Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Well, apologies to my faithful daily readers. Some of us bloggers don't get the whole week off, and instead have to cram a week's worth of work into a few short days. It ain't no fun, but I got so much done yesterday I thought it might bode well for me in the future to pull it off from time to time. Of course, this will take years off my life. Join that to my new Mac purchase, which adds years to my life, and it's a wash. (You just can't win.) Pine as we may for us all to be replaced by robots, it looks like it's not going to be anytime soon.

This week's customer was satisfied. He was late to the schedule, so we shoehorned him into the reduced Thanksgiving week, much to my chagrin (but welcomed by the bank). I think he and I were both surprised when I showed up late Monday with the materials for his new patio cover. He had one to tear down, and I told him I'd have it out of there within the hour -and it was. And just me, too, as I transferred the contents of the trailer to the driveway, and then filled the trailer with his current patio cover. He stood and watched the whole thing.

It was an old-school aluminum cover -real nasty one, too. Covered with bird crap, bird's nests, dead birds. Had a bunch of golf balls, tennis balls, a few old bathing suits and broken bottles on top of it. I even found a gun. A gun! It was a .22 rifle, in a soft gun case. As I pulled it down, he cocked his head and said "What's that?" and I said, "Look's like a gun." I handed it to him and he opened the case. You could tell it had been up there for some time, as the barrel was rusty. "Damn grankids, tryin' to put one over on me..."

Told him I'd be there the next morning, but didn't show up until the afternoon. Again he was disappointed, and again we were both surprised when I'd constructed the whole new cover, yes by myself, by the day's end. Finished in the dark, but got it up nonetheless. Fast, too! You'd think he was standing there with a rifle while I worked!



It was a long, hard day and when I got home, the wife reminded me of the bills we have to pay. This is a cruel thing to do to a man after he gets in from work and it will only make his mood worsen, but don't worry, I didn't take it out on the goat.

Still, I'm happy that I got it all in the schedule. And a 24 hour turnaround, at that! It was a surprise job, and I wanted it off my mind. It's good that it came along, too, as this season is a tough one on residential contractors. No one has the fortitude to remodel their house during the holidays. "Thank you for sidestepping the construction debris in the driveway, dinner is delivered! And if y'all need to use the bathroom, there's the neighbor's house for the girls and the Port-a-John for the boys. And there's plenty of extra sweaters in the garage with the furniture, as this 2 mil plastic sheeting just don't have the insulating qualities of true stucco and drywall. Oh, it'll be real nice. Easter will be wonderful. Or the 4th. That is to say, if the tile guy ever comes back from Florida. Merry Christmas!"

I don't know why I put a country accent on that last monologue. Something about aluminum patio covers and finding an old rifle hidden in a roof just brought it out of me, I guess.