Thursday, December 10, 2009

An Apology Would've Been Nice

One of the things Pops taught me was to be unafraid to try to do things myself. He taught me how to use tools, and in return, I lost, misplaced, and mistreated all of those tools. I recall him saying that one of the biggest changes in having his last child out of the house was that tools remained exactly where he left them.

He taught me how to do all sorts of things, from using a coping saw, to roofing a house, to changing a water pump on an '82 Escort. So I've got the do-it-yourself genes, but unfortunately, I didn't inherit his skill, patience, or attention to detail. The result is that I know enough to get myself into trouble, but not enough to get myself out. So I get by with a little help from my friends, and especially my family. When Aerie and I bought a townhouse years ago that had a rotten bathtub, among other problems, I got a lot of practice fixing stuff. I called it my practice house. I did a terrible job tearing out the old tub, installing the new one, and putting in new drywall in the bathroom. God knows how we managed to finally sell that place.

So in the new house, when I wanted to screen in the deck, I called on Pops. He had the equipment. He had the know-how. And what he didn't know, he could figure out. When I wanted to turn an office into a bedroom, I called on Big Brother. He's a structural engineer who used to frame houses. He knows his stuff.

Big Brother and I, we turned this:

Into this:

It's not perfect. Even in the picture, you can still say the shape of where the old door used to be. But it's pretty darn good. Much gratitude and love to Big Brother for all of his expertise and help.

But you see that white patch of joint compound up there? See that? We had a couple of unrelated electrical problems that I couldn't figure out, so we decided to call an electrician. And as long as he was here, I thought it best to let him move the light switch inside that room so that I wouldn't spend the next 20 years annoyed that it was six feet away from the doorway. And he more or less did a good job. He fixed the two other problems, but he left screws and cut wire and various detritus from his work laying around the house. But worse, he put a hole in my new wall. I was happy with that wall. Aerie was happy with that wall. All I had left, after floating, and taping, and texturing, and painting the hallway side, was painting the bedroom side. That's all. Nearly done. And the electrician, when drilling through the old header above the old door, missed. And put a hole in my new wall.

He said, "Oh." He said, "I guess I missed." And then he proceeded to lavish praise on my drywalling skills. He suggested that I was so good at it, that it would be no problem for me to fix his mistake. And then he gave me $25 off my bill.

Son of a bitch never even said, "I'm sorry." And now I'm patching and texturing and painting again. I'll bet I'll be looking at that spot for the next 20 years and thinking about that stupid electrician.


Pops said...

To use a term from Purelight, Think About This. If you had made the error and you fixed it to perfection and no one knew or could tell, you would see it yourself for the rest of your life. True craftsmanship is to not point out your goofs, just say they are new design attempts.

She Said said...

Jerk. Why is it so hard for people to say sorry? That bugs me too!

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