Dry Wall Is Meant To Stay… Well… Dry?

, , , , , , | Working | January 13, 2020

(In a previous story submission, Seeing A Dangerous Pattern Emerging Here, I talked about a bathroom installation guy who blamed ME for his bringing the wrong shower liner to install in my master bathroom, but then relented after I changed tactics and told him my husband had actually noticed the issue. The install was so shoddy that afterward, water was pouring into the downstairs walls below my shower. This happens when we call the install company back.)

Husband: “Water is actually puddling on the floor downstairs, the drywall is soggy and crumbling, and the ceiling is saggy! You need to come and fix this now!

(They send a supervisor out to see what the issue is. I happen to be home for that.)

Me: “The guy who did the install was made aware of the fact that the faucet was leaking before he left. When my husband pointed it out, all your guy did was slap some sealant over the bottom of the faucet and say it was fixed!”

Supervisor: “He what? That part is supposed to stay open, because if the water has nowhere to drain to, it floods back into the walls! I’ll get him in here right away.”

(We schedule an appointment for 3:30 pm the following day. Five rolls around, and no one has called or shown up. My husband calls the number provided, and it’s the same guy who installed our shower in the first place!)

Husband: “You said you were going to be here at 3:30 pm. It’s 5:00 pm now. Where are you?

Construction Guy: “Oh. I’m running late. I’ll be there soon! Don’t worry!”

(We wait. And wait. And wait. 7:00 pm rolls around. My husband calls again.)

Husband: “What is going on? We’ve been waiting for you since 3:30 today. We have things we need to do and haven’t been able to because we’ve had to wait for you. We can’t just sit in the house and wait for you all night!”

Construction Guy: “Ohhh. Well, okay, I’ll be right over!”

Husband: “Right over? As in you’re heading over here right now? You’ll be here within fifteen minutes? Because this is crazy!”

Construction Guy: “Well… no. Not fifteen minutes, but maybe later.”

Husband: “‘Maybe later.’ You know what? I’m calling your boss and asking them to send someone else. Never mind coming here at all. Thanks, anyway.”

(He hangs up and calls the boss. But since it’s after hours, he leaves a voicemail. Apparently, the boss still hears it, because shortly after that we get a call from [Construction Guy].)

Construction Guy: “I can be at your house tomorrow. Maybe like in the evening or something.”

Husband: “So I have to wait all day long for you again? No. You need to make an appointment with me and then stick to it. Can you be here in the morning?”

Construction Guy: “Well… no.”

Husband: “Why not? What time can you be here?”

Construction Guy: “Well, I’m tired! And I had to drive all over the city today, and my boss makes me work too hard and I don’t even want to keep this job anymore!”

(He’s putting on the most pitiful, “poor me” voice he can muster. Bear in mind that when he screwed up the initial install, he did the same thing to me! He told me he was being laid off immediately after our bathroom was done and that he’d be unemployed, and asked if we would just take pity on him and not blame him for his screw-ups. My husband is having none of it.)

Husband: “Listen, your shoddy install job is causing water to leak downstairs and damage my house. Either you tell me what time you can be here tomorrow to fix this, or I’m going to have to call your boss again and let him know you’re refusing to come out. There is water pouring into my walls. This is not a minor issue!”

(I hate the “let me talk to your manager” threat, but this guy was being so ridiculous, I was at a loss for words. Lo and behold, the employee made the appointment, showed up on time, and fixed the issue… but then blamed us for “picking the wrong faucet” for the earlier install. When we asked him why he didn’t TELL us it was wrong for the job instead of just installing it, he had nothing to say. But he DID spend fifteen minutes telling my husband a completely different story about why he hadn’t come out the day before. We would have been perfectly fine rescheduling the appointment if the guy had just called and asked in the first place! So unprofessional.)

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Heels Angels

, , , , | Working | November 21, 2019

(I overheard this story from my dad. He’s a manager at a construction site, and they are EXTREMELY sexist. There’s a lady engineer whom they all look down upon because she’s female. They always find small ways to ignore her and show their displeasure at having to “take orders from a girl.” They usually have to do inspections of the building at varying stages during construction, which entails a lot of climbing. At one point, there’s only a rickety plank, at least 30 stories above ground level. The building is still under construction, with scaffolding and only some supports and stuff — I don’t know the technical terms — and it’s pretty dangerous. Even the most macho, most sexist of the men have been known to be daunted. Now, I’m not sure if the lady engineer actually needed to be present at the inspection, but she made sure she turned up, anyway!)

Lady Engineer: “Okay, so, now we proceed to [other point].” 

Construction Guy: “We will have to cross the plank.” *points to it in a silent challenge*

(The lady engineer proceeds to climb up in one easy movement, and walks quickly and unflinchingly across, in HEELS. The men are gawking, stunned out of their wits, in a cold sweat.)

Construction Guy: *quietly* “S***. Now we’ll have to do it, too.”

(The men took turns crossing with much swearing. They struggled not to flinch, either, but they were clumsier and not so good at it. The best part is, my dad later found out that there’s actually a less dangerous way of crossing, but they put the plank there to scare her off. Any one of them could have backed down and taken the easy way, but after seeing the lady seize the bull by the horns, not one of them dared to even suggest it!)

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A Lesson In Mismanagement

, , , , , | Learning | October 10, 2019

The city I live in recently decided to cut costs by closing one high school and merging the student population. We got a new school name and all moved to [Location #1] so they could renovate [Location #2]. 

