Where Have I Gone?? Episode 3

The Saga of the Floor

To get the full ‘hilarious’ impact of this story a person needs to understand a couple of things: First, from Rock Island, Illinois where I am living now to Clinton, Iowa where we are moving is roughly an hour’s drive. Since I’ve become legally blind, they don’t let me drive a car any more, an act of blatant discrimination against the blind; utterly irrational and an obvious violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Oh right, I quit driving voluntarily because I really don’t have a death wish… Anyways…

In practical terms, this means that I need a ride from She Who Must Be Obeyed to get from here to there, and since she starts work at Rock Island Arsenal at 6:30 am, you can do the math as to when we must get up to get her from here to Clinton and back by 6:30. Of course, after work, she has to go back and pick me up… OK, got that part?  Good.

Back to my odyssey:

The next day, July 19, I arrived in Clinton before the sun came up because they were coming to install the upstairs floor. To make a long story short, they called to say that they were hung up at another job and would be there bright and early the next day, July 20. The next day, “bright and early” came to my house at 1:30 pm and they remained until 3:30 when they had to rush off to another job: Moving day postponed, living room carpet cancelled. The next day they worked about 4 hours on the project. The good news is that I got the downstairs bedroom painted.

Only the trim was left to complete here

Friday the 21st they called to say t was too hot… and we noticed that the air conditioning wasn’t working. Sunday night we received a call saying they had to be on another job Monday and Tuesday and would be there Wednesday to finish the job (July 24). They arrived on Wednesday at about 1 pm and worked until about 3:30 when they had to rush off to another job. The next day, they came in at around 10 am and worked until about 3 pm saying they’d have it all finished the next day, Friday the 28th, only one week late and 2 weeks after the materials arrived.

When Friday came, the man was there to look at the air conditioning as agreed, but no floor installer. At about 2 in the afternoon, the boss called to ask if they had completed the job. Upon hearing that they hadn’t been seen, he came to the house for a look; here’s what he found…

The boss was angry to say the least. As I would later discover, he was Home Depot’s flooring contractor, and the guys working at my house were subcontractors who had told him the job was done a week earlier and had informed him that they were no longer going to do work for him, leaving several jobs that were supposed to be completed left undone. He promised me that he would have another man lined up for Monday; maybe even Sunday. While this was going on, I decided to purchase a new air conditioner and heating system now, rather than try to repair the old one, since I already knew I would need to do it before winter; we set it up for the following Tuesday, August 1.

Monday came, and as I had so many times, I arrived in Clinton before the sun. The new guy came in to look at the floor. He told me right off that he couldn’t work on it that day, since he had another job to finish up first… and after he inspected the work the other guys had done, he told me that it would all have to be ripped out and started over from scratch, and showed me why: there we gaps in the parquet tiles, they weren’t put down straight, and many of them could be popped up from the floor because the glue hadn’t been applied evenly. He was gone after an hour and a half.

Once again I beat the sun to Clinton on Tuesday the first. The HVAC installers arrived two hours early and set to work, then the new flooring guy arrived and started ripping out the work that had already been done on my now famous floor, then the Direct TV guy installed satellite; things were finally happening until…

About 2:30 the air conditioning guy told me that there wasn’t any power to the air conditioning.

You may recall that we had to have a 100 amp panel put in right after we bought the place. The guy forgot to reconnect the 220 to the air conditioning. The guy at the electrical company said he wasn’t too surprised because they’d had to fire that guy who did our job; he’d be there to fix it in a couple hours. With everything else done, the AC installers went back to their office saying they’d send a tech the next day to set up the AC. By the time the electrician arrived, the flooring guy was leaving, saying that he had the other guy’s work all torn out, and that he’d be back the next day to start laying floor again, and he would put down everything that was left, and that they had ordered more flooring to replace what had been wasted.

After that, the boss called to say that the flooring guy would not be there the next day after all, because they had another job to do first.


Move postponed, upstairs bathroom renovation cancelled I’m done with Home Depot.

Well, almost.

The electrician did his thing. The next day the tech came and did his thing, and now I have a brand new heating and air conditioning system that works, and a floor upstairs, which was worse off than when we began 2 ½ weeks earlier.

Then came Thursday the 3rd: The flooring guy came back and put down tiles until he ran out of glue; the room is back to where it was a week ago, but there aren’t enough tiles on hand to continue. The boss dropped in again to tell me that they expect to be able to complete the job Wednesday because he thinks the new materials will arrive by then.

I accepted next Wednesday, and told him that Wednesday would be his absolute deadline for completion, after which I will wreak havoc and let loose the dogs of war, and can you guess what he told me?

Yep, that’s right: “I can’t control when the supplies get here!”

My reply was that FedEx can have them here tomorrow, or he could drive to where ever the stuff is and pick it up himself.

I don’t think he liked that.

Well, I’m over it: Wednesday is D-Day, right in the middle of the fourth week of a 2 day job. Do you suppose Home Depot has a clue what’s going on here?

One last little detail…

I have an engineer’s report that says the basement is extremely unlikely to have a seepage problem except for in the case of “the most unusually intense storm”. Last week we had a storm which included among other things a great deal of rain in a very short time; you couldn’t see across the street it was raining so hard. When I arrived in Clinton Friday morning, I found that this was  “the most unusually intense storm”.

Remember all of those cartons we put in the basement?

Not a good thing.


About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
This entry was posted in Christian Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Where Have I Gone?? Episode 3

  1. Bette Cox says:

    😦 Angels! You need a flock of angels in full battle gear – not to do the work, just to appear to those flaky so-called workers. Bet things would start working right!

