Homeownership has tremendous benefits. One of which for me is the newfound speed of unloading groceries. Long gone are the days of bell carts, or in their absences lugging multiple grocery totes up multiple floors. While being queen of my domain is bliss, I have to keep my castle running with the assistance of outside help.
The occasional hire of a service contractor is necessary. Still, I cringe at having people in my house. To be honest I despise it. To be clear I am grateful there are professionals to assist me in running a smooth household; however, what I despise is the price I pay based on my zip code and husband’s profession.
I learned very early to avoid discussing what my husband does for a living. It became very evident when contractors casually ask, “So what do you folks do for a living?” Why does a stranger care how I pay my bills? It’s easy to realize they “care” because they can then charge you based on what they think you can afford. A high end zip code AND they find out someone is a doctor in the house…expect to pay BIG. This isn’t just a theory. I have a dear friend whose husband is an Anesthesiologist. They renovated a kitchen and found that quotes were significantly higher when the contractor knew her husband was a physician.
On the phone I always ask for the contractors standard hourly rate. If they tell me it depends on the job and they have to come to my home for an estimate, I know immediately that’s code for it depends on how much I think you can afford. Keeping a poker face on his profession keeps me from both a “tax” on my zip code and his profession. When one works hard, every penny counts.