I am trying to assess where today falls insofar as the “Good Day/Bad Day” grading system is concerned. It’s been an overwhelming day, to say the least.
The Little Woman and I are having renovations done at home. Well, one room – the kitchen – to be exact. This is not something that I wanted, but that’s a different story, too long for this post, and one that will get me yelled at by the Little Woman (it’s her fault – there, I’ve said it). The work was originally slated to occur over two years ago, but there were issues with logistics, money, and time; as soon as the arrangements were made, they were cancelled. A new appointment was scheduled for this past summer – an ideal time for us as at least one of us could be home on site during the run of the work. We waited, but never heard back; soon the summer was over and so was our window of opportunity. A third appointment was made for this past winter, where again, our schedules allowed at least one of us to be home to assist the work crew. We waited, and again, heard nothing. Only when our schedules became packed – me, with jury duty, various meetings and semester preps, and a host of other unavoidable chores; and the Little Woman having to house-sit for a relative, followed by her own required functions – did we hear anything about a start date.
Naturally. I should have expected that – how silly of me to think otherwise.
The good news is that a restoration that was originally slated to run for two weeks is now scheduled for just four days, so at least the Little Woman and I can coordinate some coverage between our schedules. It’s not that I don’t trust the work crew that’s working in our home; I want to be there in case there are questions, access to other parts of the home are needed, and to make sure that my stuff doesn’t pull a Houdini. So yeah, I guess I don’t trust them. That was certainly the case with the original work crew – the owner of that company was offended when he learned that I’d planned to be home for them, and he let me know it. I’m thinking, “Dude, you don’t know where anything is around here; you’re sure as crap not going to go rummaging through my home without me.” I didn’t think it was a big deal, but he did. No matter – he used to do a lot of work for some owners on my street (which is how I met him), but they’ve since dropped him from their Rolodex after he botched up a relatively simple job and vanished. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a bullet dodged.
The new work crew is a pretty cool group, and while they also indicated that I wouldn’t need to be around, that turned out to be false. When the sink was removed, there needed to be additional work on the piping leading to the kitchen. Guess who didn’t know where to look? Better yet, guess who took him to the source of the problem? That’s right – this guy. They dismantled every shelf and cabinet in my kitchen within an hour – which includes disposing of the waste and mess. I’d never seen a work crew move that quickly or that efficiently. The peripheral work was knocked out fast, too – the ceiling repainted, the walls smoothed out, and the doorway adjusted. They’d have laid the base for the new cabinets had the issue with the sink not popped up. Still, that’s a lot for the first day. When they returned today, I couldn’t be home, but the Little Woman was, and the crew continued on their streak: The new floor was installed, the water pipe issue corrected, and a third of the new cabinets in place. I’d hoped that they’d finish a day earlier than expected, but after a discussion, it’s clear that they’ve got two more days worth of work to do.
The problem I have is that everything that was in the old kitchen is in boxes, bags, and bins, all over the dining room and living room. Our home is not big by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn’t realize that we had this much stuff. There is literally no place to sit or to place anything down. About a third of this won’t be returning to our kitchen; some is clearly trash, while other items need to be replaced. Because the sink is gone and the stove disconnected, I cannot cook. Does one tell a bird not to sing? Or a fish not to swim? How am I to live if I cannot cook? It’s really messing with my head. We’ve gone out to eat three times this week, and even after they clear out and return control of our home to us, I’m guessing that we’ll end up eating out another three days, easily. Dishes will need to be washed, cans and bottles returned to the cabinets, and pans reorganized; there won’t be any cooking on my part, despite my desire to make a pot of cheeseburger soup. But, as the Little Woman says, it’ll all be worth it in the end. She’d better be right as I’ve had my mouth set for that soup for nearly a week now. She’d better be right.
While on the way home, the Little Woman called to tell me of the work crew’s current progress, and to suggest that I get something for dinner while I was out. She had plans, meaning that if I wanted to eat, I had to go on the hunt. I’m not a fan of McDonald’s on any level – their coffee is good, but their food, business practices, and their rather dismissive attitude towards their employees are all turn-offs for me, so I visit only when I’m in a jam. Like tonight. I figured that after a long day of lecturing and staring at silent heads, a hamburger from a fast food joint would satisfy my cravings for food.
The operative phrase in that sentence is fast food. There’s a McDonald’s about a mile from my home; I could just drive there, grab dinner, and return to my home – all in one swift motion. When I got there, however, I found myself the sixth car in a line that moved nary an inch in almost ten minutes. Do these people not know what fast food means? Or do they think that the “fast” part is subjective? Mind you, I don’t feel this way about service workers in general – just this particular McDonald’s. They’re slow, and despite no one being served inside (I had a great view), there were still six cars waiting for service.
I left, driving six miles out of my way to stop at KFC, a place whose food is so dangerous to my body that I’ve only eaten there three times in the last ten years. I figured that I’d get a small bucket of six pieces of chicken, that way there’d be some for the Little Woman, and leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. No big deal, right? Except that the number “six” is apparently a new thing. How can you sell a six-piece bucket, yet not have six pieces in the container? I didn’t check at the store; they were too busy. But still – it says “Six” on the bucket – not “Less than Six“!
The icing on the cake? My change included twelve cents. One penny is Canadian and the other is dated 1944. I don’t even know if the dime is real. Worse? When I finally made it home, the Little Woman opened up a cabinet we rarely use and found a FIFTY DOLLAR BILL! We were ecstatic – I’d spent that money twice before I even laid hands on it – and then I realized that it was another fake, an old piece from a training set we used to have.
I’m still not sure where this day falls on that “Good Day/Bad Day” scale, but tomorrow’s definitely got to be better.