Working with others…

Over the years I have done all types of work. I have worked at small retails stores doing computer repairs and selling parts. I have been a consultant where I sold, installed, and supported hardware and applications. I have also done cloud engineering work. I picked up pecans, washed cars, commercial flooring, and loads of other types of work.

Here recently, I was helping someone on their house. At first I was asked to just help with the firewood. When I got there, the building wasn’t ready. I help reinforce the flooring, then we stacked the wood inside. It took a few days as the wood needed to dry out. It had been covered with a tarp for some time and the moisture was trapped. We got that work done with little to no issue.

After the firewood was stacked, I was asked if I would like to do more work. Sure. [why would I not want to make more easy money] What was the job, a 2500 gallon water tank was going to be installed and it need a place to sit level. The slope of the ground is about 40 degrees. I dug out the hillside and worked to make a level ground for this tank. In some places, cause it the mountains, I had to use a sledge and chisel to get some of the dirt out. The water tank took a long time to get ready for. Then it took a while to get the plumbing, water pump, wood work, and painting done.

After all this work I had done for this guy, I was asked to help work on the siding of the house. We start the process and things are going well. Then I’m asked if I can work some magic like I did with the lid to the pump house; part of the wood work from before. What I was asked to do was to extend the flashing into the gutter. I did. I came up with a plan on how to install the siding, extend the flashing, while eliminating the chance of water going down the back side of the siding.

We get ready to put the first piece of siding up and we start butting heads. He doesn’t want the concrete board pre-drilled on 16 centers; even though the previous nail holes and the tar paper is marked at 16 centers. I should have known that I would have been in for a long day. I even said something to him early about it to the effect of, “look I know we but heads on things, but we are still good. no worries,” type of talk. Things just slowly went down hill though.

After the next piece of siding went up, then it was time to address the flashing and gutter issue. I attempted to explain what the idea was, how it would work, and how to execute on the idea. Explaining things isn’t really a strong suit of mine. If you do not understand some basic principles, then I’m going to have an issue breaking things down to squares and circles; I digress. He ends up just wanting yes/no answers to his questions. Which if he had listened and not interrupted I would have explained in my spiel.

After we get that part done, we move on to a different part of the house where there is more rotted siding. Then you see that there is this large area of rotted wood. There is a 2 by 10 that could be a support beam; turns out it wasn’t, but we didn’t know it at the time. Work happens, a lot of work happens. I spend an hour with a hammer and wood chisel to removed the OSB on the outer casing of the house; the length is about 5 feet.

The guy I’m supposed to be helping is no were around this whole time. I work to get the rest of the casing around these 2 2 by 10’s, the out side one is rotten, and get them complete exposed. I even call the guy from inside the house to take a look at it and make a call on what to do.

It starts getting late by this time and I have spent nearly 8 hours in the cold and mild drizzle at times. I’m also a bit hungry.

I show him a piece that will need to be repaired not related to the current work, but it was something that I broke in the process of trying to get the rest of the work done. You have to remove layers to get to the stuff underneath. I show him it isn’t bad and that it can be glued back. Then I get, “So I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to explain to the home owner how she is paying you by the hour to glue this back.” I didn’t say anything to it. I had already heard from him before, “you not in trouble” when something didn’t go quite right that I was doing. I get it, I’m going to make mistakes, but I’m also not 10.

A bit later on, I have now missed my kids bed time, we are working on getting it all back together and we are faced with the same gutter issue. This time he works on the issue and I’m asked to cut the siding cause he is unable to figure out how to do the measurements. I cut the siding, and while working to get it installed, I lifted up on the flashing that was there and it tears down the crease where the roof meets the outside wall. He is frustrated by this time with the project and with me. I too feel the same, just a different boat cause different reasons. He spouts something about how much we needed the flashing and that we are going to need to do more work now. Meanwhile I climb down off the ladder and proceed to cut a larger piece of the flashing to correct the tear in the current flashing. While working on getting it in, I’m hearing what he had to do to get the small piece in there. I ask him if he would like to do it. He tells me it is my fuck up and I must fix it. While in the process of it, he starts telling me how to do it again and that I need 2 inches past where the tear is at. I snap back, “I’m aware…”

That is when he tells me to leave. To get off the property now. Grab my tools and get out. I snap back with pay me. This happens a few times and he opens the house door and yells “call the cops.” I give no fucks, I’ve done nothing wrong. I start gathering my tools and he follows me around. I figure he thinks I’m going to damage the property. The house nor him is worth going to jail over. I angerly pick up my tools: saw horses, pry bars, hammers, and circular saw, and pack up the truck. He is following me around at this time trying to hand me something. What do you know, he had my money. In the form of a check mind you. It was cashed the next day.

It is shit that things happened the way they did. Frankly, if you are going to ask someone to do something that you, yourself, can’t be bother with taking the time to figure out; then don’t stand in the way of the person you are paying to figure out. Take a step back, watch, listen, and learn.

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