Monday, October 14, 2013

The Electrical Princess


"The plumber's work is done," I said buttering my toast. 
"Yes," Mr. Wonderful said reaching for the ringing telephone. 
"And tomorrow the electrician comes to do his work."
"Yes?" he said into the phone.
"So by Monday night everything will be done!" 
"No," Mr Wonderful said handing me the phone.


The phone call brought bad news. But phone calls with good news never happen first thing in the morning unless you're 1) The grandmother-to-be of a new born baby (which I wasn't); 2) The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (which I wasn't) or 3) Meryl Streep (which I wasn't... yet). 

The voice on the other end of the line belonged to the electrician who informed me he was canceling. Canceling the day before a scheduled work day! UGH.

"Why," I said choking on my toast. 
"My third-grade daughter is playing a princess in the school play tomorrow."
"But why," I said brushing crumbs from my face. 
"She's loves princesses?" the electrician said questioning his own excuse.
"But why now?"
"She had a great audition?"

His daughter's school play? What kind of excuse was that? Please. It wasn't like she'd never be in another school play again. These days kids have school plays every week in third grade. But the electrician didn't care that he was leaving me in the trench-laden lurch while he skipped off to the elementary school's cafeteria to see his princess play a princess. I wished he hadn't told me why he had to cancel. UGH.

So it was back to the drawing board for me in finding an electrician. Whoever said Sunday was a day of rest did not have to deal with finding an electrician. I searched Angie's list, the neighbors' lists and all the lists of my 6,000 Facebook friends. I dialed, emailed, texted, tweeted, Pinterested and Instagramed for an electrician. Finally, lo and behold, I found one!

Jeffrey came, saw the situation, gave me an estimate and left. On Tuesday, Jeffrey's men came, saw the work and left… to get more parts. Soon both electricians returned to the house and while the young one worked on the wiring, the older one left… to get more parts. Again.

I chatted with the young one who was so amiable and pleasant. When the older one came back to work on the job I chatted to him and he was even more amiable and more pleasant then… he left to get more parts. The older one spent more time "going to get more parts" than there were parts required to do all the work on our house. Into perpetuity.

The whole day was an endless stream of electricians coming and going. But by the close of business on Monday, the electrical work was done, it was professional and it looked stellar. I thanked both men profusely. They smiled and nodded.

That evening I called Jeffrey.
"Your men did a fabulous job on my House. Thank you," I said smiling into the phone.
"On your job," Jeffrey said "I miscalculated the parts, the labor and the work. It was the job from hell. Serious hell."  UGH. I wished he hadn't told me how hard the job was. My House is my joy. No one wants to think that the thing they love dearly--their House--is anything less than perfect. Suddenly I understood how the first electrician felt about his third-grade daughter performing in the school play. Whatever or whomever we love is our princess and others should respect our loved ones.

I called the first electrician and asked how his daughter did in the play.
"She was the perfect princess," he said beaming.
"Of course she was," I said. "Because she's yours."