but I don’t know what else to do to get someone to like me.

I can see the guy is very annoyed with me. And doesn’t really enjoy working with me. Or maybe it’s not me? Maybe it’s just the project. Either way it doesn’t seem like he’s having a good time with it.

His will is there to do a good job but I feel like I am in the way. Like he doesn’t like me or he doesn’t like the project or doesn’t like the boat or something.

I really can’t afford to have this go wrong.

Not sure how to work properly with him. There are things I need to ask for such as knowing where all my money went. I feel like that’s not wrong. But maybe it was?
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Old 01-06-2023, 19:17   #2
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

I have similar issues whenever I try to pay someone to do something to the boat, which is almost never. Similar issue with car maintenance. I think most tradespeople are used to customers that are more "hands off" and "trusting", and maybe they take questions and suggestions as an affront on their intelligence or professionalism. Plus they don't get these jobs because they have great customer service skills.
I've found it helps to have longer relationships with them, and try to do something to earn their respect. I notice things improving on year 2 and 3 of the same boatyards vs. the first time I arrived.
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Old 01-06-2023, 19:32   #3
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Quite surprising that you forked out $20K with no accounting whatsoever and heís the one getting pissed. Do you know for a fact the $15K are still available on his account?
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Old 01-06-2023, 19:33   #4
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markxengineerin View Post
I have similar issues whenever I try to pay someone to do something to the boat, which is almost never. Similar issue with car maintenance. I think most tradespeople are used to customers that are more "hands off" and "trusting", and maybe they take questions and suggestions as an affront on their intelligence or professionalism. Plus they don't get these jobs because they have great customer service skills.
I've found it helps to have longer relationships with them, and try to do something to earn their respect. I notice things improving on year 2 and 3 of the same boatyards vs. the first time I arrived.
Yeah. I feel like maybe this was it. Like you are saying. Like he felt like I was insulting him in some way.

Maybe that I was insinuating he stole the money or something? And thatís like a touchy subject for him or something? Heís an honest guy. Iím pretty sure of that. He has had ample opportunity to pad billing and things like that and he hasnít done it. Heís been honest. Heís been nice. But I still need to know where I stand financially because I am not one of these gunboat people with a blank check or whatever. I have to know whatís happening financially.

Your two and three huh? Lol I have about month number two starting right now. And by the end of this month I should be out of here.

itís a rigging project.

I know what you mean about those auto mechanics. I donít even use them anymore. Ever. I always fix everything on my vehicle myself unless I don't have the tools.

I wonder what I could do to earn his respect?
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Old 01-06-2023, 19:37   #5
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamme View Post
Quite surprising that you forked out $20K with no accounting whatsoever and heís the one getting pissed. Do you know for a fact the $15K are still available on his account?
No. I donít know anything about that. I have all the records of all the communication. They were all written in email. So everything is accounted for in that department. However, there is no real financial communication about much of anything.

The only thing that I can really follow is his hours which are on the spreadsheet. I donít have insight into the actual spending going on with my parts side of things.

He put together a really good spreadsheet showing the cost he came up with for a bunch of items that we will probably eventually need and those were $15,000. But he didnít order any of it. Or at least not much of it. I was hoping he would order a bunch of stuff while I was underway for all that time and he would have some things done. Thatís what he said he would do and it didnít happen. Heís a busy guy. I get it. He didnít have time.

but now he has a surplus of parts money and I felt like he should have just used it for the VHF antenna instead of asking me for more money when he already has that huge amount.

My thinking is we go through that money ordering whatever we have to as we go, which is how he is approaching it, and I replenish when we need to get some things that are beyond that amount

But no matter how it goes, I feel like I should be seeing what things cost and whatís happening with my balance

it doesnít help that I got taken for thousands of dollars at the last Rigger either. Itís making me very nervous. I got literally nothing done on the boat and I had to pay I forget. $3000? And then another $4000 to move the mast up here? Plus all the fuel it took and the months of my life it took to bring the boat to the other Rigger in Florida? And then the same to bring it up here. Iím getting a little frustrated. And definitely a little nervous.

