I returned re-charged and re-invigorated from a much-needed vacation on Tuesday. Time visiting with family and touring Spain was the perfect getaway; the time change and distance making is possible to “unplug.” As my husband and I left the airport, we decided to stop by the new home we’d be moving into on Sunday. We purchased almost two months ago and some renovations were being made prior to actually living there. The improvements were to be completed in time for the “reveal” this weekend and we were eager to see the progress made over the last ten days.
When we pulled up to the house, we were pleased to see a dumpster full of construction debris. It was a sign that work actually was being done. And then we walked into and through the house.
The house looked like a war zone. A white powdery film from sanding sheetrock and tiles covered every surface of the kitchen. I’m not kidding. Cabinet doors, counters, every appliance…all completely covered. Why did these guys not cover things in plastic or paper?! There were all kinds of building-related equipment in each and every room. Empty bottles, cups, and fast-food bags were strewn all over the place. Toilets weren’t flushed. Bottom line? Not only was the place in shambles, it did not seem like a move-in date of Sunday would even be possible. Not one room was finished. I was pissed and my husband looked like he was having a stroke.
The next morning I arrived at the job site with donuts and a smile. I lectured myself that yelling and screaming would not be productive. I didn’t want to cause anyone to walk off the job, but I needed a status update and was prepared to be as stern as needed.
The general contractor, a man who shows no sense of urgency or selectivity when it comes to using sub-contractors, was nowhere to be found. He is on vacation (while I don’t begrudge vacations, why this week?!?!?!) and left his foreman in charge. Horacio, a very nice and hardworking guy, gave me an update in broken English. (I seriously need to learn Spanish!) He complained that the “floor guys” (hired by me) were in his way, preventing him from painting the main floor. I nicely told him that he and his sidekick had plenty to finish upstairs, where all three bedrooms were works in progress. Where were the “three crews” that John the GC had promised? They had two months to work, but virtually did nothing until the last week! I firmly reminded him that I had to sleep in the master bedroom on Sunday. Then I went looking for my floor guy.
Terry immediately became defensive. He claimed that Horacio made the dusty mess and kept walking through the kitchen, making it impossible to finish the floor, and was “messing” up bathrooms where tiles has already been cleaned and polished. I told him that a job that was to take only two weeks was still underway; a fact that demonstrated inefficiencies or lack of skill…nothing to do with any other subcontractor. The tile work had been done impeccably and timely, but the concrete work was not his forte. There were too many excuses about difficulties with prepping the floor; humidity affecting the absorption of color; blah, blah and blah.
The plumber is a total horse’s ass. A TOTAL redneck, Keith began complaining about the Mexicans and blacks working on the job; not getting things done. He went on and on about stopped up toilets, water heaters, and about his own personal medical issues. If I could’ve, I would have fired this insufferable bigot on the spot. He fit every toothless stereotype I’ve ever heard. I wondered if I should tell him that I’m Jewish.
A migraine formed. I willed myself to look forward to a positive end result…a new home in which I’ll be excited to live. I want to believe in human decency and goodness; that people care about others and the quality of their work. But at the same time, I wished I could be God for one day. Like what happened with the rebellious Korach, I wish I could open up the earth and have it swallow them all.
I drove home and started working on Plan B because I don’t think Sunday’s move will take place. I might be wrong. May the guys will all get their s#&t together and make it happen. The good news is that we don’t close on our current house until next week. So, just in case, we have a week to figure things out.
In the meantime, so much for the great two weeks off. How the hell — and from where — am I going to work on Monday?