The renovations were supposed to be completed before I graduated grade eight, so I was never going to attend classes at [Location #1]. Unfortunately, renovations took extra long and I spent my grade nine year at [Location #1]. 

Around May of this year, the school board said that we were three years overtime and 16 million dollars over budget — they wanted everything to look nice — so they decided to move us all early and let the construction crew work while we were in classes. The money they got from selling [Location #2] would, in theory, help the budget. 

This caused many issues. First of all, music classes were in an empty room that was supposed to be a French room. The music class during my French class had no idea how to play, so all of our lessons were to the tune of off-key trumpets and tubas. 

Secondly, the cafeteria was nowhere near ready to sell food. The local church sold $5 hotdogs in their parking lot — $2.50 if you attend their church! — but that meant most of the kids at my school ate a hotdog for lunch every day and had for weeks. 

On top of that, the power randomly went out during classes, fire alarms weren’t all wired right, and none of the science classrooms were fully unpacked — most of the test tubes were broken in the move, anyway — and many other problems. 

Today, we arrived at school to find the second-floor girls’ bathroom off-limits. When I asked my math teacher, he told me — dead serious, other teachers have confirmed — “Half the ceiling caved in.” But since they sold [Location #1], we are stuck at [Location #2].

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Seeing A Dangerous Pattern Emerging Here

, , , , | Working | September 30, 2019

(I’m an adult woman. My husband and I live in a home which is about 30 years old. The master bathroom upstairs has all original fixtures, so you can imagine they’re starting to look pretty shabby — and not in a “Shabby Chic” sort of way. We decide to remodel. The company we end up hiring to take care of the tub/shower and surround comes in and begins working. After a few hours…)

Me: “Hey, uh, I just looked at the shower liner you have there, and it’s not what we ordered.”

Construction Guy: “YOU SAID IT WAS THE RIGHT ONE!”

Me: “No, you asked me if mine were white, and I said yes. And then you brought in these. Ours are white, but they’re also [completely different pattern].”

Construction Guy: “No! This is not my fault! You said it was the right one!”

(He actually continues to argue with me over it for several minutes! I try explaining differently.)

Me: “Regardless of what you thought I said earlier, this is not what we ordered. Look here on my copy of the order form. See? It says four-inch by four-inch tiles.”

(Incredibly, the man still argues that it is MY fault! Exasperated, I switch tactics again.)

Me: “Okay, but I snapped a photo and texted it to my husband, and he said it’s not the right one!”

Construction Guy: *immediately calm* “Oh. Well, okay. We have to go back to the warehouse, then.”

(He calls his boss and admits over the phone that even though he had read our order form and saw the pattern and style name on our order, he STILL grabbed the flat white liner, anyway. Then, he tries to blame the problem on me AGAIN. While he is waiting for his coworker to go back to the warehouse to grab the right stuff…)

Construction Guy: “So, what do you do for a living?”

Me: “I’m self-employed. I do graphic design, web design, that sort of thing.”

Construction Guy: *condescendingly* “Oh. Well, I could do that, too, if I didn’t have to work in construction.”

Me: “Oh, yeah? Then why aren’t you?”

Construction Guy: “Well, I have to make money. You know. I can’t just stop working and do that.”

(He continues to belittle my line of work until I refuse to talk about it further. Finally, his coworker comes back, they finish the installation, and my husband arrives home in time to see the finished work.)

Husband: “So, why is the faucet leaking?”

Construction Guy: “Oh, that? It’s nothing. Here, I’ll fix it.”

(He dabbed some caulk over the point at which water was leaking. Later, we used the shower for the first time and water came pouring out of the downstairs walls below the shower! Turns out this guy half-a**ed the last of the work, and rather than fixing the leak, he just covered it up! THAT whole fiasco is a story for another day, but suffice to say we will not be using this particular bathroom remodel company ever again.)

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An Alarming Rate Of Alarming

, , , , , , | Learning | August 30, 2019

I am a resident assistant in a hall occupied almost entirely by freshmen; in essence, I am a poorly-paid babysitter. A few days into the fall semester, the fire alarm goes off at around 11:00 pm. I usher all the sleepy freshmen out of the building and across the street, and we wait for the firefighters to give us the all-clear.

Eventually, we are able to go back inside, but that’s not the end of it. We have to check the student ID of every. Single. Person. Mind you, 650 students live in this building, not counting overnight guests. It takes a long time, but it’s necessary to keep students safe and prevent strangers from entering the building. 

Finally, everyone is sorted and the RAs can go back to bed. I’ve just fallen into a blissful sleep when I am awakened again by the sound of a fire alarm. I look at my clock and see that it is 3:00 am. Grudgingly, I get out of bed and we do the same song and dance. It takes the firefighters less time to do this round, and we end up going to bed within the hour.

I am appalled when, just before dawn, the fire alarm goes off again. I notice that far fewer people are outside than the previous two alarms, which I later learn is because many students elected to just stay in bed and endure the ear-splitting alarm — and make it that much harder for the rest of us, since we can’t get the all-clear until everyone has left the building. Finally, finally, we get back inside and I get a couple more hours of sleep before my 9:00 am class.

Later, I’m talking to my boss and discover the reason we had so many alarms in one night. There is a dining hall on the first floor of the building, and it was being renovated all summer. They had finally finished construction that week, but somehow messed up the wiring such that it repeatedly triggered the fire alarm. After the third alarm, they finally fixed it.

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