I am going nuts over this situation. A case of an ounce of prevention would have saved a ton of trouble... I got a call from a guy I do work for, an irrigation guy. He occasionally works for a builder, builder "A" let's call him. Said he needed some grading work done real quick, pretty cheap, take care of him on this and he's got this huge grading job for me out at the airport. So I go down there, 45+ minutes away, on his word that the site is "ready" for me to put a rough grade on it. I go down there on a Sunday afternoon, because he and the builder are crazy to have this thing finished ASAP so it can be in the local parade of homes. What do I find? The flatwork has been formed up but not poured! I can't even get into half the front yard to work on it. I work on the back a little and knock down a pile of dirt, put a little shape on it, and hit a rock. One in a million, this rock gets behind my bucket, yanks on the hose to my 4-in-1, and pulls the whole fancy quick disconnect spool thing out of my loader. Can't use the machine like that. Have to put it on the trailer. I get back down there a couple days later, after getting the replacement part from Bobcat, and the irrigation is already installed! And that's not the best part. Somebody dumped three triaxle loads of dirt in the back yard. The irrigation guys trenched through the piles and put in the sprinklers anyway. And of course everybody is still in a huge hurry. So they say, just "slick it off" and harley rake it and get it ready for sod. So that's what I do. I have laborers come down and hand rake the edges, and I go over the whole thing to try to put a decent final grade on it. While I am working, the neighbor's house is also under construction. The guy building that house, builder "S", is on bad terms with the guy building the house I am trying to grade. As in, childish pissing contest type situation. That builder has his guys putting in the electrical service. They are placing the spoils on my yard as they dig the trench. Builder "A" (and his daddy) tell me to just push the spoils back in their trench. I decide it would probably be better to push the spoils in to their yard without filling in the trench if at all possible. Even better, builder "A" is digging up a corner of the yard near there, by hand, because the conduit is smashed or something and they are trying to figure it out. I say fine, but I can't grade that part while there is a hole in it, have the irrigation guy fix it when he comes out to lay the sod. Fast forward a couple weeks, and I get a call saying that the side yard is holding water. This is the side where all the trouble was while I was working. I go down to investigate, and decide to try to fix it. The sod is still fresh. I have my helpers peel up the sod wide enough to get my loader in to work on it. I have to get this puddle to drain out the back of the yard. I end up cutting down over a foot at the back, 8 inches below the level at which I found the irrigation piping. I have to cut through two sprinkler heads and cover a third one to make the grade right. I have to come back four times because the pissing contest has inspired builder "S" to leave his irrigation on and continually flood the low spot where it can never be graded. It takes so long that the once viable sod dies and must all be replaced. Finally last week, after I have made peace with builder "S" and gotten him to shut off his irrigation, and have cut out the mud and put in dry dirt, and raked it all by hand, I have installed 4 pallets of sod back in the new swale and it looks good. During all this, I accessed the property from the adjoining subdivision. There's a vacant lot behind the house I was working on, separated by two ditches. Now builder "A" calls me this morning, to tell me the developer for the adjoining subdivision is all over him to fix his ditch, it's holding water, it used to have grass in it, etc etc... That ditch is so muddy my track machine had trouble crossing it. I tried to shape it back up on my way out but there was only so much I could do. To really fix it would just about take a gradall and dump truck , which would cost me $200 an hour, 3 or 4 hour minimum. I already spent 400 bucks on sod. I only got paid $700 for the grade job in the first place! So I know I should have walked away much much earlier in the story. Once I did the job, I have felt bound by honor to make it right, regardless of how screwed up the other characters were. But I am just about at the end. Builder "A" has two more houses he wants to use irrigation guy and me on, but this job has to be finished first. Irrigation guy has the huge job at the airport coming up. But I keep thinking, if they are all going to be like this, why would I ever want to work for either of them again? Any advice? Should I just suck it up and get er done? Or tell these knuckleheads to kiss my butt? Or maybe something in between?