Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Question I Dread Most From People Doing Work On My House:

Our house has demanded a lot of attention this year: a new roof; a new air conditioner and furnace; a lot of attention from our plumber; and a few other things I don't care to remember.

After too many house issues, I now cringe when I hear this question: Can I show you something?  Because when my plumber or handyman or roofer asks that question, he never wants to show me something good, like a pot of gold or a baby panda.  He always wants to show me something bad, and by "bad," I mean "a problem that requires immediate attention or the entire house is going to collapse, and by the way, this is going to be expensive."

For example, when the air conditioner repair man asks, Can I show you something?, he's really saying, Can I show you the irreparable leak on your ancient air conditioner unit?  It just looks like a tiny leak and if it was just three inches over, I could fix it for $200 but now this is going to cost you at least $6000 for a brand new unit.  Bummer.

When the owner of the air conditioning company asks me, Can I show you something?, he's really saying, Can I show you the asbestos in your basement?  We're going to need a separate company to remove the asbestos and then we have to install all new ducts.  Thank god, because my kid needs braces and now I can charge you another $2000.

When the guy prepping my house for our new air conditioner and furnace asks the question, he's really saying, I just removed your old furnace and I discovered a leaking pipe.  The pipe is going to be completely inaccessible tomorrow afternoon once we install the new unit, so you better get your plumber out here immediately if not sooner. 

When the Sears delivery man says, Can I show you something?, he's really saying, They stopped making ducts like this in the 1950s so I can't properly hook up your new dryer which means your house is probably going to go up in flames.  Yes, I know Sears sent me to install your new dryer, but this is not my problem. 

And my personal favorite: When the plumber asks the dreaded question, he's really saying, I need to show you the concrete wall that is blocking my access to the leaking pipe that is rotting your floorboards. I'm going to need to drill a hole into the foundation of your house. You should probably have your heart attack now before we go downstairs into the basement just to make it easier on the paramedics.