I’d hoped to be revealing our exciting renovation project today. But there’s been an irritating hold~up.
On Friday morning, expecting to have some double~glazing installed, we were raring to go by 8.30. When the clock struck eleven and there was still no sign of them, we called the company ~ to be told we weren’t booked in until after mid~day. News to me ~ it’s a straightforward job and I’d definitely asked for it to be carried out as early as possible, because another workman was on standby to finish off the carpentry.
Ten minutes later the van pulled up outside.
‘Come to fit your door, mate’ said the Cheeky Chappie in charge, to The Artist.
‘And a window…..’
‘Window?’ Puzzled frown.
Hmmm…not a great start.
While CC went off to track down the missing unit, the other two members of his team set about installing the door ~ or rather one of them did, while the other settled on a sunlit patch of decking, sipping coffee and arranging his social life on his mobile. Maybe I’m being overly judgemental here ~ what do I know about fitting doors?
After a disproportionate length time, given that the factory is only about five miles from our home, CC returned with the goods. Looking flustered, he stood muttering with his colleagues, fuelling my suspicions that all was not as it should be.
It may be a widely observed tradition, but The Artist does not believe in plying contractors with refreshments ~ in his opinion they’re getting paid to work, not to sit around swigging tea and dunking biscuits. (Or playing with their phones, for that matter!) But figuring that another shot of caffeine might speed things up I filled the kettle, asking them to gather up their cups for a re~fill.
‘I’ve been a naughty boy,’ CC confessed, holding up a mug minus handle ….and the handle. ‘I’m sooooo sorry I broke it, I’ll buy you another.’
In spite of my mounting disquiet, his hang~dog expression made me laugh. ‘You’re lucky it isn’t a Harley Davidson one ~ you’d have to travel to the mainland to replace that. And I’d much rather you stayed here and got on with this job.’
When I carried out the drinks (in cheap pottery mugs), they’d removed the old window and were offering up the new one. It fitted fine…. widthways. But there was a gap of at least three inches at the top, (don’t ask me to convert that into millimetres ~ I’m old school when it comes to quantities.)
It’s this much.
‘Surely that can’t be right?’ I asked, fully expecting to be patronised and told not to worry my ‘pretty little head’ about it, that it would be fine by the time they’d finished.
‘Yeah, whoever calculated this must have used his elastic tape~measure ~ but to be fair, I’m just as bad, I checked it and I got it wrong too!’
When I enquired if the problem would definitely be resolved before the end of the day, CC looked at his watch and assured me that it could still be be managed, as long as the boss arrived soon to make a decision.
But the team didn’t stick around to wait for him ~ after tying the frame to the gap with a couple of metal struts they snuck off, while I was upstairs. Unaware of the situation, Martin thanked them as he waved them goodbye!
Isle of Wight miles are longer than those on the mainland ~ visitors are always surprised by how long it takes to travel what look like short distances on the map. But even accounting for Friday afternoon traffic, we were expecting the main man to arrive at any moment.
It took him three days ~ clearly IOW time is elongated too. ;)
He turned up yesterday afternoon ~ apologising for the mis~calculation and the poor communication and offering an adjustment on the bill, as a ‘good will gesture’. He measured up again, saying that the guys will be back later today, with a new window ~ hopefully one that fits. (Although he did check whether I’d be at home tomorrow……and the next day ‘just in case’…..)
They haven’t arrived yet, but I’m ready ~ with lowered expectations, to avoid further disappointment. If it all goes ahead smoothly, that will be a bonus. But we’re not writing the cheque until we’re entirely happy.
So, sadly, no ‘Tah~Dah!’ moment just yet. But ~ when it eventually happens ~ I’m sure it will be worth it.