my costs and should have made both Andy
and me giddy as Lotto winners.
order, the project team at Tribble & Stephens
gleefully sent along a request asking for more
money. Long before the change ever got im-
plemented I found a better way to beef up the
runway, talked it over with the Tribble & Ste-
phens' project team, nixed the earlier change,
and waited for another change order credit-
ing me with the exact amount of the earlier
change order. That didn't happen. The cred-
it, when it arrived, was less than the earlier
charge. Why one didn't match the other, giv-
en that no work had taken place, was a bone
of contention for weeks.
frontation he'd lost some of his old charm. By
April, he was raw-nerved and stubborn. He
shot off a series of e-mails and follow-up tele-
phone calls to Tribble & Stephens' staff, po-
litely complaining that things didn't add up.
place years ago, is nearly impossible to recre-
ate here on the page with any accuracy, so I
won't even try. What I will do is offer up the
flavor of one such conversation, a composite
dialogue if you will, and you tell me if this sort
of give-and-take wouldn't drive a man insane.
The following conversation didn't happen, not
exactly, but it could have.
we got shorted."
altogether professional tone, "It might look
that way, but we're square. Trust me."
it never happened. Removal of the old pave-
ment markings, new markings, none of the
work ever got done."
"It never even got approved," Andy said.
"Which explains why we never did the
"My point is that we deserve a credit on
earlier change order. One should cancel the
In a calm voice, Milo said, "The net cost is
cost plus a markup for overhead and profit.
We agree on this much, am I right?"
"It does, trust me."
"I wish you'd stop saying that," Andy said.