Wednesday, November 14, 2007

When One Door Closes . . .

. . . have the hatches battened down, matey, because it's going to stay that way for three flippin' months!

Being a homeowner has many advantages, including some nifty tax ones. However - mine is an older house with all sorts of hidden delights in the plumbing and electrical systems (ooh, look - fuses!) and very little of anything here is square or plumb. (Then again, I'm a bit off-center myself, so perhaps Ithaka and I are well suited for one another. Yes, the house is named "Ithaka," at least to me. Don't laugh before you've re-read The Odyssey. We're all looking for our own Ithakas. But I digress.)

The project of replacing an old door snowballed into a much larger project and then the fun really began as miscommunication and pilot error turned the whole snarled mess into a real-life version of the kids' game Telephone. Remember that one? Someone would whisper a sentence to the first kid, who would whisper whatever they heard to the next kid and so on and so on until it got all the way around the room, by which time the resulting sentence was mangled like my temper after the fifth visit to straighten out yet another kink in the project. I talked to employees, independent contractors, installation managers, store managers, district managers, and corporate personnel. I put my woes in writing and still wound up wondering if duct tape could serve as weatherstripping.

Long story short (trust me, this is short) - three months and several fits of temper and pique later, I'm marveling at the door (which was provided to me at an extremely discounted rate, due to - oh, everything. Very nice, but I still would much rather have had the door two-plus months ago). Mind you, it's just an ordinary steel exterior door - nothing custom-made or beveled or carved. I should be filled with righteous indignation - "Well, I gave them a piece of my mind!" or "I showed them just who they were messing with!"

You have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? To begin with (and at the risk of sounding extremely hug-a-tree-ish), there really isn't a "them." There's just "us" in this world and people usually are about as good as you expect them to be. I've yet to find the person who responds positively to being screamed at and/or treated as if he/she is a cretinous pinhead. Further, one of the greatest gifts I've been given in the last five or so years is the realization that the universe isn't out to get me; that I'm just not that important. (Don't get me wrong - my ego often tells me that I'm not only important; I'm cool enough to store meat in, but the universe isn't out to get me because of it!) So I stayed as polite as I could throughout the process, although I tried mightily to point out what efforts I was taking to retain my temper. I couldn't stay for the whole installation - some unexpected tilework added some time to the project - so I left for work, hoping for the best.

I got home from my night class tonight and - well. A solid door is firmly in place, nicely trimmed out with tight miter joints (and those aren't easy, me bucko!), primed and ready to paint. The locks are of excellent quality and turn smoothly. I have a new tiled entryway and old pieces to use under plants. My carport was swept clean and the crew even cut up a nasty-big tree limb that I hadn't been able to chop into manageable pieces. Heck, they even changed the bulbs in my porch light and quite literally left a light on for me!

Now, you might say that that's the least they could do, after inconveniencing me for 90 days.

And I'd call you a lousy cynic.

1 comment:

Akin said...

YAY!!! Finally... this was starting to sound like a soap opera of some sort! I'm just glad it's done, and next time I visit we'll be able to hide behind veritable barred gates and keep the world at bay. Oh wait, you don't do that in your neck of the woods, do you? Must be an LA thing...