Friday, October 29, 2010


A designer friend and I were talking about her latest rash of clients. She says they are singularly difficult to deal with and she wasn't sure why. In some cases, they had been badly burned by previous contractors (losing $140K which goes to show you how much money these people are pouring into their homes, but I digress). In other cases, they were bitten by the DIY bug -- even cardiologists with insanely busy practices thought they could take on the role of contractor to save some money. That's like a contractor saying he's going to operate on himself when he develops heart disease. The other reason is that this is a narcissistic culture, and one of the defining symptoms of narcissism is to think the latest thing is the greatest. (Look at the love affair with Obama, and how they're slamming the poor guy now in spite of some very real and positive moves; look at the landslide with Ford, and one can only hope Toronto will wake up without a hangover on that decision... but I digress again). So back to the clients -- they fall madly in love with this designer or that, they must have that new kitchen no matter what, it's the only thing that will make them happy (narcissists also seem to be addicted to the new thing to relieve their deep seated unhappiness). But when the new begins to demonstrate it or they have feet of clay, they quickly get dashed to the ground, demonized for having failed the unrealistically high expectations.

When one part of any relationship -- between client and contractor, people and president, man and woman -- has these narcissistic expectations that the other will solve ALL their problems, it's doomed. In the case of the cardiologist cum contractor, my friend decided to walk away. Trust your gut, walk away.

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