I want to tell you a story. Not outright a soap story, but if you can trust me a bit, know I won’t waste your time, you might see what I saw.
As some of you might know, we moved into our Hobbit home with great delight and anticipation of new beginnings. We call it our hobbit home because it’s not a large home, but suits our compact sizes perfectly.
Every cupboard, drawer and under cabinet was dirty. I spent a good couple of hours cleaning everything before we could move in and place our things inside. I did not have hardship in my heart, disappointment that this type of person to leave things in such disarray had occupied my new dwelling, but no malice floated in my chest. I set to the work, and blessed each area I touched.
There have been some issues with out hobbit home. Before the moving date, we’d taken possession and were at the house one evening doing laundry, trying things out to ensure all was in proper condition. J walked down the hall and asked, “Why is there a river in the hall?” The water flooded the new bath, down the hall, closet, and even the new carpet in the master bedroom all the way out onto the porch.
The water feed on the new commode hadn’t been screwed correctly and it popped off when used.
After the big move-in day we soon discovered many things that had been neglected like broken drawers, a kitchen faucet that didn’t work properly, broken verticals, broken microwave, mouldy and missing grout in the second bath and the one and only smoke detector didn’t function, just to name a few things. The most disconcerting was the new bathroom remodel was missing a commode paper holder and all towel racks missing, so it wasn’t a surprise the drawer that should work couldn’t be pulled out. This was a remodel that was incomplete. My warning bells went off. This was the level of “job complete.”
I used to be an electrical contractor, for those who don’t know. If we had a punch list (incomplete things after a remodel like switch plates, receptacles, lamps – light bulbs- that needed to be installed) we would notify the tenant/new home owner and make an appointment without excuse and complete the job. I would calmly explain the process and end with, “we will make it right, no worries”.
With all this said, after waiting to be called by the handyman, making calls to follow-up and much ridiculousness, I finally got in touch with the handyman. I mentioned that the remodel wasn’t complete and that’s when he yelled at me. So much so J could hear it across the room. When someone is that out of control and they cannot hear you, it’s best to end the call. Let’s call him Sam. I said, “Sam, Sam… I have another call and really need to take it.” He made a sardonic laugh and continued to yell. I interrupted his tirade and he accused me of not listening, so when I tried to explain he interrupted me… This went on for awhile until I finally insisted I needed to get off the phone and was fully prepared to hang up.
I’ve learned a lot from construction. When pointing out someone’s low quality work – in a polite way or less than polite way – the only reaction they can give is anger. They do not hold themselves accountable and are therefore not responsible to others. Their only way to deal is to attack, with words or otherwise. I should have known.
My guy handled what he saw as his part – he is a great and honorable protector – and ensured that this man would not be allowed into our home. I was comforted and relieved.
A new maintenance man was sent. He immediately did something similar where I could not complete a sentence, but he wanted to be heard. I pointed out that he wanted me to listen to him but he couldn’t let me complete a sentence. The tension was so high my dear, sweet dog sensitive to me, lay in front of the door not happy with this man’s comings and goings.
This same man had to come back the next day. It still felt uncomfortable, but he was doing all that was asked. He wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t easy. He was in the back room doing his work; I in the kitchen when I saw my burning bowl and felt compelled to light it. As I was burning the protection, thinking all honorable and good things are allowed in my home now, and if he doesn’t resonate he will depart easily. When he came in the kitchen, he didn’t ask or bat an eye, but continued his work. He asked me to check his work and explained the drawer wasn’t going to work properly.
I said, “not your fault at all. You couldn’t have done better. It should have been done properly before.”
As our conversation began to bloom it turned out he had the same experience with the first maintenance man as I did.
We exchanged information and I learned he came to the US at 17, moved out here a few years ago from a place I had history with and sent money to his poor (literally) parents. He also told me he knows someone else who makes soap. As it turned out, he and I knew that very same person. He also knew how cruel that person was and the bullying ways. He had history with this mean-spirited person. I had parted ways with that person because of the vindictive behavior of trying to run me down publicly after I told this person not to use my property without permission. I pointed out the dishonorable behavior and once again, with no where else to go the attack happened.
How did I not learn the first hundred times I experienced this lesson?
As I helped the second maintenance man with his tools to his truck, he stopped and held up his fingers close together. “The world is this small.”
I am so pleased, that if ever I need to have this maintenance man in my home I can now do it with a glad heart.