Thursday, July 26, 2012

Termites and Happy Birthday Margaret!

What a daaaay this has been --

                           what a raaaaare mood I'm in --

                                                             well, it's alllllmost like beeeeeing in love.

Not REALLY though unless you are in love with a really muddy man that drills a bunch of holes in your concrete and then fills them up with dark gray polka dots that fall through the earth if you push on them.

I don't have the strength left in me to go into detail.  Margaret got to hear the blow-by-blow at dinner just a bit ago where I had the most marvelous coconut shrimp-steak-crab leg-steamed veggie-salad dinner. 

We were celebrating Margaret's birthday, so I didn't want it to look like I wasn't having a good time.  I did manage not to order dessert, however.

Since I promised the owner, Darin, that I would not post a review to Angie's List -- where he is currently #1 with the most perfect reviews -- I will have to share my day with you.

You know the air conditioner doesn't work.  It worked for two days with the 5 pounds of freon the AC company put in on Monday, but by this morning it was 78 degrees in here and rising.  I had asked the AC company to install the new air conditioner on Friday because the Termite people were already scheduled for today, and I figured one demolition at a time would be all I could handle.  The AC company did send a nice guy out to put in one more pound of freon to last me until tomorrow morning.  VERY NICE!

Here's the termite story.
Last time I was here -- about 3 weeks ago -- I noticed white wings sprinkled like confetti all over the top of my treadmill.  I had seen that before in one of our Pharmacy's years ago, so I knew what it was.  I told Jerry about it, and he IMMEDIATELY got on Angie's list to look up a good termite killer in this area.  He picked the one with the ravest reviews, and the owner of the small family-owned company arrived in about an hour.  That was GREAT!  

The owner, Darin, told us that he would have to drill holes in the wall where the treadmill is, which is on the other side of the hot water heater closet, because the termites were in the center of the house; and they would not get them by just drilling all around the entire outside of the house.  I asked him then if they had a carpet person to lift the carpet and put it back.  He said that ONLY HE could do that.

About 7 AM this morning, Mike rang the doorbell.  I was barely through my first cup of coffee and looked like something the cat drug in, but I went to the door.  Nobody there.  I had to step out on the porch and holler to his truck.  He came around the truck so I could see him.  I waved at him and went back in the house.

Shortly thereafter, Darin arrived.  He came into the bedroom and lifted up the carpet and the pad so Mike could drill holes there. 

Shortly after that, Mike came in with his 5 foot long drill bit and proceeded to walk around in his shoes with no covers on them.  He drilled the deep holes in the cement causing piles of cement to creep up the drill bit and arrange themselves like ant hills around every hole.  I walked in about that time.  Mike shoved the pad and the carpet down onto the ant hills, and then went back outside.  I immediately walked over and lifted the carpet and pad back up to see what was under it.

Darin had gone outside to write up a contract, so I waited for him to come back in.  When he returned to collect his money, I invited him to come see the bedroom.  I showed him the mess in the corner and bent down to put my hand in it to move some of it around.  I told him I couldn't BELIEVE the guy just covered it with the carpet.  He went out to tell Mike.  Mike returned with a FILTHY dustpan with a long handle on it and the nastiest black broom that he used to sweep the cement ant hills off the cement all around the house and then scrub the new wet cement dots with.  Hence, it was covered with white cement dust, dirt and some fresh cement from outside.

Before he could come all the way in the bedroom, I all but THREW him out of my house.  I said, "There is NO WAY you are bringing that filthy thing in my house!!!"  Darin, his boss, was still right there.

He noticed I had brought my canister vac in the bedroom to clean it up, and he offered to do the sweeping.  I asked if he didn't have a vac of his own on his truck.  No, he didn't.  I told him I would clean it up, and I proceeded to do it in front of him.

Then we both left the bedroom and went to Jerry's desk to look at the contract.  He wanted to know if I would pay him.  I asked what for?  He said the termite job.  I said, "But you haven't done it yet!"  I told him I would pay him when it was done.  He agreed that it would be fine to pay him when it was done.  He left then for the rest of the day and left Mike here alone.  I'm sure poor Mike was terrified at this point, but I continued to watch him off and on the rest of the day.  I couldn't leave, and it was hot, so what else did I have to do???

