Sunday, June 20, 2004

Does Nothing Work?

And now, a short summary of the past few weeks...

I.  Want room painted and crown molding hung.  Need this done before shutter is installed.

     A.  Buy molding.  Get 8 foot lengths 'cause nothing smaller will fit in my car.

     B.  Call painters.  Can't find one with availability before shutter comes.

     C.  Finally find a service.  They say they'll send someone who can paint and hang the molding.

     D.  The day before the service guy is supposed to come, the service calls and cancels because he is busy on another job.  They try to reschedule after the shutter comes.

     E.  I scream bloody murder and they send someone the next day.

          1.  Who can paint.  But not hang crown molding.

          2.  He does the painting.  He charges me extra to paint the molding so it will be all ready for someone else to hang it.

          3.  He recommends a friend to do the molding.  I say I'll hire the friend.

          4.  Days pass.  The guy doesn't return my calls.  The friend is nowhere to be found.

II.  The shutter comes.

III.  I call the service to get someone to hang the crown molding.  I beg for a freakin' carpenter.

     A.  Service sends someone who they claim has crown molding experience.

          1.  This is a lie.

               a.  Of epic proportions.

                     i.  Seriously.  The man doesn't realize crown molding goes at an angle between the ceiling and the wall.  He thinks he's hanging trim.

          2.  I email the service with a lengthy complaint.  They promise to send a supervisor.

               a.  Well, actually, this is after I call them a couple times, because far be it from anyone to actually take the initiative and call back a complaining customer.

               b.  And, of course, this is also after they try to cancel the appointment on me, because the original thought-he-knew-how-to-hang-crown-molding guy was having car trouble, and couldn't come.  I had to get a special dispensation to have the supervisor come by himself.  Felt like I was asking the Pope for permission to divorce or something.

         3.  Amazingly, the supervisor comes!  He takes over the job.

         4.  The supervisor and the original guy hang the molding.

              a.  Oh hey, have I mentioned that they would have provided materials at no mark-up?  Honest.  If I'd had them buy the molding, they would've given me the receipt for reimbursement and that's it.  And I could've had lengths longer than 8 ft -- so I wouldn't have had all those visible joins around my ceiling.

         5.  The not-entirely-competent guy has to come back to repaint the molding.  (Yes, the same molding I already paid to have the first guy paint.  The supervisor tries to charge me extra to have it painted again, until I point out that it was his employee who told me it should be painted first and charged me accordingly.)

               a.  He gets the date of the appointment wrong.  I wait around and he doesn't show.

               b.  He finally does show.  And paints the molding.  And touches up the walls they scratched up while installing the molding.

                    i.  Like this one place, where there was a gash in my doorframe from where they whacked it with a strip of the molding -- they needed to repaint that with the glossy enamel paint I'd already put on there.  The guy proudly reports to me that, rather than go down to his truck to get a second paintbrush for the enamel, he just improvised something with a cigarette butt.  I was supposed to be impressed by this.

                        a)  Of course, now it's just a big gash with a thin coat of white over it.  Not like he repaired the gash or anything.

                   ii.  And of course, he got molding-colored paint on my ceiling, and I don't have any ceiling touch-up paint.

                  iii.  And there were some nail holes that he just painted over, rather than filling and sanding down -- so as soon as he left and the paint dried, they became visible again.

IV.  And today, the cable guy was supposed to come between 3:00 and 5:00 to install my new cable box.

     A.  I have to leave Father's Day brunch early in order to make it home on time.  I screech into the driveway at 2:59.

     B.  He shows up just after 5:00.

     C.  Sets up the cable box.

     D.  Tests the cable box.  It doesn't work.

     E.  He calls in.  They can't make it work either.

     F.  He doesn't have a spare in the truck.  They only gave him one box.  Can he come back sometime this week and swap it out?

         1.  Sure.  How bout tomorrow after 6:00?

              a.  Wasn't I supposed to go to the gym tomorrow night?

                    i.  I mean, I haven't been to the gym in at least 3 weeks, what with all the workers coming and missing appointments and all.

                    ii.  And I really need to go to the gym, too.  There were Belgian Waffles at the brunch today.

                        a)  with strawberry sauce

                        b)  and whipped cream

                        c)  .... where was I?

          2.  Yes, right, come back tomorrow after 6:00 and swap out the box.

          3.  "I'll just come back tomorrow and swap the box -- we won't go through the cable company."

               a.  Well, OK.

          4.  "Here, just sign this form."

               a.  Just sign WHAT?  "The form.  Saying I'm leaving the box."

               b.  But you're leaving me a crappy box that doesn't work.  I don't want to accept delivery of that.  I mean, not your fault and all, but I'm not signing off on a job well done when the box blows and all I have is your word that you're coming back.

                    i.  Err, don't get me wrong.  I'm sure you're a nice guy who will actually come back with a new box.  But you don't know the month I've been having.

                          a)  "If you don't sign the form, I can't leave the box."

                                i)  I think:  Not a really impressive box to begin with, but he did already plug it in, and it is minimally functional.

                               ii)  He starts writing all over the form in block caps:  MUST RETURN TOMORROW TO REPLACE BOX.  BOX DON'T WORK.

                                    Now THAT I can sign.


jevanslink said...

I feel your pain. Even though you had me laughing the whole time. Someone wrote an article about how hard it is for women to hire ANYONE to come do ANYTHING. We're ignored.  And dissed all the time. So get a male friend to make your calls and have him hang around when the workers show up. Worth a try. Mrs. L

onestrangecat said...

I am so sorry that you have been having so many problems with your house work.  My dad is going through a lot of  the I will be there, and this is what I think will fix your problem -- and of course they don't show, don't know what they are talking about, etc......