A Day Off Work or The Hump Day That Got Away

It’s crunch time on construction.  Or should I say “punch time.”  We are down to a task list of items (the punch list) yet be completed.  All the little bits are coming together, like tiny dominoes built meticulously in a tight train. Last week, that meant meeting the cable guy.  Was that an audible groan that slipped from your lips?

It started with a Sunday appointment and a local guy that was pretty much tickled to see the interior of our house, after driving by it for months and viewing it from the outside.  Unfortunately, he was so enthralled with our new utility room – shiny, compact, and labeled – that he missed the dropped line in the ugly little unchanged room which meant an easy job for him.  He went away needing to schedule a 5-hour appointment to wrap the exterior of our whole house in cable.  On Monday, the electrician looked at me incredulously when I told him the Sunday cable guy’s plans.

Later that day I received a text saying that my “ticket was closed” as all work was completed on the assigned job number.  Interesting, as we still had no land-line, no internet, and no cable – only a new fan of the fine craftsmanship that went into our addition.

I called and scheduled another appointment.  Cable guy #2 arrived, came inside and said, “This was called in as a missing dial tone.  This is a bigger job than I can do today.”  After 20 minutes on the phone to set-up this visit, only the “missing dial tone” box had been checked?  “Let me call the business office.”  And off to his truck office he went.

Deflated, I rounded a corner and met my finishing guy, fuming.  “You’re too nice.  Tell him he’s not leaving until the job is done.  Tell him you took the day off to be here.”  This pep talk coming from a man who had a year-long appointment with cable guys – until one cable guy finally cut an exterior line, drained the water out, and put a new line in, creating a long-awaited clear picture on the big-screen.

I headed out the door, in the rain, with no coat.  I hovered outside the truck office’s open window.  “Any word?” I called into the cable guy.  “I’m working on it.”  Then, I heard him mumble “Thursday.”  Through rain drops, I shouted, “Thursday won’t work – thresholds are being stained and no one can be in the house!”   I got the wait-a-second finger.   He hung up.

“I really need you to do this today.”

“I don’t have enough time today; I have five other customers.”

“But I’m a customer too!  And this is the second cable appointment I’ve made in a week to get this job done!”  At this point, I glanced at the ground in front of the truck.  Soft, wet mud.  Shall I throw myself on the ground in front of his truck?  Until the Barefoot Contessa is recording on my DVR?

Why is Bill in China and missing out on all this fun?

“Let me make another phone call.”

I heard negotiating… I dealt the last card as advised by my finishing guy.

“I took the day off work for this appointment!”

That night, the boys and I watched Halloween Wars on the Food Network.