THANK GOD, I got a picture of this part or you would think I was making it up or exaggerating.   Mike worked the next several hours outside going all the way around the house drilling deep holes in the cement and then squirting liquid poison down in them with a 5' long tube that fit perfectly in the hole, but the liquid somehow managed to force its way out of the hole and up and out into the air like an angry projectile.  I was watching through the window as Mike got covered with flying poison and mud.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  He didn't seem to care.  He just kept getting squirt hole after hole after hole.  When he got done doing that -- and after he was thoroughly muddy and gross -- he decided to walk into my front door and into my bedroom.  I saw him as he landed in this position on the floor on the WHITE carpet.  I could NOT believe my eyes!!!

Check out his muddy shoes!!!  And he informed me that it was impossible to use those paper shoe covers in his type of business.  Check out the filthy container he carries cement in and had used all the way around my house using the bottom of it to rub the extra cement off of the holes.  Underneat the red container is mud.  When he lifted it up, I showed him the ring of mud on my carpet.

Guess what he did then????

Well, of course, he felt bad and wanted to clean it up, so he used three filthy fingers on his right hand to rub the dirt down into my carpet as if that was supposed to make it go away.

So, if you read my blog much, you know I document everything.  He went back outside and I sat down at Jerry's desk -- opened up Word -- and I began typing.  I had an entire page full of issues of the day AND a nice copy of the above photograph to hand to Darin, the boss, when he came back for his money.

You should have seen Darin's face when he saw that picture.  I could READ HIS MIND.  He was thinking about his perfect rating on Angie's List, and this crazy woman who can really type, and HOW ON EARTH did she get this picture???!!!

I actually felt sorry for him. 

I had no intention of using it against him, but HE didn't know that. 

Remember, I have a business, and you reap what you sow.

He asked me what he could do to make me happy, and he said over and over that he was really very sorry.  He was sincere, and very nice, and very patient with me.  He said he would go outside and fix the issues out there (I spared you that part), and he would do whatever I wanted him to.

He spent the next several hours redoing the work that Mike was supposed to do earlier.  He kept ringing my bell and knocking on my back door every 10 minutes for me to come check the work.  I kept telling him it wasn't right and to redo it.  Jerry called from Kingston to try to tell him how we wanted it.  FINALLY, he got the holes filled in to please me.  He washed his hands and came back to the front door.  I asked him to come in.  I had a towel down there for feet-wiping, and he stood on it and would not move.  I asked him to come sit at the desk.  He said, "No, I'll just stand here."  I assured him if he just wiped his shoes on the towel -- which was a rag -- that he could come sit so we could talk.  He finally did. 

Then he began to apologize again and tell me I really had good reason to be upset with him.  Then he said something I often hear from people, (except for Fabulous Fit, of course!) and I am always VERY impressed with a person that responds to me this way.

He said, "You have really taught me a LOT today!" 

He continued, "I am the kind of person that can take advice, and I assure you that I am going to take yours.  I will have shoe covers from now on in all of our trucks.  I will buy a little shop vac and keep it clean in a plastic bag to use INSIDE people's homes as you suggested.  I will train Mike about INSIDE and OUTSIDE being two different things, and they require different behavior."

I told him I was very impressed with his reaction.

He said he wished there was something he could do to make it up to me. 

I kiddingly said, "You could knock $100 off the bill for my time supervising and cleaning up after you, and I won't even post a review at all to Angie's List."

He said, "I am going to knock 10% off the bill."  That was $140.

I said, "NO!  Really.  You do not have to do that.  You have been more than patient and responsive to me.  All I really require is an "I'm sorry, I will fix it.""

He insisted though, and he did knock 10% off.  That is why I decided I could afford $26 for my dinner tonight.

Tomorrow morning, the new air conditioner gets installed.  Those people have shoe covers!

And I almost forgot to tell you.  Guess what happens when you put the 5' long poison-squirter stick down in the holes in your bedroom?

The poison squirts back up out of the hole and floods your floor just like outside.  Yep!  I was watching in horror.  Mike turned and looked up over his shoulder at me and said, "Do you have a rag?"  I said, "WHY don't YOU have one!?"  Then I ran and grabbed a roll of paper towels.

So that was my day.

How was yours?

Hugs, Joy

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Hugs, Joy