"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Floors

Like the proverbial bad Peanut, I'm back!

     Really, Marigold?  We've heard THAT one before.

No, seriously.  I AM back.  And I even have an excuse.

    Yeah.  Right.  They always have an *excuse*.

Okay, well, just let me tell you the story, okay?  It's like this ...

The Goatmother and Goatfather decided to have their floors redone.  I know.  I don't get it either.  I mean they had floors, right?  It's not like they were dirt or anything.  We have dirt floors.  Why don't we get new floors?  Well, never mind ...

Anyway, the Goatparents had several folks out to do estimates.  Just like Goldilocks trying out all the three bears' stuff, one was too much, one drove the Goatmother bananas (or was it Peanuts?), and one was juusst right ... or so they thought.  All in all, this was simply the start of a not-so-fabulous adventure.

First of all, what the Goatmother thought might take, oh, two or three weeks, ended up taking FOUR months!  That's right, I said four months.  Not weeks.  Who knew?   And this, of course, resulted in one brilliant and beautifully airplane-eared goat not being able to get into the house, let alone near a computer.  Now I tried, mind you, to get the Goatmother to bring me a laptop in the barn, but she just kept saying she was waaaay too busy.  And just why was she too busy?  I mean it wasn't her putting those planks down on the floor, now was it?  No, my friends, it's just that all this floor stuff required everything in the house to be moved.  Twice.  And sometimes more than twice.  That Goatmother was so tired she was barely making it out to the barn.  Now that would have been a travesty.

But anyway,  anyone who knows anything (and trust me there are a LOT of folks who do not fall into this category) knows that if one decides to embark upon a career as a contractor, one is required (Hay, maybe even by law for all I know) to sign a contract.  (Is this why they are called 'contractors'?  Hmm ... ).  Anyhow, this contract contains many stipulations ... requirements which must be met in order to actually get a license.  Some of these requirements are general in nature, but some are very specific and include things like

1)  I must carry on at least three other jobs while working on any one job. 

2)  I must not show up all the time at any one job until that job is finished, but must, instead, work a few days in one place, one or two at another, go back to the first one, at least show my face at the third before going back to either of the other two, so forth and so on ad infinitum.

3)  I must be sick as often as possible and take advantage of any holiday that should fall within the allotted job's time frame by needing extra days before and after said holiday.

4)  I must make mistakes ... let me repeat this part ... I must make mistakes and appear to be entirely incapable of observing any flaws on my own because, just like any other artist, I realize perfection belongs to God.  As a mere human I accept that perfection is an unobtainable goal, so why even try?  And besides, if I do it once, they are certainly bound to expect that calibre of work.
5) It is mandatory that I not be present at the job site when any other contractor is working there in order to make it as inconvenient as possible for those usurpers (as well as for the person or persons who have hired me to do this ridiculous job in the first place.)

6) I will smile and nod agreeably to any suggestion or request presented and then do exactly as I wanted to in the first place because, after all, I am the professional here.

7)  I shall not be required to remember to bring everything I need to the job site and subsequently either borrow it from the home owner or find it necessary to go home and get it, stopping along the way for oh, say, coffee, or maybe lunch, or perhaps a chat with an old acquaintance I met at Home Depot, which is where I had to go to get the thing I needed since the home owner didn't have one and I couldn't find the one I had at home.
8) It is entirely obligatory to stop whatever I am working on at least every few minutes to answer my cell phone because, after all, it is ringing and it could be something extremely important like my wife wondering what I'm doing or one of those pesky usurping sub-contractors calling to find out why I'm not at their job site even though they know it is a requirement that I not show up.  (Didn't these guys read their contract before they got their license?)

9) I shall leave as early as possible on any given work day because I have *another appointment*, a *phone call to make* (which couldn't possibly have been satisfied during the execution of Rule #8), or I am going home to right now take care of a problem incurred during the execution of Rule # 4, but which, in fact,  must take place at the site of job No. 2 or No. 3 (Please see Rule # 2), unless, of course, the home owner is offering beer, in which case all above are null and void.

10) (And my personal favorite)  Thou shalt not finish any job within the original specified time but instead get just enough done to make it impossible (as well as unprofitable) to find anyone else to finish and then keep stringing it along for as long as possible.  You know, just in case ...

So what can I say?  If you have ever had any work done by a *contractor*, then you likely know exactly what I've been saying here.  The last of the faux pas was cleaned up by our blessed and skillful neighbor just this week.  I guess in truth, this makes it a total of FIVE months.  The Goatmother has vowed not to look at the floor anymore.  Can one vacuum or mop with their eyes closed?  Perhaps the Helen Keller school has a  Housework by Braille program.  At any rate, I am back, just like I said.  The Goatmother is a little more sane.  Actually, I suppose she was never sane in the first place.  Nonetheless, I haven't lost my philosophical touch and to prove it, I shall leave you with a quotation from the venerable and much loved Confucius:  "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."   Who knew they had contractors in 479 B.C.?