Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Handyman...Who Is He?

The handyman. We all know one or two. What is it about him that we like or rather what does he have that perhaps we need? Does he have a winning personality? A friendly smile? Is he smart, funny, what is the draw to the man with this name: handyman?

A handyman may be called this for a variety of reasons. He may be a skilled gardener, mechanic, roofer, brick layer, builder...the list goes on and on. He provides for us a service that is needed at a lesser cost, without leaving us with shoddy work and a huge dent in our checking accounts. Or that's what we initially think and hope.

When you open your door to him, what is the first thing that you notice? In my experience, it's not only an air of professional quality, but also a personality that breaks through the ice and if he should try to sell you the Golden Gate Bridge...well, you'd be might interested! This is, maybe, where we make our mistakes.

This man, who you've welcomed into your home, told him what you need it a kitchen remodeled, or a yard landscaped...who has won your trust, and he's won yours, might just be getting ready to bolt back out the door with your money. Gone. He's disappeared without ever doing the job he agreed to doing.

Or here's an even worse scenario: the job you needed this handyman for is coming along really good. You are impressed with his skill and all that he's accomplished thus far. Life is good. One day or night, you're've decided to take a day or two mini vacation, or even have gone out of town overnight. No problem, you trust the handyman to continue in your absence. Even give him the key to your house.

When you come back, you notice something right away. Yes, he'd done more work, and it looks fine, but there's things missing from your home. Red flags and sirens are going off in your head...was it the handyman's doing, or was there a burglary? Either way, you have to call the police first and ask questions later.

Has this happened to me? No.

But I know of people who have had this done, and I know at least two handymen that are far more than what they seem. By this, I mean that they have done exactly what I wrote above: gained some one's trust, gone in and done a job partially or in entirety, and then later came back and robbed the home. Of anything you can think of. Furniture, electronics, guns, jewelry, what the police would call 'big ticket' items. Even cash is game, or a small safe that's not embedded in a wall.

So where are these handymen now? One is in prison, and the other...he walks the streets today...still being a handyman. This one has done time on and off, but for nothing directly related to this kind of burglary. He has done time however, for stealing some one's checks and forging them. I hate the term 'handyman' because it sounds so safe and so comfortable. The name in itself is very deceiving, and so the next time you need some one to do a job for you, be careful. Ask for credentials, do a background check, whatever you need to do to keep yourself safe. Some of these handymen aren't just thieves, they're murderers too. Don't believe me...then read the news. These handymen are everywhere.