Countertops, Cracked Cabinets & The Stolen Stereo

August 6, 2018

Okay, confession. I don’t even know how Christina and Tarek can work together on these flips while being divorced.  It’s got to be one of these two things – they either have grown obsessed with perfecting the rollercoaster of a process within the flip or HGTV offered them one fat, payday to stay onboard.  Regardless, it’s not on my radar to actually get to the bottom of this. But now that we’re here, I can confidently say there will be situations that will occur in this little game of Flip or Flop that test your patience, dedication to the process and commitment to the other people on the job, that will consistently do one thing – test your character.

And this past week has made me realize there’s no one I could do this with other than Ben.  A clone of his DNA would be worth far more than his weight in gold – and the people around him, know it. This commitment is why we’re still here; we’re committed to this process and to be a light in the darkness, that’s why we do what we do. We look for that small ray of light, bend and reflect that, as bright as we can. That’s the product of Ben’s insane talent and heart for others along with my eye for design and business sense to perfect, maximize and execute on our actions daily. This combination is what leads us to keep mining for Gold, and never give up.

Because, this week was one for the books. Literally, Monday morning after I threw our deadline out to the world and called our real estate agent, I got the call.

“Hi, can I speak with Melissa Asbury, please?”

“This is Melissa.”

“Hi Melissa, this is Felicia from Cutting Edge Countertops. How are you?”

“I’m good. What’s going on?”

“Well Melissa, I hate making these calls; but we just received in your material for your countertops and they’re defective.”

“Defective? What do you mean?”

“Well, we received the material from the distributor and there are defects within the material that won’t even allow it to be run through our machine. So, unfortunately there’s no way we can cut your countertops this week. I’m so sorry… Melissa.”

“I don’t understand. Don’t they have a process to ensure the material being sent, is quality?  Is this common? And how long do you anticipate on getting good, working material?”

“That’s what I’m calling you about. We’re going to have to cancel your install for Thursday and wait until we get in new material. And, that could take another week, plus the time the cut and then the install. This could take another couple of weeks.”

I could cry… My heart sank. Everything was finally coming together. Besides the fact that we’re 7K over budget; our time line was tightening up and we were just waiting for these countertops to arrive to be installed to sell this pretty little place.

“Can I ask a question? How often does this happen?”

“I can assure you it’s very rare.  Of all of the business that we do, it’s maybe one top a month, if that.”

“Is there anything you can do on your end? This order is for an investment property and literally every week we keep this house, we’re paying close to $600 dollars in interest. And, this call is going to cost us an additional $1,200.”

“I’m sorry there’s not. This error isn’t actually our fault; it’s an issue from the distributor of the stone.  We guarantee the work from the time of cut to the installation into your home. And, this is just an unfortunate situation. Again, I’m sorry.”

It’s in these moments that we’re tested.  And, I’m seeing it. I swear, I have a sixth sense… Read that again. A sixth sense people… I’m not crazy; this was a test. And the only thing I like about these tests is that I know He’s doing this, it’s to take us to a higher, deeper place to move a bigger mountain.

This was one of those moments. I seriously now know when God is offering Ben and I an opportunity to serve up a dish of kindness and grace; when a sane individual, wants to deliver a life sized knuckle sandwich to the other party. Let’s be honest, we live in a world today that if you kick, cry and scream loud enough you likely will be heard, and you’ll likely get your way, for the time being.  But it will never, ever serve you well in the long run.  And that’s what I’m after. That one. The one that produces dividends for eternity.

And with that, under a fog of sadness, I put my pride in a bodybag and said, “I understand. And I know this isn’t your fault. I actually would having your job of making this phone call… But if there’s anything you can do to speed up the process, we would be greatly, greatly appreciate it. It would really mean so much for you to keep your eyes peeled on our situation.”

I’ve come to realize it’s deeply important to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else. It’s easy to say this; it’s another to actually do it. It’s the only way to be able to truly extend empathy and grace. And with that one statement, Felicia was relieved and responded, “Absolutely.”  She even offered to send a request to her manager, our supervisor and our project manager requesting this be job be expedited if the opportunity presented. And with that, I recalibrated my expectations, we readjusted our timeline and adapted to our new normal. Because being adaptable was our only option. To go through another company would take us minimal – three weeks. These stone yards were in the weeds with all of the new construction in Indy.

