Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Simple Maintenance. Forgetaboutit!

One of the advantages of living in the company housing we are in is that I can make one simple phone call to get maintenance to come and fix anything from a torn window screen to a leaky faucet or broken refrigerator. One simple call to "202" and you can schedule pest control to come spray the jacquemontia that is covered in mealy bugs, or get your heat fixed, or get light bulbs changed. I called on Saturday to get pest control to come, again, for the fourth or fifth time - those damn mealy bugs are pretty resilient to whatever poison is being used to kill 'em. And, I needed someone to come and fix two of our outside gates [we have three], the back screen door, and the garage door. Pest control came on Sunday to spray the plants; a carpenter was scheduled to come yesterday afternoon.

When I was on the phone with Mr. A
ppointment-Setter, I tried to explain in detail what was wrong with the two gates [as if he even cares!], what was wrong with the back door, and how, now, they have come three times to fix our garage door and it still IS NOT fixed!

All of the gates have latches on them and the screw
s that keep the latches on the gates keep coming out. I keep screwing them back in. They have been screwed in so many times - into rotten wood - that there is nothing for the screws to hold on to, anymore. I told Mr. Appointment-Setter that he needed to send someone who could actually "fix" the problem and not to just send someone with a screwdriver. Ditto for the back door. It doesn't shut all the way. And it has nothing to do with the hinges - which I've screwed back in - or that metal plunger-bar thingy - which I've screwed back in. The garage door? Well that was never installed properly in the first place, and because it isn't, our garage door opener doesn't work. [No, Mr. Appointment-Setter, it is NOT the garage door opener that is broken! It is the garage door, itself, that is not opening and closing correctly! I am quite aware that the company isn't responsible for the garage door opener [or responsible for our stove cook top] - we are - and if you would just have one of your gazillion imported workers come and fix it correctly - then our garage door opener will work like it is supposed to! Asshole.]

So, Mr. Carpenter-Repairman shows up yesterday afternoon with three workers in tow. There are four of them. Makes sense. I have two gates to fix, one back door and a garage door. Send four workers. [Pest control sent four workers, too. There are four seats in their little Nissan pick-up trucks. Thus, four workers. Whatever.] The very first thing that Mr. Carpenter-Repairman does is try to screw the screws back into one of the gates and I screamed at him! THAT IS NOT FIXING MY GATE! I CAN SCREW THE SCREWS BACK IN, MYSELF! THEY ARE JUST GOING TO COME OUT AGAIN!!! Good grief. Do you honestly think that I would have called just to have someone come with a screwdriver to put a couple screws back in for me?!? I may be blonde, but I am quite capable of using a screwdriver when I see a screw coming out!

This is the first gate they "fixed."

I now have four new screws. Well. Thanks for that! Do you NOT understand that it is not the screws that are the problem?!? Look closely at the pi
cture. Just below the deadbolt is a white "screw" mark. That's where Mr. Carpenter-Repairman stuck his Phillips screwdriver into the gate to show me that the wood is rotten that there is nothing they can do about it. Duh! No shit, Sherlock! I know the wood is rotten. Just because when this house was "renovated" before we moved into it and you put new brown paint on the gate and new screws in the latch doesn't mean that the gate was "renovated." I'm trying to tell Mr. Carpenter-Repairman that he is NOT fixing the problem; the wood is rotten. He is putting a band-aid on the problem when what I need is a new wooden gate if this one is rotten. Does he understand what I am telling him? Nope. He doesn't have a fucking clue as to what I'm sayin'. And, now, I have four new screws AND a hole where he stuck his screwdriver in the gate. Gimme that screwdriver! When I stick it in you, perhaps you'll realize that I am not going to accept that you put four new screws in rotten wood!!!

Here is the second gate latch that was "fixed." Damn why didn't I have my camera out yesterday! Instead of this big honkin' bolt that they put in - the first time they screwed the latch back to the door they used TWO SMALLER SCREWS IN THE SAME HOLE! Never in my entire life...