  2. atimetoshare.me says:

    Oh my goodness, what a nightmare.

  3. Were the installers and workers millennials?

    • Don Merritt says:

      I wasn’t going to get into that, but since you asked, the first ones were, and the guy who realized it all had to be ripped up and done right is about my age. The boss is also a millennial as it happens…

  4. You realize, of course, this is all because you *were* two days ahead of time on the move. It’s the rubber band theory:

    Life is like a rubber band. Every good thing that happens is like stretching the band. Eventually the band is going to reach it’s limit and snap back at forces that prove Newtonian Physics is wrong (to every action there is an opposite and *greater* reaction).

  5. Tom says:

    WOW! That is some massive challenges! It would be hard to maintain the proper attitude in all of this.

  6. gaustin00 says:

    I think your saga is worse than any I have experienced…good luck on getting Mama and you and “she who must obeyed” settled before the dregs of winter set in…you re on heck of a trooper on all of this however…hangest thou in there.

  7. William Haney says:

    If this wasn’t Murphy’s Law, I don’t know what is. I am sorry you went through this. How was your mother through all this? Well, I hope there is light at the end of your tunnel and it is not a train. At least your Dodgers has taken the National League captive.

  8. Cate B says:

    I can’t laugh anymore – I’m running away from home for you.

  9. daylerogers says:

    I love that you can look at this with humor–though I imagine there’s a little snark beneath the surface. But this stuff can’t be made up. This is like a scene from “The Money Pit”. I hope you value that you’ve given chuckles to many in light of and in spite of what you’ve had to go through.

  10. pipermac5 says:

    This whole saga begs several questions: Why did you sell your home in Rock Island, to move to a much-smaller home an hour from where you wife works? Why downsize at all, considering that you are combining two households? Why not buy a “move-in-ready” home which will be adequate for your needs? Was this your wife’s idea and you have to go along with it, or are you just a glutton for punishment?

    I have experience with “down-sizing”, considering that I used to live in a 1500 sf site-built home, but I have been living in a 300 sf travel-trailer for most of the last nine years. It is adequate for me (with a LOT of stuff in storage), but is pretty cozy for two people, although manageable. I lost my previous home in a divorce, so this was all I could afford to buy at the time, and it is still pretty cheap-living. The one up-side to living in a travel-trailer is that it is on wheels, therefore easily-movable.

    Hang in there Brother Don!


    • Don Merritt says:

      Believe it or not, it all makes a great deal of sense… but I’m assuming these are rhetorical questions 🙂

      • pipermac5 says:

        Actually they are NOT rhetorical questions. I look at things from a very realistic-perspective, and for just you and your wife to down-size that much would mean stuffing 40 pounds of stuff in an 18-pound sack, but with mom in the equation, now you are stuffing 60 pounds of stuff in an 18-pound sack, if you understand my analogy. I have experienced both “down-sizing” and for my brother an his family, “up-sizing”. They just left a full-furnished 1000 sf home and moved into my mom’s place, which is almost 2,000 sf and also full-furnished. They only brought the “essentials” of their furniture (beds, TV w/stand, his recliner and his office chair), leaving the rest for her son and his family who were moving in almost as they moved out. What they DID bring filled up a 16 ft rental truck, her car and my truck. We were loaded to the gills!

        So far, two of the beds and both of the recliners in mom’s place have been given away. There will probably be several more items that will have to bite the dust before they are all moved-in. Fortunately most of the furniture in mom’s place is higher-quality and in better condition than what they had.

        Hang in there!


        • Don Merritt says:

          In our case, it begins with the fact that my Mom will be 94 in 2 weeks and shouldn’t be living alone any more. I have a large 3 story house that simply won’t do for her in the long term because of all the stairs. The kids have been grown and gone for a long time now, and we’ve wanted to downsize, and this is the time to do it, rather than planning on moving twice, and neither my wife nor I care much about “stuff”, so a great deal has been given away, and mor will go shortly… and Clinton is my wife’s home town. A fixer-upper makes sense because the real estate market in this part of the world has yet to come back and so we’ll have instant equity; all the more so as it is fixed up… and as “old house people” we are used to fixing up… so no big deal if we can get this first project finished this week.

          See, we’re just biting the bullet now so we don’t have to put it off till later, and getting it all done.

          • pipermac5 says:

            That you are leaving a three-story house to move into a one-story house does make sense, and I suppose your wife is planning to retire someday so that she isn’t making that trip every day makes sense. There is a certain “nostalgia-factor” to moving back “home”, so if you believe that this is the right move, it is the right move for you.



  11. Steve B says:

    Consider this your Wilderness moment 🙂 Your fruit of the spirit is being stretched just don’t let it break.

  12. Wow, it sounds like you prayed for patience. The Lord is faithful in answering prayers.

  13. I have lived your nightmare … renovations always require more money than anticipated, more time than planned and much more patience than previously thought! Right before moving into our current home, we gutted 3 bathrooms and the kitchen down to the studs and had all the flooring on the lower level tiled. Our house was and continues to be a construction site with many more projects to be completed before selling next year. It will all get done … at my house … and yours. It’s the process that seeks to drive one mad. My 80 year old father came to live with us last fall and we are planning on buying a single story home to accommodate all of us. When we honor our parents, God’s Word says then it “Will go well with you and that you may live long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” So, in the end, there are blessings for honoring your mother to look forward to. “Count it all joy when you fall into diverse tests and trials…”

  14. Pssssh. Dad and I will come lay you some flooring. Give us 4 hours and feed us Jimmy Johns. Miss you!

  15. Oh, no! The storm on top of everything else. I am so sorry. God bless you and bring restoration and completion into your lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s