I was under the impression that because of the economy, people are eager to earn money nowadays. Well, obviously the guy I hired over a month ago to paint my porch and decks isn’t.
I must say he talked a good talk. Of the three painters who came over to give me estimates for the job, he impressed me the most.
“I charge exactly what I pay for the paint,” he said. “Not a penny more. I’ll even give you the receipt. I earn my money solely from my labor, which is $25 per hour. And I don’t rush in and spray paint everything. I paint by hand so I can get into every nook and cranny.”
Unfortunately, my porch and decks currently look as if I hung out “Bird Restroom” signs on them. There are so many bird droppings on them, they look as if they have a paisley pattern. I had visions of myself spending countless hours on my hands and knees scraping up bird poop before any painting could be done.
“Don’t worry about it,” the painter said. “I have my own pressure washer. I’ll clean off everything a couple days before I start painting.”
So I hired him for the job and gave him the small down payment he requested (to buy paint). He told me he’d be over on Tuesday to do the pressure washing.
Tuesday arrived and he called. “I can’t make it today,” he said. “My parents are ill and I take care of them, and today is a really bad day. But I’ll be over on Thursday.”
On Thursday he e-mailed me and said his wife was having problems and really needed him, but he would be over on Saturday.
I’d made plans for Saturday, but I canceled them. Then I sat around all day and waited. Finally, the painter called at 5:00.
“I’m really sorry I didn’t make it over there today,” he said. “But my friend bought a restaurant and it wasn’t going to be ready in time for the grand opening, so I had to help him. I promise you I’ll be there tomorrow.”
“You’d better be!” I said.
“I feel really bad about all of these delays,” he said. “Believe me, I fully intend to get your job done as soon as possible.”
The next day, he called and said it was too windy out to do the pressure washing. “And my arthritis is acting up. It affects my grip, and I need a good grip for the job. But next week is supposed to be a fantastic week weather-wise. So I’ll be over on Tuesday.”
By then, I figured the odds of him actually showing up on Tuesday were about equal to those of my winning the Miss Hawaiian Tropic bikini contest.
When the painter called on Tuesday, I braced myself for yet another one of his excuses – like he couldn’t make it because he’d been invited to throw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game.
“My friend still needs help with his restaurant,” he said. “I’ll get back to you when I’m through helping him, I promise.”
I’m still waiting.
I’m beginning to think his friend is opening a restaurant that’s about the size of Madison Square Garden.
Meanwhile, the birds are still using the porch as their private restroom. By the time the painter does get over here, he’ll probably need a plow and a couple hand grenades to get rid of all of the piles.
That is, of course, if he’s not too busy helping his long-lost cousin build a resort on the Las Vegas strip.