But yeah. I really donít understand why he got mad. I figured it was something I did.
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Old 01-06-2023, 19:56   #6
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Your mistake was not laying the ground rules for disbursements in the first place. I don't understand handing that amount of money over to someone without clear rules on accounting.
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Old 01-06-2023, 20:03   #7
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Personally, If I forked over $20k+ I would expect a daily accounting of it. And to whatever extent some of that was going to the rigger for his time, I would need a daily log of the time he spent.

The difficult thing about your situation is that you really need a project manager. I am sure you would love to manage it yourself, as would I. But just managing a large project, creating reports on progress, spreadsheets on expenses, and coordinating ordering of product to keep on time is a lot of work. It isn't anything I have time for.
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Old 01-06-2023, 20:09   #8
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Your mistake was not laying the ground rules for disbursements in the first place. I don't understand handing that amount of money over to someone without clear rules on accounting.
well, there were ground rules. There was a giant spreadsheet with every little piece that I needed for my rigging.

that was where the $15,000 figure came from.

it bumped to 21,000+ because $6000+ furler got added.

from the beginning he was going to buy some of this stuff on that original $15,000 list in order to get work done while I was underway when we bumped into each other.

He was supposed to be purchasing those items with it and completing work on the mast while I was underway. I donít have any idea what was purchased and nothing has been completed yet.

granted this guy has been very busy. So maybe he just didnít have time. But there was an agreement. Written. In emails. And there is also a Google Docs spreadsheet filled with all of the items and the amounts.

we didnít have a clear rule about reporting. But we had a clear rule about where the money was going.
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Old 01-06-2023, 20:10   #9
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wholybee View Post
Personally, If I forked over $20k+ I would expect a daily accounting of it. And to whatever extent some of that was going to the rigger for his time, I would need a daily log of the time he spent.

The difficult thing about your situation is that you really need a project manager. I am sure you would love to manage it yourself, as would I. But just managing a large project, creating reports on progress, spreadsheets on expenses, and coordinating ordering of product to keep on time is a lot of work. It isn't anything I have time for.
His time has been a completely separate item. It’s not connected to that parts money. He has been taking a retainer of $2000 at a time for his time. Then, when we work that down to zero, I have to top it off.
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Old 01-06-2023, 20:29   #10
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Some other possibilities

He is doing you a favor with the whole project- few people possess the skills needed, and those that do probably don't want to finish someone else's half-planned project, for an owner who doesn't know exactly what he wants, but is also hanging around and micromanaging. Arguing over $300 is micromanaging, considering the scale of this project. If he has a detailed spreadsheet, the money you gave him already probably already is accounted for, and you're making more work for him by complicating the accounting instead of just giving him the $300. It's made worse by you being busy when he needs something, which gives the impression of "I don't have time for you".

Quote:
I wonder what I could do to earn his respect?
Apologize for being busy and getting stuck on $300, ask for suggestions on how to improve the relationship (maybe add a budget for misc items? Set up a 5 minute morning check in time each day?), thank him for helping. I would not bring up your past rigger experiences.
I would not use this as an opportunity to demand receipts, etc, he sounds likely to fire you as a customer, and then you're back to square 1. Do that later, maybe try to figure out the cost of the $300 antenna on your own.
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Old 01-06-2023, 20:31   #11
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

If it's any consolation my re rigging, inner forestay, furling, mount radar, antenna etc ended at 20k +.
Whatever all the parts were the rest was billed at $200 per hour. He was a great rigger, over 60 years old and there was no body else. I was lucky so to say to have him.
To me, our world in out of control, there are no young knowledgeable riggers, all the trades I know of are suffering. If you can't do it all yourself you're screwed these days.
Make friendly with him again, smile when handing over your hard earned money, go sailing to forget about it.
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Old 01-06-2023, 21:00   #12
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

Chotu from my perspective down under you sound like a bit of a drama queen. I would have forked out the $300 and not said a word. You've let yourself be bent over by not getting receipts or accountability for the other money so why start stressing now. Get the rig up, go sailing and cry into your Weetabix later.
You must realise that no matter what tribe your joining lots of people are just faking it until they make it. Being polite, listening and appearing interested all help you get accepted. Do you know anything personal about your rigger? I know loads of personal stuff about so many people. It just makes relationships better when you can ask how their daughter/son/dog etc is doing. Usually you don't have to say much more as the person tells you the latest news.
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Old 01-06-2023, 21:56   #13
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

The $300 is peanuts compared to the potential cost of not being to do your job well and the non-$ cost of the stress caused with this upset.

