This week I have four days off. Four wonderful days of no work. Although, as I write this, I have already used up one so now I only have three days left to swan around and do things. Then the weekend. Which makes it five more days before I go back to work.
After this week finishes I will have no time off until after Christmas and the days will be busy. Every year I ask myself why does Christmas make people think the end of the world is nigh? Suddenly everything has to be done before that day. Especially in our industry. Want a pool in for friends and family to splash in on Christmas day? Ring us in October and then wonder why we say no. Want an extension put onto the back of your house with a new outdoor kitchen? Ring us in September then get irritated because we cannot help you out. Also get shitty because we want you to pay more than you want to spend. But don’t take in account that you might be totally clueless on what things actually cost.
Want your back and front yard landscaped and include imported bluestone paving with that? Ring us in August and then not understand how the bluestone has to be imported from China and won’t arrive in Australia for months. Should you be one of our clients who has their garden landscaped can you not complain to us that your dog dug up the irrigation and chewed it and that we are somehow at fault? That is what dogs sometimes do.
Please don’t watch those shows where people manage to extend, renovate and landscape a six bedroom house in three weeks. That includes a new bathroom, powder room and kitchen. Plus, just because you own a tool bag, hammer and cordless drill it does not mean you are a builder. It means you are a practical person but you are not a builder. Don’t come on site and tell people what to do. Also, we cannot do things that are not in the contract unless you pay for it. Crazy I know, but that extra window you want means the plan has to be redrawn, approved by council and costs will be incurred by you, not us. This is what we call a variation.
I have to say that we have had a run of the most difficult clients over the past eighteen months. One couple in particular comes to mind. It would be fair to say that I really accept people’s idiosyncrasies but in this case I would have to say that these two people are really challenging. I would bet money that the husband has an obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Sounds like just another “disorder” but there is a reason why they are called that. It comes about when people have unreasonable behaviours that create huge problems when dealing with others. Not only does the husband want things his own way, he bullies others to get his own way. He expects others to do what he wants. Does not understand that we have to abide by the contract. He lies and denies conversations which means everything has to be organised via emails. He and his wife took a month to choose the grout colour for the bathroom tiles and then complained that we took too long to organise the tiler and would not accept that their pontificating about the grout colour may have had something to do with the delay.
The husband measured the area for tiles he wanted to be ordered as he did not trust anyone else to get it correct. Of course, when the measurements he took turned out to be not correct and more tiles had to be ordered he argued that it was our fault for not checking his measurements. This is despite the fact that he did not want us involved in the measuring. He sends emails at 2.30am in the morning. And texts. Although, thankfully, Bossman told him to not send texts outside of working hours and especially when people may be asleep. When the client questioned why that was an issue he was told that the foreman was woken up by the texts, client then said that the site foreman should put the phone in another room. It was explained to him that the phone was also used as an alarm to which the client answered that the site foreman should put his phone on “do not disturb” so that messages could only be heard between certain hours.
The couple want to micro manage every single detail of the job and this has resulted in weeks and weeks of delays as they are incapable of making decisions without long discussions with all and sundry. Then when they make a decision they will change it. There is even a long drawn out saga about how long the nap should be on the roller that the painter is using. The wife wants to discuss the length, the painter does not wish to talk about it any more. He just wants to get in and do the job. She cannot come up with an answer as to how long the nap should be but wants to talk about it as she has lots of information as to how the nap impacts the appearance of the paint finish. The painter has discussed it with her numerous times but he now just wants her to tell him what she wants him to use and then fuck off.
We know it is not us that causes the problems as there are trades that will not go back there because the clients are bullies. Clients like this make things difficult as they are so unreasonable. They are the sort of clients who think that everything should go according to clockwork and nothing should happen beyond the guidelines set out. Which is impossible. Things happen and then have to be resolved as quickly as possible. I have overheard discussions between Bossman and this couple and it is like hearing an adult talk to a four year old. The four year old wants what they want and will talk about it for ever until they get the answer they want. It is almost laughable. Still, we will be finished the job by Christmas so at least that is one done by then.
See that photo above? That is my home phone and it works. K is a phone aficionado and we have a significant collection that reflects that. The other day I asked him to hook one of the old ones up for me because I miss the ring of a phone. That lovely bell noise. I also like to dial the number as opposed to pushing buttons. It is funny to speak into and I would not like to have an hour long conversation but it looks nice and I like how it is very quirky.
