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Question: it is monday morning and as you set your coffee...

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It is Monday morning, and as you set your coffee on your desk and open your email, the first message catches your eye. The subject line is “Your invoice is unacceptable!” “Uh-oh,” you think to yourself, “this is not a good start to the week!” You are the business manager for Catapult Construction Company. The owner, Thrace, is a talented builder who takes great pride in his work, but has trouble communicating with clients. On a recent job, he had renovated a garage loft into a suite for a client who had hired Thrace previously. The work was done while the client was out of town. The job was completed last week, and on Thrace’s behalf, you had sent out the $42,000 invoice to the client on Friday. The client’s response reads as follows:

Hi Thrace, I got your invoice and almost fell off my chair. I thought I had been clear that my budget was $35,000. I asked you for a firm estimate several times prior to your crew starting the work, but you never did give me an answer. When we first started talking about the job, you said that you, Laurie and Harjit would be able to wrap it up within 10 days and that there would probably be about $20,000 in materials. That led me to believe that we were in the same ballpark. Now, don’t get me wrong, the place looks great and I know you didn’t cut any corners. But I told you that the loft is going to be lived in by my teenage son, so I really didn’t need all of the fancy woodwork and fixtures you put in. If you had asked me about it, I would have chosen a less expensive option. We need to talk about this — as it stands I’m not prepared to pay the invoice. I’m out of town again, but you can reach me by email. Regards, Katherine

When Thrace arrived in the office, you read him the email. “I can’t believe it!” Thrace said emphatically. “What does she expect? We did a great job on that place and in a hurry too, because she said her son wanted to move in during the long weekend. There was no way I was going to cut corners there, because on the last job I did for her, she was very particular that everything be perfect. And that number I gave her for materials was just a guess — it turns out I had forgotten that she wanted a shower put in as well. That woman has some nerve! I’m going to call her now.” You explain to Thrace that Katherine is out of town again, but that she is available by email. You also remind him that the last time he did work for Katherine, she mentioned that she often writes reviews on social media sites of companies she hires and whose products she buys. She had written a very positive review of Thrace’s work on the contractor review website Rate My Builder. To give him time to calm down, you offer to draft an email for Thrace to respond to Katherine’s message.

Required: Use the ACAF Method to analyze this situation.

Specifically: a. Assess the situation. (5 marks)

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