Sts. Simon & Jude
One of the projects I’ve been working on for a while now is getting the front bedroom of my apartment in decent shape so that I can move into it. This used to be Rosie’s room, but it’s been sitting empty since she moved out back in January. The reason I didn’t immediately move into the warmer quarters from my light-filled, but chilly sleeping porch is because the plaster on the front wall is in sad shape. The gutters broke a few winters back, causing massive water damage. Rosie had always meant to fix it herself, but then moved out instead. I had planned to take care of it when the weather got warmer. Then I realized that while my limited skills might be up to taking care of the wall in the bedroom, they definitely weren’t up to dealing with the closet. I can layer plaster on a wall, but I don’t know how to fix a ceiling that’s coming down. So I called up my landlord, and he agreed to take care of it.
Well, first the landlord had another project he had to take care of, and then his father died, and I didn’t feel right pestering him while he was grieving. Then one of my friends from work decided to move into the empty unit down the row, which needed some work before it was ready for her to move in. I was getting a nice referral bonus from that, so I agreed that he should do her work first, with a firm promise that my work would be done by October 1 at the very latest. Then that date went by with no sign of work, and I started getting a little anxious. One of the major points of me moving was so that we could seal up the sleeping porch, and maybe save a little on our winter heating bill. After the plaster work was done, I still had to paint, and then move. Cold weather was fast approaching, and nothing was being done.
I hassled my landlord a little more, and about two weeks ago he finally started work. Things seemed to move pretty quickly at first – loose plaster got brushed down, and the first layers of new began to be built up. Then things slowed down to a glacier-like crawl. Every night when I got home from work I’d rush up the stairs to see what progress had been done, only to see the scrub brush, step ladder, assorted trowels, and shop vac arranged in the same still life amidst the sea of undisturbed plaster dust, precisely as it had been when I left that morning.
Last week, my landlord called up to let me know that he would be coming over this past weekend, and that I would see “real progress!” I found this somewhat encouraging, enough to share with him the idea I’d had time to think of while things had been creeping along. It would be very nice, I said, to have a light in the closet. And since he was working on the ceiling anyway, this would be a good time to put one in. Nothing fancy, just a ceiling fixture with a pull chain. There was already an existing outlet on the shared wall of the bedroom and the closet, so running a line from there shouldn’t be a problem. My landlord kinda hemmed and hawed, but ultimately agreed. He would see what he could arrange, he said.
As it turned out, I spent most of Saturday down in Cincinnati at a young adult retreat with Flo, Curly, and a few other friends. When I got home, I once again headed upstairs to see what had been done. Which is when I found this:
Why, yes, that’s an electrical cord running from the existing outlet in the bedroom wall, going through a brand new huge hole that’s been drilled in the wall. What’s that you say? You’d like to a closer look that enormous puncture in the wall?
Well, never say I failed my readers. Isn’t that lovely? And then on the other side of the wall…
What every girl dreams of: an ugly industrial lamp clamped to a piece of raw wood. I just… words fail me, and that’s something that doesn’t happen all that often. I mean, it’s not only butt ugly and impossible to hide, but also a fire hazard. Did I mention the ugly part?
Just… seriously. Who does stuff like that?
Also, absolutely no progress had been made on the existing plaster damage. None.
Today I called my landlord. I decided to resort to desperate measures: guilt. Normally this is something I would avoid like the plague. I intensely dislike other people trying to guilt me, and I do my best never to do it to others. A little over-the-top puppy dog eyes on occasion, yes, but only as long was we all understand that no actual coercion is being applied. However, reason clearly is not working, and I’m running out of time. So I played the whole, poor me, I’m not well, I’m having surgery, can you really get it all done in time? I’m just so concerned about all this. And also, that light looks really horrible, and oh gosh, how can we fix it?
The response I got was a whole lot of don’t worry, everything will be done in less than a week, that ridiculous chasm in the wall is only a temporary measure, once they get done with everything I’m going to love it. I’ll be so thrilled that I’ll be calling him up to sing his praises. And in the meantime, don’t worry about a thing, he’s going to take care of all of it right away.
I guess we’ll see about that.