So, this gate isn't really "fixed," either. It needs to be replaced. The wood is twenty years old and the hot sun, the heat, and salt water just h
ave not been good to it... I don't know what they used that came out of a spray can - WD40, perhaps? I don't even know why they needed it. But, gee. Didn't it leave a nice oily runny mess on the gate?!? That, too, was comical. One of Mr. Carpenter-Repairman's workers was trying to spray whatever the "stuff" was - for whatever reason - onto the latch. The spray was not coming out. So what he does is remove the little white "spray" part from the can and sticks a nail into the little "hose" opening and then hammers the nail down. Is he trying to make that aerosol can explode? And if he is, why? Whatever. I just stood back - way back - and watched.

The back door problem... The problem is tha
t the door is old. This house was built in 1948. The door was probably perfectly fine then. It is now sixty years old. The door is warped beyond repair. It is NEVER going to close properly. It is not the plunger-thingy:

It is not the hinges. And, if you move the door up so that it closes on the top, then it isn't going to close on the bottom. What don't "you" un
derstand about this?!? Can you not see this one inch gap - that I can stick all of my fingers through?!? I can wave to the creepy-crawlies outside without ever opening the door. This door needs to be replaced. It is a piece of shit and there is NOTHING you are going to be able to do to "fix" it. Really, I don't mind an occasional bug coming in from the heat; they just want to cool off in our air-conditioned comfort and find something to eat by helping themselves to whatever tidbits of food that are on the floor that the Kids have spilled... But, I do, however, mind very much that it's not the occasional bug coming in - it is ENTIRE FUCKING FAMILIES OF 'EM!

You cannot fix this door. Either take it off and we'll go without - which is probably what is going to happen - or replace it.

I didn't take pictures of the garage door. DH is dealing with this problem, and no, Mr. Carpenter-Repairman can see that there is something wrong, but doesn't have a clue as to how to take care of what is wrong. This will necessitate another half-dozen calls to get someone from maintenance to actually "fix" the garage door problem. And, I only have the patience to deal with maintenance once a month or so - certainly not daily, or even once a week. We will likely never, ever be able to use our garage door opener in this house and if we park the truck in the garage, we will have to manually open and close the garage door. Pain in the ass, is what it is.

Mr. Carpenter-Repairman uses our phone to call his foreman. I've been yelling at supervising him, and his three workers, for almost an hour now, and not one of my maintenance issues has been properly repaired. Mr. Carpenter-Repairman tells me that his foreman is going to call me. "When?" "Tomorrow." "What time?" "Yes, Madam, he will call you." No. Never mind. "What is your foreman's telephone number?" Mr. Carpenter-Repairman looks at me like I have three heads. He doesn't know the number. Bullshit, you don't. You JUST called him! Mr. Carpenter-Repairman hems and haws and stutters and finally gives me a telephone number and the name of his foreman. He didn't want to, that's for sure. Mr. Foreman of Mr. Carpenter-Repairman should be proud of the fact that his worker tried very hard to protect him from me. It is now quarter past seven. If I don't have a phone call within the next fifteen minutes, I will be calling Mr. Foreman myself. It isn't going to be pretty...


  1. thanks for stopping by my place. i love your place and am glad i found you. how'd you find me, anyhow???

    heidianne jackson

  2. I've been stopping by your place for over a year, now, Heidianne! You've been on my "favorites" for that long. How'd I find you? You know, one blog leads to another to another and to another... Honestly, I don't remember how I got there the first time. You have several blogs listed that I visit - but I can tell you for a fact that it wasn't via "Woman Honor Thyself." Angel is blocked here in The Sandbox - I can't get to her - I can only visit her when we're in the States.

    Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by - and come again - visitors ARE always welcome, here!

  3. You have no idea, Enamorada! I walk around muttering under my breath all of the time that I am surrounded by idiots. [There are times when I even think that maybe the problem is me. But, I immediately come to my senses and of course realize that it isn't ME. Goodness gracious, no. Couldn't possibly be...]

    Just send me someone that understands a little bit of English, please!?! Then perhaps, I'd have a chance of communicating. But, noooo...

    I'm going to do an "update" on the maintenance situation. Maybe tomorrow.

  4. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  5. Visitors and comments are always welcome, Utah. Thank you for the kind compliment!


Site Meter