Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How The Job Went (Temporary Post)

I wanted to post this now, because it's going to be a couple of days, at least, before we can get everything back together and pictures taken and I know some of you will be wondering....

The way things went down on installation was really, kind of Weird and maybe a little Wonderful, at least from the standpoint of a job well done, though I really don't want to call it that, because I wish no harm to anyone just for the sake of a countertop, know what I mean?
The man who appeared at our door to do the installation on Tuesday was a different man. There was no crew. Just him. He was not a young man, either, but he turned out to be almost 15 years younger than the first man, though he was sporting gray hair, too. It's hard to gauge age in some older folks. But the man that I had reservations about was actually in his late 70's and the man who arrived at our door on Tuesday was in his mid-60's.
I was a little concerned at first because I was expecting a crew. He went about his work without much conversation, we asked if he needed help carrying things in and out, and he said, “Only if I yell...”. He went in and out, in and out, having set up his saw under the carport in the driveway. I had made cinnamon rolls and offered some to him a couple of times, which he politely declined but thanked me. He was with us from 9am to about 5pm and he did not ask where the bathroom was, never wandered off the path between the kitchen and the front door. He must've eaten his lunch where we didn't see or skipped it entirely. I offered to fix him a sandwich and he said, “I have food” and left it at that. If he pee'd in the bushes, we never saw that, so all I can think is maybe he had some kind of “facilities” in his van. Some of these construction-type guys do that. But most of them trek back and forth to the customer's bathroom, where they track their construction mess through the house, and once inside the bathroom, splatter on the floor and the wall, and, I have to admit, it does feel a bit uncomfortable to me, having someone I do not know going into a space that has a door that can be closed and locked. Some people snoop when they are in a strange bathroom. A few people look for things they can put in their pockets. You just never know what people will do these days.

Hubs wanted to sit at the coffee bar and stare at him while he worked, but I discouraged him from that because, well, would YOU want YOUR every move to be watched while you work? I wouldn't. So both of us went about our day as best people can, with their kitchen off-limits to them and with a stranger in the house, and left him alone to do his work. You never really think about how much time you spend in your kitchen till you can't.

The countertop had the miter-cuts already made. And that was what I was given to expect, and part of what concerned me, because no house, and this house in particular, is exactly square. I thought, “What if, when the countertop pieces are joined at the miter-cuts, the extended ends don't fit close enough to the wall? I did not want there to be a big gap there that might have to be filled. I knew something like that would talk to me every time I was in the kitchen, and not very politely, either. This kitchen is a galley-style kitchen, 3-sided, with all three sides against a wall. And the ends butt up against built-in's.

We tried to watch the job without being intrusive. Well, I had to help Hubs do that several times, as he isn't very good at it. So sometimes while the installer was outside sawing, we'd slip into the kitchen and Look At Stuff. It got kind of funny a few times, when we were almost caught. All that sawing he did made it very obvious that the countertops were made to be several inches deeper from back wall to the front edges, than they would need to be, thus allowing the back edge to be trimmed for differences in the “square” or lack of it, in the walls against which it needs to fit. This is hard for me to explain so that it makes sense. There were a lot of “thumping” noises so he may have had to push the countertop into the wall in some areas, not sure. If measurements aren't precise, one bad cut means the entire installation is bad, and there were multiple opportunities for a bad cut. Not only did he have to fit it precisely in the space allowed. He also had to cut a hole into which the new sink would fit, and one for the cooktop, too.

He never announced to us that he was finished, we just noticed him carrying out his tools, so I went into the kitchen then, with Hubs at my heels, and I asked, “Are you finished?” with my best smile. He replied, “Don't rush me, you'll make me forget something...” This is one of those things that could be misunderstood as something kind of off-putting, but I saw a small glimmer of a smile and I realized that here is a man of few words. When words are measured out, they can come out kind of short. I know this because I have lived with Hubs for 50 years, and I have, in the past, accused him of measuring words out as if the saying of them is painful or something, to the point where now he seems to talk “in code”. Almost every time I ask him a question, he answers a question I have not asked, often just telling me something that's so obvious that I already know it. So then we have to “play Twenty Questions”, just so I can get an answer to the question I originally asked. *Sigh*.

But anyway, I looked the job over and told the man that he had done A Wonderful Thing, and that I, a woman who is sometimes not easily made happy, was. And then he warmed up a little, and we had somewhat of a conversation, where he said more words than he had said during the whole day.

It turned out that he and the man who had come to measure were maybe partners – or maybe one of them worked for the other – he didn't make that clear and I didn't feel comfortable, under the circumstances, about asking too many questions. He did say that the other man had been having some little mini-strokes and there had been some problems with some past jobs, and that this man had called him and asked him if he'd do this job, last-minute, saying that he thought he'd just had another mini-stroke. And that is what I mean. I'm not grateful that the reason why we got a good installation was because the man had an event. I'm grateful, though, for the timing of it. And I've added this man to the people that I pray for. Our installer also said that he, himself, had some concerns about whether he personally would be able to do a good job for us when he saw how tightly things would have to fit. He said that the fact that the ends were enclosed against the built-in's was not mentioned in the notes that the first man had made when he came to measure before the material was ordered.

So, thank you's go out to those who prayed for me and my kitchen. And praise be to God. I will do a post, with pictures, after we've been able to get it back together. Maybe I will move this information into that post and then delete this one, at that time, just so everything will be together in one post. Hubs has the sink to put in, and I might take this opportunity to put another coat of paint on the drawer fronts and cabinet doors, as we took many of my old glass handles off so that there wouldn't be any danger of getting one broken.

Hugs xoxoxo


  1. So glad you are happy with the results from the man of few words.

    Looking forward to seeing pictures.


  2. Isn't it a thrill when people do their work and it turns out as promised!

    I will be looking forward to pictures.


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