Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why do workmen get these urges to wander?

A man came to replace the bathroom floor. He tore out the toilet, and removed the bathmat, wastebasket, etc, which he placed in the hall so I can trip over it. Then he made good his escape.

What is this wanderlust which afflicts workpersons such as plumbers, carpenters, etc? Have they all taken the same course: HI 101, Delay and avoidance of work: Methods and best practices, Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 p.m., 3 credits.

I speak from experience. I had a bathroom replaced once by a contractor named Ray. Ray and his minions came to my house on a bitterly cold March day and tore out the floor, walls, and ceiling of the bathroom. The cold air streamed in. For three weeks.

Then the electrician was delayed by another job; the plumber needed to shut down the heating system; the medicine cabinet which had been ordered was the wrong size. You would spend all day waiting for one of these bozos and they would turn up just as I was trying to cook dinner. Try doing that with the water shut off.

Then the little problems: our electricity supply was not all that it might have been. In fact, without major changes, the job couldn't go on at all. The water flooded the other bathroom, but the plumber was in South Jersey. The tile guy thought the tile was going to be awfully boring without some embellishment; and wouldn't we really, really like to have a heater in the ceiling fan?

And plaster dust. No working person in the home can do anything, including paint the walls, without loosing a mountain of plaster dust, which he and his buddies then track through the house. Is there another course, HI 102, Plaster dust: uses and misuses, Monday and Wednesday 1:30 p.m., 2 credits. Course prerequisite: grout through the ages.

Anyway, it got done, and it was only $2,000 over budget. We loved it. The agony forgotten, we had another bathroom replaced. Home improvement is like crack to me; I know it's not good for me, and it's expensive, but I've gotta have it.

2 comments:

Attila said...

Home improvement is like crack to me

Plumber's crack, no doubt.

Duffy said...

It's actually very simple. The contractors start the job to ensure they keep it. No other contractor will take it once it's been started. They then work on the 3 other jobs already started and then work in rotation to make sure they have enough cash coming in week over week.