Wednesday, March 28, 2007

DIY Superhero

Further to my weekend of stress and tears, I was genuinely touched to find that the boy spent Monday daytime doing loads of jobs that needed doing - to my flat.

I suspect part of his motivation is to get me back to being normal again (and not bursting into tears at a moment's notice) but I was so happy and grateful I didn't care. Plus, if that's his intention, it's working. He's my DIY superhero.

Did this quiz online when googling superhero. Turns out I'm Iron Man. Weird.

You are Iron Man

Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Lantern
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Moving towards the antiheroes, I am going to compile a list of workmen and their excuses. There must be a sliding scale or a graph I can create (the electrician was two hours late yesterday...due to 'traffic').

So far, I have had:

Workman no 1:
Bathroom Guy

Usual tiny 'finishing off' jobs left undone. Promised to do them by the Saturday. Went AWOL. Only returned my calls four days later saying he had not yet been in touch because he had found it painful to speak after having two teeth out. I didn't point out he'd said this all by text and could have done so four days beforehand. He fsaid he would come on Thursday to finish the job. During all this time he had my spare keys, which I needed to pass on to the wardrobe fitters. He'd also acquired my filler knife. It cost all of £3 from B&Q but it's the principle of the fact I was left without it On the final Thursday, I had to wait for him so I could make sure he did the job, I could take the keys off him and then I would pay him the money in cash. I could hardly give £400 to the wardrobe fitter to pay another workman with. Anyway, I had a meeting scheduled for later that morning and when he had not arrived at 8.15am as promised I called him. At 8.30 he was leaving Clapham Junction, apparently. By 9am he still hadn't turned up. I left for work and my meeting. He called to apologise claiming he'd had a panic attack (I have one every time I go to CJ, which is why I ride a bike). The next day I had to stay late, again, to meet him. This time he was only 20 mins late and had no panic attacks but the first thing he did when he met me was to shove his mouth in my face and point out his new teeth. Nice.

Workman no 2:

This is actually an old situation. A while back my ceiling developed a leak. It was not clear if it was coming through the walls or from upstairs' bathroom. We got the freeholder's preferred plumber in to sort it out because all three of us may have ended up splitting the bill (I was gunning for the 'upstairs' bathroom' option as then they would have to pay the whole thing). Anyway, he came once and said he couldn't find out what the problem was and he would come back at the weekend when I was there. He didn't turn up. He didn't answer his phone. A month later, he calls, explaining he had to rush home to Sth Africa at the last minute to be with his dying father. This, i believe to be entirely true and I can imagine you don't want to phone just any old business contact when you're having to respond to that sort of a situation. The father died, he had to stay on and sort stuff out etc etc. He apologised and said he'd get on with the job. There followed one more visit where he seemed to rip my wallpaper off and little else (I could have done that). Another month passed by before he came back again and announced it was definitely upstairs' bathroom and fixed the leak. I asked him to hold off sending the bill until I'd informed upstairs of its imminence, which I duely did. I've since left him several messages and just assumed he had been paid as he'd gone silent. But when I bumped into my neighbour the other day, it turns out he has not heard from him either. All of this took place back in December so you'd think he'd have got the bill in by now! I've left him two messages explaining that if there is anything outstanding I am about to leave the country and he might want to get a move on. But not a peep...

Workman no 3:
Wardrobe fitter

Wardrobes fitted but small job of re-fitting new shelving to alcove which had been affected by wardrobe installation not complete. Meant to come Monday. Didn't come. Advised them that I didn't care when they came but I wanted it to be done by Friday at the latest as the w/e was dedicated to painting the room. He was meant to come Thursday. Didn't come. Meant to come Friday. Didn't come. I phoned leaving narky messages for both contacts I have for the firm. They called back almost immediately (but long enough for me to find myself in the dairy aisle of Sainsbury's having a conversation about lemon tart) and apologised wholeheartedly saying "I'm not even going to bother you with the ridiculous excuses that I've been given. I'm just going to say we fucked up and I'm sorry."

Bliss. A company which knows how to take the blame. A rare beast...

Check them out if you want a decent fitted wardrobe. I know of competitors, who charge twice the price. But I'm very happy with mine. Even if I did need to get a little stroppy to get the finishing touches sorted!

Mother has her op tomorrow. Inserting a plate and three screws into her ankle. I'm going to call her Metal Mummy from now on.

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