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What's with Wednesday

What’s with Wednesday? Last week I wrote about a fire sprinkler mishap that flooded my construction project.

Well, there has been another Wednesday since I wrote my last story.

My current construction project is finished. The carpet is complete. The restrooms are operational. Paint is being touched up, and man, I’m done.

Last Wednesday, I had called for final inspections from the local building department. My electrical contractor asked me Wednesday morning to postpone the electric inspection for a couple days. He was 99.5% ready for his inspection, but he was afraid that 0.5% would get caught and the inspection would fail. Personally, I would have let the building department do their inspection. Most times, the inspector will inspect the 99.5% and trust the 0.5% will be completed.

The plumbing contractor did not want to postpone his inspection. He was 10O% complete. All water systems were ready.

Due to the proximity of my project to the building department, our inspections were usually the first place the inspectors start his/her day. Yes, I said his/her. The plumbing inspector is female. Before we get all crazy, in the forty-some years I have been involved in building, I have met one female inspector. Betty knows buildings. That was apparent from the moment I met her.

Betty has been with the building department for thirty-five years. She started in administration and worked at a desk for ten years before her supervisor asked (insisted) her to become a field inspector. If you do the math, Betty has been doing construction inspections for twenty-five years. Here’s the crazy part. Betty seems to like me. I know, that’s hard to believe myself.

If Betty has the time, after she has completed her inspection, we chat. We talk about kids and grandkids, retirement, politics, and how we got started in this business. If you are wondering, Betty needs five more years to retire. Me? I need to keep working or I might run out of stories.

I think I was writing about Wednesday. Well, Betty was the plumbing inspector on Wednesday. Betty checked out the toilets. They had water and flushed correctly. She checked the sinks. Plenty of hot water. The clearances of the restroom partitions were correct. Things are looking good. Betty shook the plumber’s hand (you can shake hands in this county) and thanked him for his fine work. Our schedules did not permit chatting.

I closed the door on the restrooms and told the workers they have been cleaned and not to be used. (I didn’t want to have them cleaned again.) Later on, Wednesday morning, I decided to grab some lunch. I walked out of the building and climbed into my truck, realizing I left my coffee cup on a desk in the building. I don’t go anywhere without my coffee cup.

I walked back into the building. I could water running. A worker was using the restroom after I had instructed them to stay out. I hurried towards the restroom in hopes of catching the culprit. As I got near the restrooms I noticed steam was rising from the carpet in the hallway. The steam was coming from water, hot water, now about an inch deep on the carpet and getting deeper. I opened the door of the restroom which now resembling a steam bath. HOT water was coming from underneath one of the handwash sinks. I called the plumber as I was running to shut the water off. If you remember last week's story the water shutoff is in the original building.

The steam bath was getting bigger. Once the water was turned off, I could see a pipe under the sink had come apart.

The plumbers had turned the water on some forty-eight hours before it broke. Had the pipe come apart at night I cannot imagine the amount of damage that would have occurred. If I had not forgotten my coffee cup, I can’t imagine.

I didn’t take lunch Wednesday. I vacuumed water from the hallway, restrooms, and a couple of offices.

As I write, the outside temperature is -11F. I know that some of you are wishing you had stocked up on Cascade 220 and 16” #7 circular needles. Well, you are in luck. Elaine loves cold weather. She is looking forward to heading out to the storage containers to fill your orders. Be advised I will not allow her to go out alone. I will send Walter the Pitbull/Great Dane out with her. I will be able to watch from our bedroom window. OK, I’m kidding, I’ll go outside with her, but I’m wearing shorts, so I will need to hurry.

Our crazy lives!



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