One day later, I made another call.  This time, Cabinets To Go. This should be fun. Do you remember that busted upper corner cabinet? We still had no notification that a new cabinet had been sent.  Thankfully, after a couple of calls to the national account center and a few emails, the store manager, Zack, saved the day.  He placed an order for a new cabinet to arrive by the end of the week to stay on track. And I firmly believe the only reason he made that happen, is because we’ve treated him right; even though, we’ve had a few hiccups along the way. Word to the wise, people don’t want to help people who are angry or controlling. People want to serve people who are humble, stripped of pride, kind, forgiving and selfless.  That’s who we want to be. And that’s what we want our business to represent.  And because I just wrote that, we’ll be tested again. I can guarantee that.

Two days later we had another curve ball thrown at us. This time, it came from a new flooring crew.  Truth be told, I had a funny feeling about working with this company. But, our options were slim.  Especially in the early planning stages of this flip.  The guy running the show had been short with Ben and I, he rushed us through the process including the payment before any work had been completed.  Again, we just needed to complete the job.  He was our plan A, B, C and D.

The day after this crew had left, our painting crew came to the job to finish.  And Oscar was so sad…

“Señor Ben, have you seen my stereo? It’s gone. I left it right here yesterday. It’s no more. I can’t find it.”

Ben felt awful. He knew what I knew, those flooring guys were the only guys in the building in those same 24 hours. They searched the place high and low, no stereo.  The guy was crushed. Ben said, “Miss, this was the little guy that was in the tiny back hall closet whistling while he worked.” Truthfully, I think Ben felt like he was working with the seven dwarfs while that painting crew was there. These tiny men kicked tail and were so full of joy, gratitude and happiness. We loved them.  What we appreciated most, their attitude. These guys were the real deal and we were going to make it right.

The only solution I could think of was to bring it to the attention of the business owner. I felt like Paw Patrol morphing into Solution Mode, Miss. I can hear the rescue music now….

Of course, the owner denied his guys would take anything, stating that he had a tough screening process. So, we had to accept that.  After all, we had no proof. He wasn’t going to take responsibility, so we did.  Again, the high road. This was opportunity to show love and gratitude to someone that needed it most. So, Ben came back with a brand new stereo.

Oscar was over the moon, thankful.

Our philosophy is, when you treat people right, they treat you right.  We don’t do it to get anything in return, we do it because it’s the right thing to do.  Our mission is to impact the lives we touch.  From the painters, to our sitters that help us at all hours with our kiddos, to those of your we haven’t even met. We want to encourage this movement of simple, gratitude.  For being given the opportunity to do this and to impact others. This is a gift.  Not a burden. Not just a project.  This is our mission field.

I truly believe it’s what we’re called to do.  And we’re going to get this right.  Even, if we make a few mistakes along the way.

Which leads me to this… the number one question we get is this, how much money do you think you’re going to make? Our honest answer, we don’t know. So many little things have yet to fall into place in the next two weeks.  And when they do, and we have our number, my answer will be, “Only God.” He provided this opportunity; because we were faithful. Because we trusted the process and were committed to the tiniest of details; even when those details include loving others above yourself.

Instead, I want to start thinking about it like this, {including myself}.  I need to start approaching this business differently. Because it shouldn’t be just about the money.  It should be about the process. A desire to perfect, protect, love, honor and give grace to those that take you through the process. And your commitment to them, everyone else, should be of greatest importance. Because when you become insanely obsessed with getting that right and perfecting that process, the money will come.  Along with more joy, fulfillment, peace, gratitude and desire to give more. That’s the destiny I want and the sweet spot I desire.  For us. For our company.  For the path that God’s leading us towards. And I can’t wait for you to grab your first class ticket with us, to our ultimate destination.

Sending peace, joy, love, grace, gratitude and prayers your way.

Stay Addicted,

Melissa XO

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