No Cognitive Test For Me, Please

I can sympathize with President Biden’s recent comments about cognitive tests. I believe he said something to the effect that every day is a mental...

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No Building Back Better

Thank God for Aaron. Straight-shooter. Full of information. Expert plumber and observer of modern-day life.

Aaron is the guy they call to fix everything the youngsters in the company have screwed up. Aaron and his sidekick/apprentice have been at our condo remodeling project for a day and a half now. His lingering presence speaks volumes.

Everyone has plumber stories. Maybe you think you’ve heard them all. But based on what Aaron told me yesterday and today, more of us will be having ugly construction tales to share in the future. There doesn’t appear to be any building back better in much of the younger construction trade these days.

Our story began with the neighbor’s casual observation that there was water dripping onto the top of his Audi. My man, the patient neighbor and I looked up at the maze of condo plumbing over the luxury car, searching for an answer to his concerns.

“I’ll flush the new toilet in the powder room,” I said, dreading that our fixture could be the cause of his problem.

Five minutes and six flushes later, the drip appeared. If toilet water was falling on the top of my expensive car, I might display a certain amount of pique. Lucky for us, our neighbor is from Canada — the land of accommodating folks not prone to hysterics.

The original plumber seemed a nice young fellow. He told us how good he was at his job. But maybe he should have doublechecked his work before spiking the ball in the plumbing end zone. Not one, but two toilets were leaking; the one over my neighbor’s car and a second one over where my convertible will be parked at the end of January.

Furthermore, Aaron pointed out that the original plumber did a lousy job connecting the second bedroom sink to the wall. Caulking was also not one of his strong suits.

“My kid could do a better job,” Aaron observed. I couldn’t disagree.

Aaron was also able to fix the dishwasher that was installed by the hotshot “services” team that works our area and is not affiliated with the company he works for.

“Notice they used an old connector,” he said, pointing to a darkened metal hose that had seen better days.

I took a photo of the one the installation team used so my man could point out the difference between that and the one Aaron put on our dishwasher in his future discussion with the services company.

“Don’t forget to mention that Aaron had to reinstall the garbage disposal, which he said would have fallen off after a couple of uses.”

Aaron, who at 42 is still a baby in my world, seemed wise beyond his years as he discussed today’s workplace dilemmas.

“We’re so busy that you get these guys in here and don’t have time to train them properly before they go out on the job,” he said. “Almost all my work these days is fixing easy mistakes made by our new employees.”

By the way, the electrician wasn’t all that great, either. Our condo failed its electrical inspection twice, requiring the company to send in a new team to get the job done right.

Apparently Covid is not the only thing that is becoming endemic these days. Incompetency comes to mind.

When my man called the installation services folks to put in the hood over our range, I cringed and asked him to find someone else. But who?  “They have to drill through the tile in our new backsplash…and they can’t even install a garbage disposal,” I whined.

He just looked at me and shook his head. What was he to do? If only Aaron could do that job for us, too.

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