Thursday, December 31, 2009

Perhaps I Did Not Make Myself Clear

DISCLAIMER - We are extremely happy with all our contractors and the work that they have done at the Einsel House. This post was born from my own rather eccentric sense of humor, and not from any anger or dissatisfaction regarding work done at the house. Keep this in mind as you read, and please do not take this post literally.

Explanation - One morning during the week before Christmas I was listening to the soundtrack from my favorite movie as I drove in to work, and I had a brilliant idea for a post here. But before I could write this post, I would need one of the contractors at the Einsel House to make some kind of mistake. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I didn't have to wait too long. Because when I stopped by the house on Christmas Eve I found this:

Mr. Contractor: You wish to see me, ma’am?

Homeowner: [Homeowner nods and sighs; there is a short pause] It is the opinion of some... excellent people that you have let us all down.

Mr. Contractor: [angry at the slight to his skill] Ms. Homeowner, ma’am, if you will please tell me who these people are...

Homeowner: There will be none of that. There is no time.

Mr. Contractor: Ma’am, I only ask that I be allowed to defend my...

Homeowner: [raising her voice slightly] There is no time.
[Contractor looks stunned]

Homeowner: Mr. Contractor... your mission was to restore the parts of this home that have been damaged by age or neglect and to maintain the home’s historic integrity while doing so. That mission was not fulfilled. You were told to order and install replacement six-over-six double hung windows. Meanwhile, we were all sick with the flu, therefore absent from the Einsel House and without adequate time to double check the materials you had ordered. So we did not discover until too late that you installed a nine-over-nine window in the dining room instead of six-over-six.

Mr. Contractor: Ms. Homeowner, there were reasons...

Homeowner: [Homeowner holds up her hand to silence Contractor] Perhaps you misunderstood my orders? Perhaps I did not make myself clear. Well, sir... this must be made *very* clear. You, sir, with your tools, are responsible for maintaining the historic integrity of this home. Without your careful attention to detail, this house is in danger of being remuddled. That has already happened once. It must never, *never* happen again.

Mr. Contractor: [Contractor stares at the floor, then slowly draws his hammer from his toolbelt in token of his resignation] Ma’am... since I no longer hold the Homeowner's...

Homeowner: [suddenly upset, Homeowner pounds a sawhorse with her fist] I have *told* you, there is no time for that! There is no time!
[she pauses, takes a deep breath, and calms down again]

Homeowner: There is a refinance coming soon, and we need you. We need all the help we can get, God knows. You must take what I have told you, and learn from it, as a man does.
[she takes Contractor's hammer and gently replaces it in his toolbelt]

Homeowner: There has been a mistake. It will not happen again; I know your quality. You are one of the finest general contractors I have ever known, and your service to the Einsel House has been invaluable. Now... let us speak no more of this.
[she turns and slowly walks away, then turns back to Contractor]

Homeowner: The matter is concluded. Good night, Mr. Contractor.
[not knowing what to think of this show of mercy, Contractor holds out his hand, and Homeowner grasps it for a firm handshake.]

(Charles says I should have titled this post "Things That Are Only Funny to Me". I'll admit I have sometimes strange sense of humor. So for anyone who is thoroughly confused right now I'll include the following - particularly 1:14 to the end. The movie is Gettysburg, and if you've ever had the pleasure/torture of watching it with me then you're aware that I can quote 90% of the movie verbatim. It's based on Michael Shaara's novel The Killer Angels, which also comes highly recommended.)

(And again, if any of our contractors ever read this, I repeat that this is just me having fun. I'm not really suggesting that the flub here was as serious as Stuart's belated appearance at the Battle of Gettysburg. At least, I really hope it's not that serious. Because the consequences for Stuart, et al. ended up pretty grim indeed, and our little problem is already in the process of being made right - another six-over-six window will be arriving in mid January.)

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