Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tradesmen Are Both The Best and The Worst

When I last left off, which was, admittedly, too long ago, I mentioned that I needed some plumbing help.  Joe Merritt, Plumber was unable to unclog the, um, clogged piped in my basement and the washing machine was rendered almost unusable.  Joe Recommended a friend of his, I gave him a call, and he showed up the next day.

He parked in the driveway and took a look at the basement.  I let him know that I would have to leave at some point during his few hours of work, so he would have to park his giant blue van on the street, rather than on my terrible property.  He agreed, hopped into his van, and made his way here:

Plumber Crash 001

I watched the journey from driveway to curb.  It was GREAT.

The plumber fired up his van and backed out of the driveway completely.  He then moved his van pretty much where it ended up in the above picture, but decided to fix the angle at which he was parked (which I appreciate) and to do so, he started to back up again.  He slowly backed up and slowly backed up until he had finally smooshed the rear of his van into the telephone pole, also pictured above.

It was hilarious.

He was probably only going about seven miles per hour, but (at the risk of sounding like a pickle commercial), man, what a satisfying crunch.  The result?  I nice tall dent:

Plumber Crash 002

He popped out of the van, once it was finally completely parked, and was livid with himself.  A nice quote – “If my effword effword-up brother did that, I would have fired his ayword.”  he complained about his driving prowess for a few minutes while angrily unloading hi van and getting ready to fish out poop.  He was great.

Another fun conversation I had with him later on (I added only a few ‘yea’s’ and nervous laughter to the conversation) started by him letting me know that he recently lived in my neighborhood.  He said that he used to live only a few streets over from my house and he asked me if I had ever seen a woman walking around the neighborhood with two white dogs on leashes.  I had not.

He then let me know that he was, ahem, “trying to get with that.”  Gross enough.  Also, “she wouldn’t let him because he would have to take her to dinner or some essword like that.”

Why do people tell me these things?  I met the man twenty seven minutes earlier and he was admitting to me that he is a terrible person who tried to have sex with a woman, but wouldn’t take her to dinner first.  Yeesh.  If you want to tell me that story (you shouldn’t), just admit to me that the woman turned you down.  I know it already.  It’s not a secret.

I also learned that he didn’t usually smoke, but he had recently rehired his brother who smokes, so naturally, he started up again.  His brother did a lot of drugs.  his dad is kind of a deadbeat.  Etc.

I did not, and still do not, care about any of this.  Please.  Tradesmen.  Do not continue to tell me these things.  Please just show up on time and do the job you are being paid to do.  No more stories, anecdotes, family secrets or anything else.  Please.

In other news, the heaters are still not installed.  We are using a small, but surprisingly effective space heater on the third floor, as we don’t want to be freezing people.  Since the heaters have not yet been installed, we cannot have the floor Asians start (or finish) the floor reconditioning.  This is terrible, as we can’t rent out these places without refinished floors or, you know, heat.

The good news is, a week and a half after he said he could show up, Dan Costa, Electrician is here now, working away on the first floor.  Yesterday, I received an email from him around 6:30am stating that he’d be by to start working between 10am and 11am. 

I called him at 11:15am, wondering where he was.  Surprisingly, he was not on his way.  He said he would be there in an hour or so, as he was “held up”. 

An hour and a half later, I gave him another call.  He was, this time, back at his office looking for the estimate he did for me.  It would be another half hour or so. 


An hour thereafter, he finally showed up, hopefully to start working, as he said he would be.

Apparently, to Dan Costa, “starting work” means “ask for a check”.  I didn’t, and still do not, have any checks to offer, so I handed him a few hundred bucks in cash and he said he would be back the next day (this morning) around 8am, to start.

One more day without heat.  Hooray.

He showed up this morning right on time.  No he didn’t.  Only a half hour late though, so that was nice.  I handed him a huge check and he is currently working.  he should be finished in the next few days. 

Since he started, I called up the floor Asians and set up their start date.  Next Monday.  Blamo.

Almost finished…

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