Friday, January 7, 2011

The Art of Negotiation



As already recorded, we spent New Year’s Eve at Georgetown, and here it is seven days later and we are still here. We have passed the time waiting for a good window to get to Long Island by hiking up Monument Beach, dining at St. Francis and Peace and Plenty, shelling (not terrific here), but mostly, finalizing the last pre-construction phase of our new home: selecting a builder.

We received the bids by e-mail, fortunately at a time when we had a good strong signal. Sorting through the detail was somewhat like translating the Rosetta Stone, each had their own way to deliver the same conclusion, the incredibly large amount of money these guys want to build our little cottage by the sea. We get the feeling that our snowbound builders find it hard to negotiate with two vagabonds sitting in 80 degree weather and sunshine, living the life of Riley.


Although negotiating is something we have both done all of our careers, I have conceded this responsibility to Peter, one of America’s Top Lawyers, as with this designation on his resume he clearly is better at it than I am. Negotiating is difficult when you are not face-to-face. In fact, here in the Bahamas, where the cell phone cost is about $1 a minute to the States, it is difficult telephonically as well, as the costs mount up quickly and the reception is spotty. Using Skype is frowned upon (too many folks using the same internet signal) and not reliable anyhow, unless you are good at filling in every other word you can hear with what you think the other person is saying. Not advised during the negotiating process.


That’s where J&K comes in. This high-tech company serving the cruising community provides the latest mode of communication: a regular telephone that you can some how pay only 15 cents a minute for. J&K clearly reinvests their profits in capital improvements.
Guard service is provided by a local potcake tied to a fence on a short tether. (A potcake is a “wild” mongrel that you find all over the Bahamas, but they are mostly just timid and hungry, except for this gal who takes her job seriously.) Anyhow, J&K provides a great service to the Georgetown community and you should look them up if you get to Georgetown.

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