• I SO feel your pain. I hope you had some place to provide feedback on this guy’s work, like Angie’s List or something. People should know what they are getting in to if they hire him.

    • Hi Cheryl, There was and I certainly did. Sigh… Another day another lesson. 🙂

  • Julie

    I had to laugh. I could just see it. Duct tape can be a dangerous thing in the hands of a handyman… LOL.

    • Hi Julie, Me too…if it hadn’t been so frustrating. I agree, duct tape and handymen are a dangerous mix. 🙂

  • HomeJobsbyMOM

    Awe. I’m sorry. It’s funny how some people can take the simplest of instructions and turn them into something completely different.

    • Hi Krystle, You got that right. I only wish I had take pictures of it. It was a hoot (and frustrating). 🙂

  • Rebecca Rider

    Hehehe…. this is too funny! Glad you didn’t lose too much – but it sounds very frustrating!

    • Hi Rebecca, You had to laugh. I just wish I had taken pictures of it. In the end it all worked out, but not without a few swear words… LOL

  • I actually like putting them up, and really missed doing it this year…our house looked sad at Christmas…

    • Hi Mike, I do too, when I have time. This year was a bit hectic, thus the required help. 🙂

  • Doreen Pendgracs

    Fun story, Susan! I’ve had my own mishaps with workmen. We’d hired a fellow to expand the deck off my upstairs office. When I looked out, he was building a railing that was so high, I couldn’t see over it when seated at my computer. Now that’s a way to give you an open outdoor feeling??? Good thing I was home as I threw a bit of a fit and then he graciously lowered the railing and I could then see over it. Cheers!

    • Hi Doreen, Thanks. I think we all have a handyman story or two. I’m happy yours turned out that way. 🙂

  • Liz

    Geez! What a tangle! I think you had alot of patience to go through all of that and undo what was done. I am glad to see you kept your sense of humour through it all. What a guy. I guess the lesson to be learned was something to do with not taking someone for granted?? 🙂

    • Hi Liz, Boy howdy!!! Humor was had, but not without its frustration to go along with it. Yep taking someone or something for granted can have it pitfalls or tangles in this case… LOL

  • Elizabeth Sott

    Susan, I have to say you where up to your neck in extension cords. I know next year will be much simpler and you will be much happier.

    • Hi Elizabeth, It was that, wasn’t it? You can say that again. 🙂

  • Jon Jefferson

    Experience: realizing that you have made this mistake before. Hopefully next year you don’t gain new “experience” when it comes to putting your lights up.

    • Hi Jon, LOL, one would hope. I think this experience will stick with me for a while… 😀

  • A.KAndrew

    What a nightmare! Sounds like you managed to have a good attitude about it tho. Susan. It’s always hard when you need a new tradesperson, esp. when you don’t have a word if mouth reference. Next time I do I shall remember this story 🙂

    • Hi A.K. It was an interesting experience. Finding a good handyman is such a great thing. They certainly aren’t created equal.

  • Bethany Lee

    Bahahahaa! Love this story!! Sometimes, I too am too untrusting, or too busy to do the doublechecking and handholding. It hasn’t bitten me to this extent though. Yes, I think the best thing you did was just to laugh. What can you do?

    • Hi Bethany, Generally that is the case for me as well. This time it was a bit of a problem. If you had seen it you would have laughed too. I just wish I had taken a few pictures. It would have added to the story. 🙂

  • Well I guess it goes to show what a great woman you are that you didn’t lose it and ring the guy and tell him off for the mess he had made…………some men I know would do just that ring and abuse the guy and make matters worse from their temper………..I guess you know who not to call in the future

    • Hi Jo-Anne, Thanks, but it sure wasn’t easy… LOL. You’re right, he will be the last person I will call. :-)))

  • First up I am amazed you have so many extension cords Susan 🙂 He must have had a lovely time with the duct tape and may have thought it added to the decorations. I bet next year will be better for you and your decorations.

    • Hi Susan, I know a bit on the high side… But they’re cheap and not hard to store. Ha,Ha…You may be right. Next will be different for sure. :-)))

  • Devon

    This is such a great story! You should have me do your lights, I majored in lighting design in college. This year I did my parents’ tree for the first time (my dad is always the designer of the tree) and it was the best this year! And don’t you just love finding “experts?” And what’s this about possibly winning a Canon? Sign me up!

    • Hi Devon, Thanks. That would be so cool, if only that could be. Finding “experts” is a pain the behind. Good luck with the camera contest. 🙂

  • Oh my God that is the height of ineptitude. lol Great story.

