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.
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.
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.