Saturday, October 04, 2008

Professional wrestling

It was a clash of professionals at our new place. Our laminate flooring guy boldly held his ground against the combined onslaught of my designer and my wife over a functionality vs design issue.

The issue: like all other forms of matter, Vohringer laminate flooring expands with heat, especially in sunny S'pore. As such, there has to be some allowance for heat expansion or there will be a risk of the snap-together units of flooring buckling and cracking in the months to come.

The problem: because of heat expansion, to lay laminate wall-to-wall is just inviting trouble, so there has to be gaps between the laminates to cater for that. These gaps are covered by a flattish plastic spacer roughly, but not exactly matching the laminate itself. Aesthetically, these strips of plastic ruin an otherwise clean surface and mar the overall finish of our designer's final product.

Big, tepid quarrel ensued between artisan and engineer, neither wanting to compromise on their professional integrity. June tended to support design over physics, while I went the oppopsite direction in support of the flooring guy, though my influence was more subtle. I'm more prepared to let the look of my floor be ruined than the floor iteslf. Guess I'm practical that way.

We eventually reached a compromise that involved both parties conceding a little. Where floor spacers were a direct affront to design, design won. We let the spacers be where they were not so obvious. Everybody happy.

My point is, I'm very proud of the two professionals' service. They both really look out for their customers' best interest and are willing to take a stand for what they know to be right. It would have been so easy for one or the other to just give in and assign the responsibility of risk to the customer ('the customer is always right' is nonsense), but they stuck to their guns and slugged it out to the end for our sakes.

So far in this move, I feel we've been well taken care of by the people and the services we've engaged. That's something to be thankful for.

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