    • Hi Madge, Thanks and thanks for stopping by. It really is, isn’t it? 🙂

  • I probably would have had a meltdown! At the end of the day though, all we can really do is try to stay calm and carry on, and know next year to indeed follow our own rules!

    • Hi Jeri, I b honest there were a few curse words that flew out of my mouth at the time… LOL. Next year will be different for sure.

  • Margaret Duarte

    Your Christmas decorations looked awesome when I came by your house. I never would have guessed. Thanks for sharing your story. A great lesson for all of us.

    • Hi Margaret, It was a good thing you saw them after they were fixed… LOL. Thanks and i just hope I don’t find my self repeating again… LOL.

  • I can relate to using someone in a rush, though I usually expect the worst and sometimes they turn out just fine. You tell a story that is a common experience in such a storytelling fashion! A better business would want you as their storyteller, I’m sure.

    • Hi Leora, Sadly it really is, isn’t it. Thank you. That made my day. :-)))

  • Susan, I’m amazed that you were able to keep such a great attitude throughout this fiasco. I don’t think I’d be laughing going through that experience. (I was definitely laughing reading about it though.) This guy sounds totally clueless. I wonder if they’ll be asking you for a referral. 🙂

    • Hi Sherryl, It wasn’t easy… :D. He was that and I would be amazed if he did. But then again, he wasn’t the sharpest stick in the woodpile…. LOL

  • Or you could NEVER put up Christmas lights! LOL. More seriously, I guess I’m more anal than to trust people without checking their work. Having built 3 custom homes with my husband, we know far too well about how if something can go wrong it will go wrong. But thank you for sharing the humor in it.

    • Hi Patricia, Your funny. :-). I usually am, but for some reason this time my anal meter was turned off… LOL.

  • Kelly Wade

    What a nightmare! I remember my mom doing extensive research into people who would be redoing our walkway outside. She checked and checked and rechecked references from people, and ended up hiring someone who a good friend of hers had used before. I know you learned this lesson the hard way, but it really is beneficial to make sure you get a recommendation from someone you can trust when hiring a handy man.

    • Hi Kelly, I usually, do but alas no one had a good recommendation, partly due to the fact that hey put up their own or none at all. The good part is I do have a goo guy I use and will never use anyone else. Still a good lesson to (re)learn. 🙂

  • Jacs Henderson

    Susan, who’d have guessed at this story behind that beautiful post you wrote with the gorgeous pictures of your decorations. I really admire your tenacity and resourcefulness in getting them set up safely after that disasterous handyman and presenting that gorgeous display. Obviously, lessons were learned, but what a story! – and I sense you can now see the funny side 🙂
    once again, love your pictures and the story

    • Hi Jacs, You’re Right. It was funny at the time. After all was said and done, my friend and I had a good laugh over it all with a glass of wine of course. 😀

  • Martin Casper

    Wow…nightmare…can you say Angie’s List in the future? That is terrible, but a lesson learned and a great lesson for newbies to subcontracting. I can appreciate what you learned from my days in the contracting industry…never ever assume:)

    • Hi Martin, The funny thing was he was on Angie’s list and had good reviews. It just goes to show you never know. He didn’t get a very good one from me. I couldn’t agree with you more NEVER assume. 🙂

  • Eli@coachdaddyblog

    You should have hired a handyman to help fix what the first handyman did. I wonder if there’s a guy for that.

    Great story!

    • Hi Eli, Yeah, but I didn’t want to take the risk… LOL. Thanks for stopping by and giving me your thoughts. :-)))

  • What a pain!! I’m surprised you didn’t go after them to get your money back after dealing with all of that!!

    • Hi Dan, It really was. I have and we shall see so wish me luck with that. 🙂

  • Nami

    Please tell me the shoddy handyman returned some of the payment! That would just grind my gears to the point of death threats. Thanks for the tip, however…

    • Hi Nami, I am working on that so wish me luck. 🙂

  • Angus McEwan

    Oh Susan that sounded horrible but a very interesting way of telling it and lessons learned. I agree about checking before you pay and your descriptions definitely brought it alive ..

    Can’t believe it took so long to do! And the amount of Duct Tape and Extensions used ….

    So what will happen next year? GULP


    • Hi Angus, It was but in the end we all got a good laugh out of it. Go figure of the duct tape and extension cord… LOL. I can guarantee that next year will be very different. :-)))