For my few days off I have a couple of plans. Naturally a trip the the art gallery is on the cards. There are some new exhibits there that I want to see plus the gallery is just a nice place to spend a few hours. I will train in so that I don’t have to be in the traffic. This week I have no psych visit so I will go to CrossFit instead. Last week when I saw the psych we talked about having to add something to my mix of meds as I was having issues with my mood swings becoming unstable again. I was a bit loathe to because I do not like having to go through the process of getting used to the side effects. Although we discuss things the decision is entirely up to me so I never feel any pressure to comply. However what I do have to do is determine just how unstable I am feeling and how it is impacting my day to day life. Anyway, I decided to give a trial run of adding a very small dose of Seroquel each night to my normal meds. The first few days were okay despite my being very tired. The tiredness would subside once my body adjusted. Then I woke up one morning with my teeth and jaw aching, blood in my mouth and a headache. I had been clenching my teeth when asleep and also bit my tongue quite badly.
This once happened when I was on anti depressants years and years ago and I ended up with cracked teeth and a big dental bill paying for things to get fixed. Wearing a purpose made mouth guard will not stop the clenching. So I decided to stop the Seroquel and just leave things as they are. The meds I take now are pretty good although they do give me some serious random blind pimples. One weekend I had five erupt on my face, none of which were welcome.
Oh, one other really shit side effect is that my short term memory is very poor. I cannot recall conversations I have had and even if reminded the event just does not exist to me any more. Not all conversations, it is random. But when I don’t remember it and someone brings it up I have no recall and they may as well be telling me a fairy tale. Thankfully this does not filter into my work and I believe that is because work is a fairly black and white process. I also have many things in place that mean if I forget something it will be picked up very quickly.
My son is doing his first round of Uni exams. He really is growing up and I no longer see him as a school kid. He is a young man and although not financially independent from my husband and me he is emotionally independent which is the best that I could ask for. We are currently repainting one room so that he can move his bedroom over to it which will mean that his old, bigger bedroom can be set up as a room to watch television and have friends over.
The other night we all went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant around the corner from where we live and as we were eating and discussing things the topic of men crying came up. My husband and son don’t cry. They feel sad, they discuss feelings, they express feelings but they don’t, as a rule, cry. I have seen my husband cry once. My son did his usual round of crying throughout his childhood and now and then in his teenage years. He has cried at the two funerals he has been to but that aside, he just does not feel the need to cry.
I, however, will cry at the drop of a hanky. Television advertisements make me cry. Sunny mornings will invoke tears. Not enough sleep will make me cry. Frustration, anger, sadness and happiness will make me shed a tear. Crying comes without warning and for no good reason.
Now, I have to say that if my husband and son cried as much as I did it would freak me out. Which must mean that I think men just do not cry as much as women. Does it mean that allowing oneself to cry a lot is a taught thing? Hormonal? My husband and son say that the urge to cry is just not there unless something really ‘big’ is happening. They don’t suppress the tears, the tears are just not forthcoming. My son asked why women cry more and I said it was most likely related to hormones.
I wondered if I did the right thing by pinning the tears that women shed on oestrogen. I have no doubt that people of any gender cry for all sorts of reasons. Some people just cry more than others. Are women more susceptible to crying because of hormones or is it a learned thing? Bossman cried when I was not well and had been self harming. K and S didn’t but I knew they were just as concerned. The crying or not crying was not related to their level of their love and care for me.
It would be reasonable of me to say that I cry five days out of seven. That is a lot of crying. The reasons vary but I just accept that is what I do. But I am not a public crier. Crying to me is a private event. Were I to cry in front of people every time the urge arose then that would be very uncomfortable for everyone, me included.
It is okay to cry. It is also okay to not cry.
I am still fiddling around with this new blog. I am not sure about the layout and I know there is lots more of things I can do with it. As it is not easy to navigate as Blogger was I am finding that I have to do a bit more thinking to get it right. Still, it is always good to learn new things.
So tomorrow I think is a day at the gallery. Up early to cook S breakfast before he heads off to an early exam.
I really love not working for a few days.