Mind in the gutter

April 20, 2007

For about a week I’ve had gutter sales people wandering around my house and sitting in my gorgeous double recliner. They stop by the house, introduce themselves then spend from 15 to 30 minutes measuring and muttering before banging on the door and bringing their clipboard and bag inside.

To provide you with a little background – but not so much that you jump on GoogleEarth and spy on me while I lay naked in the hammock on my back deck – my house is a tiny bungalow. It’s about 923 square feet and currently is gutterless.

This gutterlessness has causes some wood rot around the base of one of my doors, warping of the boards on my brand-new front porch, and some fascia board damage by my back slider.

So, in addition to spending $100 for wood sealer (and the tools to apply it whenever it stops raining), I wanted to get some gutter estimates. Be warned that getting gutters is not easy.

The issue is not that gutters are expensive, and they are – ranging from $562 to $3800, but that the sales people are akin to car and timeshare folks. Each night I have multiple messages on my machine urging me to make a decision.

Perhaps my problem isn’t that I’m intolerant, it’s that I don’t spend enough time around salespeople. If I were constantly barraged by hard-line sales pitches I might have more perspective on their tactics or approaches. I might understand that they’re victims of an environment that will boot them to the curb if they don’t close sales. But I don’t.

In my complete face, nose, spite pattern, I’m leaving my house gutterless for the rest of the summer at least. I will still probably pitch a home-improvement article to Slate Magazine or to my paper, but I’m going to spend my money on stuff that makes me feel good instead of on stuff that I’m being told “I better have.”

By the way, it’s only 13 hours and 13 minutes until my birthday and I suspect that the selfishness will only increase up to and through tomorrow.

More to come…really. I have to get you guys a Bowl of Cheese podcast and some more Jeff Cutler goodness and info via the blog.