Go back to the guy say sorry you were completely immersed by other work, was distracted, and pay him for the antenna, ie the $300. At the moment he has you by the ****s so no room for animosity at all!

Going forward probably lessons to be learned. I am not sure which because I don't know the details of the commercial arrangement but on the whole I would like to see a proper estimate, itemized, of which I pay eg a third upfront (or perhaps for parts 100% but only if I knew exactly what was being purchased and I had obtained separate price indications to check what I was being quoted). But in any case, it's always an unknown in terms of who you are dealing with until the work is done.

Oh, and I guess you need to be a bit careful about this conversation too.
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Old 02-06-2023, 00:49   #14
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

What one person says (intends), and another hears (understands), can be vastly different things.

He sees you on his project boat, and expects the project to be your focus.
You see yourself as being in your home office, and know that your business is (was) your current focus.
Your distraction [1], and alternative suggestion (take the cost from the existing deposit, may have been misconstrued as: disinterest (or other)[1], and argument[2].

Asking for an accounting can be received as mistrust. Generally people don’t appreciate pejorative questions, and dislike being mistrusted.
Your nervousness, due to the last rigger, may be showing through, convincing him that you don’t trust him.

Remember: "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
well, there were ground rules. There was a giant spreadsheet with every little piece that I needed for my rigging.

that was where the $15,000 figure came from.

it bumped to 21,000+ because $6000+ furler got added.

we didn’t have a clear rule about reporting. But we had a clear rule about where the money was going.
Your clear rules and spreadsheet didn’t include the furler, so you added it’s cost to the (parts deposit) amount.
Now (& likewise), your spreadsheet doesn’t include the antennae, so he wants to add it to the deposit. Seems consistent, to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markxengineerin View Post
... Apologize for being busy and getting stuck on $300, ask for suggestions on how to improve the relationship (maybe add a budget for misc items? Set up a 5 minute morning check in time each day?), thank him for helping. I would not bring up your past rigger experiences.
I would not use this as an opportunity to demand receipts, etc, he sounds likely to fire you as a customer, and then you're back to square 1. Do that later, maybe try to figure out the cost of the $300 antenna on your own.
Indeed.
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Old 02-06-2023, 00:50   #15
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Re: Apparently I am losing my people skills.

From the other side of the world -

You are stressed with your own work plus the work on the boat.

You and the rigger had a trusted relationship.

The rigger is stressed with his other work plus the work on your boat.

He fronts up with what in his mind, is a perfectly good proposal and given the previous trust, doesn't expect any objection, he just wants to get your agreement and the $300. You dig in and confronts him with (probably) some silent unspoken aggression; something in your words and body language and that smashes the trust he had in you. He is sure the now broken trust is your fault and his job (on your boat) is now made more stressful, he isn't happy. Likewise you ain't happy and you are sure it is his fault.

Trust has been broken.

You only have 2 choices -

1. Operate in the new paradigm where things have to be accounted for in spreadsheets and the written word

or

2. Mend the dispute and re-establish trust. As the rigger believes you are the problem, you are the one who has to take the first step. As mentioned upthread, take the $300, a gift (alcohol/donuts/cakes/whatever) and an apology to the rigger ASAP. With any luck, he may have cooled off and is thinking you might have right after all. If so, he will accept your apology and maybe offer his own. Even if he doesn't, he will be more willing to do job properly.

I'm reminded of the short verse from Rumi -

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. Iíll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase Ďeach otherí
doesnít make any sense.


Find and meet your rigger in the field away from the world of right and wrong. Don't let your (and his) stress override common sense.
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