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One Door Handle and Slippers

We have made it through the first month of 2021 and this (construction language) year is not getting any better.

So far this month the wind has blown every day, with at least two days of top gusts more than eighty miles per hour. Here is the last day of the month and at least for this minute, the wind is not blowing. Maybe better things are ahead.

I’ve been working on the same construction project since last spring. I am now in the ninth month of construction. I say this because the project was projected to last six months. Every Tuesday since the start of this project I have attended an early morning OAC meeting. I know that some of you are thinking I am breaking the promise to Elaine that I will never bring politics into Monner’s Mumblings. OAC, in this case, has nothing to do with the young representative from the state of New York. Although, some of the ideas discussed at the Tuesday OAC meetings are just as outrageous as ideas put forth from the other OAC. (I hope Elaine doesn’t read this.) OAC: O-owner: A-architect; C-contractor.

With this particular project, the architect has never shown up. I should have called the meetings OC meetings, but then I wouldn’t have got to slide in a comment about the representative from New York. (I hope Elaine doesn’t read this.) Attendees discuss things like, "why is the project three months behind schedule?" I tell the owners and my employers, “Remember when the concrete block factory closed for five weeks due to COVID-19. Remember that. And do you remember when the architect left off the plans some pretty important electrical information and it took six weeks for the owners to approve the changes. Good God, is this what we are going to talk about today.”

The meetings are scheduled for the first thing every Tuesday morning. If you are thinking the first thing Tuesday morning would be 8:00 or 9:00 AM, you would be wrong. Our OAC meetings minus the “A” start BEFORE 8:00 AM, with no consideration for me needing to get up before the sun to drive to the (construction language) meeting.

It snowed this past Tuesday. I awoke to find four inches of fresh powder on the ground and incidentally on my company supplied truck. I jumped in the truck and turned on the wipers to brush the snow off the windshield. Directly under the light, fluffy snow that had settled on the windshield was a sheet of ice put there by the eight-degree Fahrenheit temperature. I grabbed my ice scraper and with my left hand, I grabbed the door handle. The door didn’t open. I’m guessing because the door handle snapped off and was still in my left hand. I am stuck inside a truck with an interior temperature of eight-degrees Fahrenheit. No one in the neighborhood is awake but me and the chickens. I could have telephoned Elaine only to wait for her to get dressed, come outside and get me out of the truck. I elected to roll the window down and use the outside handle to open the door. It worked.

An hour and a half later at the OAC minus “A”, I was able to direct the conversation away from construction problems to, “Do you want to hear about my door handle?” My employer said “Just go get it fixed. When are we going to be finished?”

After the meeting, I set off to get a new door handle. I started at the local dealership.

Service Manager: Go get a cup of coffee in the lounge. We’ll fix you right up. Me: That’s great. How long will it take? Service manager: should take less than an hour.

Five minutes later. Here comes the service manager.

Service manager: Mister Monner, we need to talk. I can get the part but it will take an hour. The door handle costs $703.00 plus $145.00 installation. Me: No. no, no, I don’t want a new door, just replace the handle Service manager: Well, Mr. Monner; that’s the problem. We need to replace everything inside the door. Me: This vehicle does not belong to me. I won’t authorize spending $850.00 on a door handle. Service manager: If you can find the handle on HeBay or the Nile bring it in, we will put it on.

Driving away I called my employer. He told me to spend the money.

I drive one of those trucks that the manufacturer builds and calls the truck two different names. I drove to the other dealership.

New service manager: I have the handle. We can put it on now. The cost will be $400.00 for the handle, $100.00 for installation. If our manufacturer’s engineers weren’t so stupid this would be a $50.00 fix. Me: Engineers sound like architects Service manager: What? Me: Oh, nothing.

Regardless of the wind and snow, Ivy, Elaine, and even me are filling orders. Last Sunday, I braved the elements filling a yarn order for shipping. I thought it was going to be a simple job, so let’s say I didn’t dress for it. Elaine filled out a list of yarns to be packaged for shipping. Sadly, she did not include quantities on her list. If I had known we were going to be in the storage units a while, I might have worn long pants and shoes. Elaine might tell this story with different content, but she will need to write her own story. This is my story and this is how I’m telling it.

Don’t be shy, buy yarn. I can always get dressed.

Our crazy lives!



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