Friday, July 17, 2009
A Little Venting...
Today has been one of those days where I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Taking care of 2 houses while my mom is away, planning for my own trip that is 2 days away, another day with the painters, the cleaning lady is here, and one of my sprinkler valves is leaking in the front yard.
That's a lot of commotion and responsibility for one person. I feel like a circus ringmaster today, with rings of activity all around me. Plus I am taking care of my mom's dog and cat, along with my dog and 3 cats.
And the sprinkler thing is turning into a big ol' mess and I feel I'm partly to blame.
The valves for the automatic sprinklers are in the front of the house and have been leaking for about three weeks. At first I thought it was because they got jarred when the brick workers were here, because it happened about the same time, but I think they are just really old.
Aye...the brick workers.
You know, one thing about having so much work done on the house by different people is that it really gives you a chance to compare people's work ethics. My painters are AWESOME. They get here every day at 7:20, work their fannies off with just a one hour break for lunch, and keep going until 4:30pm. They are non-stop, no nonsense, and trustworthy.
My cleaning lady, who comes every other Friday, she's here today too. She gets here at 9:30, works for 4 hours, is incredibly trustworthy, and then she's done.
Then, there is Andrew, the brick guy. Maybe it is because he's from Tonga and they do things differently there; a slower pace, time doesn't have the same meaning there as it does here--I don't know. But he is so unreliable. And he doesn't do the work himself, he buys the materials, negotiates the money, and then just hangs around (or sometimes leaves) while his workers do the actual labor. Lucky for him he has excellent workers.
The other day one of the sprinkler heads next to my brick walkway was not coming up properly. It was just shooting water straight into the air. I called him and told him about it and he said he would be here yesterday--Thursday-- "around lunchtime." Well, what the heck does that mean?
On Wednesday night I was able to loosen the sprinkler head myself and get it to work. I left a message on his voicemail to tell him that it was working OK.
I SHOULD HAVE STOPPED THERE.
Last night I was walking my mom's dog and passed by another house on our street where Andrew's guys are working. (I don't say him, because he doesn't.) I asked him if he got the message I left and he said no, he hadn't checked his messages. That means that he was still, technically, committed to showing up at my house. He said he came around 1:30. I had left on an errand because I had called him. But still, if he thought he was still supposed to come and I wasn't there, wouldn't it be the right thing to call? Of course. Did he? No.
Then we got talking about the leaky valves, which really are leaking quite a bit these last few days. There is, literally, a puddle under them, and who knows how much water is getting wasted. Still, why, oh, why, did I do it? I took him up on his offer to replace the valves.
Shouldn't have done it. He keeps apologizing for not being there when he said he would, promises to get it done quickly and easily....yeah, I should've known better.
Nothing is every quick or easy with him.
He said he'd be here today at 11am.
Painters got here when they said they would, cleaning lady came at her normal time, I was up at 6:45 to feed the pets at my house and my mom's house and water her plants....
Then at 10:15 my phone rings and it is Andrew. He wasn't going to be there until 12:30. Grr...
At 11:30 I was hungry and needed an escape from everything going on here and ran to get some lunch, thinking that I'd be home by 12:30. A one hour break, I thought. How nice.
At 11:45 I get a phone call from Andrew saying he's at my house, where am I? When am I going to get home?
I had already ordered my lunch, so when it was ready I got it to go and I came home. Andrew's truck was parked in front, filled with kids. He explained that he would be back later tonight once the painters and the cleaning lady were done because he would have to shut off the water and it would have to remain off all night so that the pressure didn't build up around the valves and spring leaks around the glue.
That would've been nice to know last night when I hired him to do this.
I was livid and told him so, about the way he never comes at the time he says, how things are always more complicated than they appear to be at the beginning. So now he's coming back at 7:30pm tonight to put in the valves, as his workers finish up around the corner at the house where they are laying some brick.
I guess I'm partly mad at myself too, because I had promised that I would not hire him again, and then I did. Why, why, why?? Never again. Never, never again. And as I point these very valid points out to him, he says, "Why you being so mean to me?"
Nothing should be this hard. And I'd better have water turned back on tomorrow morning or things are going to get ugly.
Enjoy your last job at my house, Andrew. This is it.
And thus endeth my venting.
The moral of this story? I don't like being jerked around. Who does?