A couple of days ago, I wrote about the status of my garage and mentioned that the electrician was supposed to come and garage door delivered on Thursday. Well, here it is: Thursday. I paused here to check to make sure it was Thursday. Considering how easily I lose track of the days, it could have been any day, but yes. It is Thursday. But no garage door and no electrician.
Apparently, because of The Bob, the lumberyard has no delivery people available. (From what I gather, the delivery guy is making twice on unemployment than he would make if he were working.) And the electricians — who knows. Maybe they want a four-day weekend for Memorial Day. (Yep, Monday is Memorial Day. I had to check that, too. Seems way too early to me.) A greater problem is that all the electricians in the area are backed up for months. The contractor had to beg them to come. It used to be that he’d do the work himself and then have the an electrician check his work before the inspector came, but the new code enforcer has vetoed that. (Weird that a such a small town has both a code enforcer and a building inspector checking everything and each other.)
So, we’ll see. The contractor is planning on being here most of next week, and if no emergency jobs come his way, maybe part of the following week. It should be interesting to see how many of the started jobs they can finish in that time — not just the garage, but the basement (fixing the cracks in the walls and painting them, concreting the last section of the floor, installing a sump pump), as well as myriad less vital jobs.
I’m in a dilemma here — he’s worried about having no other jobs lined up (he’s usually far behind, but too many people have cancelled out on him, not wanting non-family members around the house) so I’d like to send good thoughts and best wishes his way, but I am also aware that if he has no other jobs to do, he’s more or less stuck with me. Not that he minds doing my work; I think it’s more that I’m patient and forgiving of delays as well as affording him a bit of an emergency cushion, so if he finishes my work, there goes the cushion. But from my point of view — how wonderful it would be to have a garage, a basement rather than a dungeon, a yard that isn’t cluttered with building materials. (Though I have a hunch the things will be there long after the garage is done. The lumber yard overestimated some of the materials and underestimated others, so they will have to come pick up a bunch of leftover stuff, and since they don’t have a driver . . . Well, there’s not much I can do about it.)
Despite The Bob I’m not at all worried about having the workers here, even if they do some jobs in the house (after all this time, the contractor is like family). Besides, it will be good to have people around. I really am too much alone.
I did have an amusing thought today — with all the contact tracers that are supposed to be hired at an average salary of $65,000 a year, I wondered what it would be like if I applied. Even though normally it would an intrusion into people’s lives, it wouldn’t matter to me or anyone I know. I mean, I hardly ever see anyone, and I hardly ever go anywhere, and if I do, I forget my phone half the time. So they’d be paying me for nothing. (Just a joke. There’s no way I’d ever do something like that. There’s too much surveillance now.)
For weeks now, the plan has been for them to do my garage “next week.” Maybe next week, “next week” will actually get here.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.
May 22, 2020 at 6:26 am
Having dealt with contractors many times in the last 20 years of owning a house, I have developed a phobia. It’s *possibly* unreasonable, I’ll admit, but it’s there and for good reason (too long a story to tell). After a difficult experience in 2012/2013 where I had to sue in conciliation court (and won), I am loath to even attempt working with another contractor to update the kitchen. And now being by myself makes it many times harder b/c he used to enjoy wheeling and dealing with these guys. Me, I dread it, always feel at a disadvantage, and just want it done, and done right, and then the whole business cleared out of my house and left alone.
Speaking of being alone, I thought it would be good to use video chat with some family members, but I found myself ill at ease the whole time, waiting for it to be over. Possibly it’s the nature of video chat, where you kind of feel compelled to fill the silence, but it made me wonder if I have gone too far off the path in preferring isolation to people and their drama and other stuff.
May 22, 2020 at 8:23 am
If I had your experiences with contractors, I’d be leery, too. Hearing horror stories over the years made me never want to own a house, but here I am. I’m lucky in that although this guy puts me off too much, he is very fair about pricing and guaranteeing the work he does.
I haven’t tried a video chat — I’m still uncomfortable talking on the phone at times. And I too wonder if I’ve gone too far off the path. I imagine one day we will have to pick up the pieces of a social life, but meantime, it is pleasant not to have to deal with drama.
May 22, 2020 at 8:04 am
I understand your feeling of being alone. It’s just me & my dog here. I usually get to see my daughter for an hour, possibly two a week. I don’t go out much & my dog is with me much of the time. My big project is TRYING to get Mike’s will probated. It’s a major headache. If I’m really fortunate, it MIGHT be done by years end. UGH. Hurry up & wait!!!!
May 22, 2020 at 8:13 am
I can’t believe it’s so hard to get the will probated. I would have thought it would be fairly easy because of your being his wife. But then, nothing is easy when it comes to loss.