I was robbed! The bathroom refresh I was looking forward to went terribly wrong. I’ve learned a lot from going through this experience. I hope my tips can help you.
To read the rest of the story, you need to read my article on 5 Things You Need To Know Before Hiring a Contractor.
My bathrooms were recently renovated. The remodeling crew went all the way to the studs and started from scratch, rebuilding both bathrooms.
What should have been a 2-3 week reno kept going and going. I understand that most remodeling projects take longer than quoted. But after eight weeks and many mistakes, the remodel took another turn for the worse.
Living Through a Renovation
Living through a renovation and working from home is not my idea of fun – the noise (every time that nail gun went off, I jumped) the mess, the sheetrock dust, the tracking in and out of my house and having to constantly sweep up seemed to be never-ending.
I’ve never understood why carpenters don’t clean up after themselves. I mean, they make the mess, they should clean it up.
The Process of a Bathroom Redo
The process always takes longer than planned and costs more than the initial estimate. Always. But the end result (coming to the blog soon) is almost worth it all. Except for the fact that I was robbed. Here’s what happened:
After the guest bath was finished (before I pointed out some very sloppy workmanship – more about that in a later post), the crew started on my master bath.
The Day I Realized I Was Robbed
On Sunday morning, I woke up, started lunch (slow cooker) and got ready for church. When I opened my jewelry box to put on my rings, I noticed that my wedding and engagement rings were missing.
My anniversary ring was still in the second drawer where I had left it. So, of course, I thought I had taken my rings off in the kitchen (something I rarely do).
After retracing my steps and going through my jewelry box a dozen times, I went on to church, praying that I would find the rings.
During the service, a thought came to me to look in my jewelry box for another ring – a 1-carat platinum diamond ring – that I didn’t recall seeing that morning.
After returning home from church, I rushed to my bedroom to look in my jewelry box. I couldn’t find the other ring, either. That’s when it hit me that I was robbed!
I had not misplaced the rings. Someone from the contractor’s crew had stolen them. I promptly burst out crying!
My wedding ring belonged to my grandmother, whom I loved dearly. She passed away when I was 17. It was handed down to my aunt who passed away a few years ago.
Then it was handed down to me. The sentimental value far exceeds the monetary value. My engagement ring is very sentimental, too. I mean, I’ve had it for over 33 years!
When my husband returned home from church, he found me adding the finishing touches to lunch while sobbing. Between hiccups, I told him the whole story of how I had not misplaced the rings and that they were stolen.
Then I got angry. I wanted to waterboard every member of that crew until I found out who had my rings!
My husband, who has much more wisdom and patience than I do, waited until after lunch to call the contractor. The contractor said he would get to the bottom of it all.
To make a really long story a tad shorter, a guy the contractor had recently hired had stolen the rings. The contractor said his background check was clean and there was no reason for the boss/owner to know the guy was a thief. I later found out that his background was not clean at all.
Some of My Jewelry Was Returned
My engagement and wedding rings were returned (Thank God), but the platinum 1-carat has not been recovered. The local sheriff’s office did nothing to try and recover the missing ring or arrest the perpetrator. They knew his name and his address.
While I was working in a different part of the house or going in and out doing food photography shoots, he was stealing my rings out of my jewelry box. Then he had the audacity to ask his boss if this incident was going to affect his job. His boss replied, “That ship has sailed. You don’t have a job.” Really???
Here’s what I’d like to say to the thief who took my rings:
Dear Remodeling Crew Thief,
While I was being nice to you, opening the door for you when I saw that your hands were full, and just being an all-around pleasant person, you were casing my house to see what you could steal. I was robbed by you!
When I told you, “Have a great weekend” as you were leaving for the day on Friday, I had no idea that you had your pockets stuffed with the rings that have such sentimental value to me, not to mention the monetary value. What made you think you could just help yourself to my stuff and that you wouldn’t get caught?
You were given a chance to come clean and return the 3rd ring, but I assume you had already sold it. Actually, you may have stolen other things that I haven’t missed yet. (Edited: He also stole my new shower head for the master bath and diamond earrings that I did not initially miss.)
And to actually think that you would have a job after all of this? You are pathetic and undoubtedly have no conscience whatsoever.
I’m sure you have a mom or grandmother who would be ashamed of your actions. You never sent word that you were sorry. There are two things I can’t stand – a liar and a thief – and you are both of these things.
Because of you, I’m much more suspicious of people than I ever was. One day I had to run errands and left the remainder of the contractor’s crew in my home working, I almost counted the gifts under the tree before I left.
I did make sure there was nothing of value stored in my jewelry box. And it’s all your fault that I don’t trust people working in my home and that I have to hide jewelry before leaving the house.
Eventually, I will forgive you for your blatant disregard of my property. But for now, I want you to suffer for what you did. That’s the reason I’ve pressed charges. I hope you spend time in jail. You should pay for what you’ve done.
Please Note: This is not a reflection on all contractors or their crews. Most of them are professional, hard-working craftsmen that excel in what they do. I’ve had to remind myself not to let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch.
Have you ever had an experience like this? How did you handle it?
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