“Okay,” he tells me, “I’m doing another project right now, but I’ll be finishing that up in about two weeks and then I’ll do yours.”
And then life. And then some more life. And I look up one day about the middle of May and realize, “Hey, you know what? My gutters are still falling off.” So I call the guy back and ask what’s going on. After a few plays back and forth with phone tag, I finally come home to a message on my answering machine in which he says, essentially, “Oh, yeah, you. I figured since I hadn't heard from you, you had decided to go with a different contractor.
Now here is something you may or may not know about the American South. Women are still viewed by many, mostly of the male persuasion to be something less than intelligent, something less than capable. Now others might tell you that they find this quaint, maybe even cute.
As someone who is not only more than capable of remembering a conversation that occurred only three months earlier but who also takes copious notes and had not only the day, but also the exact time that I had talked to him about accepting his bid in the file I had put together for this not-so-little repair, I am not amused.
However, I have lived here long enough to know what is expected and how to, shall we say, grease the required social interactions to get what I want. So I feign surprise, brush it off on a miscommunication (most likely my fault) and we agree that he and his crew will come out when they finish the job that they are currently working, in approximately two weeks.
Oh déjà vu.
So color me not particularly surprised when three weeks pass without a word. He calls on the morning of the day I had already mentally designated as “last chance,” apologizing profusely and saying the last job ran longer than expected. But never fear! He and his crew would be at my house Wednesday (this was a Monday) by no later than 0830.
No really. I want to get this done and I absolutely do not want to start over from scratch. “Let’s do this.” I tell him.
Needing to burn some PTO anyway, I beg a coworker to cover my shift Wednesday so that I can be at the house for the first day of construction, wake up early (I work evenings, late evenings,--it is rare for me to be up before 1100), make myself not so scary (that is to say, I brushed the snags Ken works into my hair each night out) and proceeded to wait.
By 0930, I was concerned. By 1230, I was furious.
A three hour nap later, though, and I was annoyed, but not particularly surprised. Sleep can fix most strong emotions where I am concerned. And yeah, sometimes things come up unexpectedly. Sometimes people’s phones explode. Who was I to judge?
I even managed to resist the urge to respond sarcastically when he called me on THURSDAY to tell me he wasn't going to make it on WEDNESDAY.
You don’t say. Thanks for telling me. It’ll save me heaps in time machine fuel hopping back and forth between today and yesterday to see if you ever show.
Monday, he promised, Monday. Eight AM, sharp.
I maintain my façade of southern gentility long enough to get off the phone, but just barely.
And I am happy to announce, finally, that they’re here. They are HERE. It is Monday, and they are here!
Mind you, they did not get here until after 0930, but they are HERE.
Now let us hope they don’t accidentally tear down my house. *sighs*