27 March 2014

The Gas Man Cometh

Well, actually in my case, not the gasman but a workman. And "cometh" he did not. Although I say so myself, I'm pretty good with a paintbrush, screwdriver and hammer, even with a monkey wrench, but am useless with a saw, so there is the occasional job where I put my hands up and admit defeat. So, in the middle of last year, I looked up the ads in our local paper for a handyman to come to my rescue. I was so impressed with the way he thought round some of the problems without the alternative of racking up a huge bill, that I decided to use him before my mother moved into her retirement flat at the end of October.

The main job was to freshen up the paintwork of the walls of her entire one-bedroom flat (the woodwork seemed fine and I thought painting that would unnecessarily delay her moving in). Again Handy Andy (his name for himself, not mine) did a sterling job and I asked him if he could return in few weeks to hang my mother's pictures and replace a skirting board that had been removed by the previous owner in the kitchen to make room for an extra-wide fridge-freezer. His advert proclaims that "no job is too small", so I expected he would fit the work in when he had a spare moment.

To cut a very long and boring story short, I am still waiting.  Every so often, I ring him and he tells me with an exasperated tone that he might get over in a couple of weeks, but weeks turn into months and I ring him again. Finally after about the fourth time of reminding him, I pinned him down to giving me a definite date which would suit him. He suggested Wednesday 26th March at 2.30pm. Yesterday.

It was not entirely convenient for me, as I had a hospital appointment at lunchtime and other commitments later on, but I bust a gut yesterday to be at my mother's flat at the appointed time. I had even texted him the day before to remind him, but had ominously received no reply. Of course, my mother and I sat like lemons all afternoon waiting for him to arrive and needless to say he didn't show. I have now sent him a "yours disgusted" text telling him not to bother. I shall find someone else more reliable.

What gets me is not that he might be snowed under sub-contracting to someone else, possibly fitting bathrooms, kitchens, or who knows what (that I can understand) and that he can't be arsed to turn up for a petty little skirting board and a few pictures. What really annoys me is that he can't be bothered to pick up a phone and tell me he is snowed under. Even when I reminded him the day before, he would prefer to let me sit there all afternoon listening to a ticking clock.

Workmen, eh?


K Ville said...

Oh so frustratingly rude, these men are all 'no job too small' and then get too big for their boots. Time to move on I guess.

Melinda Wheatley said...

I understand if workmen become too busy, but to be so rude and disrespectful as to not tell you he was coming and let you stew in your own juices, so to speak.

Isabelle said...


We once came across a similar chap who called himself "Just Ma Self" (we're in Scotland). I thought, he'll never get anywhere with that name. Years later I passed a huge building site with a big notice proclaiming that the work was being done by JMS Builders (formerly Just Ma Self).

Next time you see HA Builders in action you can throw a brick...

schleprock said...

What beautiful language you use.
"listening to a clicking clock"
mot juste - perfect

I am sorry to hear about your husband. I too am a drunkard but I mangaged to retire from the sort of work a few years ago.

I am just so sorry for the agony you endured.