Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The HUGE job in Chula Vista has become a HUGE pain in the arse, which is funny because I don't recall checking the PIA box on the original estimate and adding the appropriate PIA surcharge. Oh well. Do you want to hear about it? No? Then click here and off with you, then!

The pieces don't fit. That's all. They just don't fit. I've built hundreds of these things and yesterday, the pieces didn't fit. They're still down there on the job site right now, not fitting. I could call the manufacturer, but what good would that do, really? Would he send me some pieces that do fit? Not likely. He'll say that, yes, it's an after-market part and they don't go together well, but most installers figure out a way to make it work. Which is a challenge to me, and a challenge to my ability. Well I challenge you, then! How about making pieces that DO fit?! But they're too busy selling these things to go to all that trouble. So it's on me.

The funny thing is, they claimed that their after-market pieces were better than the other guy's. This fact, and the fact that they deliver everything was why I went with them to begin with. If you'll recall from last week, they ended up delivering the wrong goods. It all finally came on Monday, thank you very much, but now I... oh, screw.

I noticed at the end of last week that I had complained a lot that week. I thought I better tone down the complaining next week, lest I become The Angry Blogger, which is not particularly fun to read. Or, maybe it is fun to read, but you wouldn't want to hang out with that miserable wretch. Anyway, it is clear that I am experiencing all of the symptoms of Hypersensitivity Disorder, which may not be from the aluminum at all. Actually, I think I've had it all my life, and so do many people I know. Funny, it never occurred to me that "Bad Attitude" and "Loser" and "Wuss" might be treatable diseases. I'll have to ask Dr. Weaver about that.

I've been doing a bit of work on my genealogy. I ordered the death certificates of my dad's parents, whom I know nothing about, and one of them arrived yesterday -the certificate, not my dead ancestors (thank GOD!) Incidentally, Ancestry.com charged me $40 before I realized I could get the same thing direct from the state for $15, dammit. Anyway, there wasn't much information on it that I didn't already know (except that my great grandfather's middle initial was "F", imagine my surprise) but when I was driving off to work yesterday I noticed the mailman driving up the street. That's odd, I thought to myself, he usually doesn't come until the end of the day. As I passed him he looked directly at me and pointed at me with both hands, which was mildly shocking. I pulled over. He got out of his truck and I got out of mine ready for a rumble, but he bounded toward me with the energy of summering gazelle. "Mr. Hawkins!" he shouted with morning glee (rare to see), and handed me my grandfather's death certificate. And he was off. It was a spooky exchange because I had never seen nor met this postman in my life. I figure he must have recognized my truck, which sits in my driveway viewable by all who pass, but my mailbox is down the street in one of those rickety postal collectives that is supposed to make the guy's job easier. I don't have time to ponder the order of things in the universe, so for now I'll just be satisfied that the mail even gets to me, and live with the knowledge that The Postman Knows All. He's getting a Christmas card this year for sure.

I asked my wife about it. She said simply, "He knows everyone."

Happy Halloween.

So it's back to the aluminum assembly problem of the day. It vexes me, but at least they won't blow up in my face. The United States Army is much more adept at creative problem solving than the family construction business. Of course, their very lives depend on it. See here: OUR TROOPS NEED SILLY STRING!