Friday, January 13, 2017

Day One: Out on the Tiles

We're scheduled to start removing the floor and cabinets during the second week of January on a Tuesday, so I arrange to work from home that day, just to make sure nothing horrible happens. [cue Bernard Herrmann]

The night before, my daughter and I sit on the kitchen floor and play music together for the first time in who knows how long. And it's beautiful. I don't think she and I have had a better time together in years. I'm verklempt thinking about it. We played the Indigo Girls' "Closer to Fine" and Adele's "Someone Like You." I went to bed smiling.

On Tuesday, only one of the two guys shows up, but he's an animal, and I mean that in a good way. He is there to work, and he starts prying up floor tiles. They're coming up whole, some of them, and he's vocalizing his approval. "Yeah!" "Oh, nice!" He's basically Englishing the crowbar. Every so often, he takes a break on the one chair I've left in the kitchen, but he doesn't sit long. In no time, he's got a big hunk of floor done. The tiles are breaking now, but they're still coming up nicely.

Every so often, I hear a little "shit" or "damn it!" I yell, "Are you OK?" and he is. At 11:00, he calls me in to take a look at something. He has found a section of damp floor, and the sub-floor is peeling like paper. The closer he gets to the fridge, the wetter the floor is. So he moves to a different part of the floor, and I call Lowe's, where I bought the Whirlpool refrigerator in 2013.

I remember that we had a leak a year after we bought it, and it was covered by the warranty. Lowe's sent a guy from a company called Video Tech Center, and he was completely unprepared, despite my having described the problem perfectly when making the appointment. (I even filed a complaint with Lowe's about my technician.) After he told me that he'd gotten dozens of calls for this refrigerator, and it's always the same issue, I asked him to fix it, and he told me he had to order the part. Why didn't he bring it with him, then, if he knew what it was?! (I'd be without a fridge for a week, and when the part came in, no one would call.) Lowe's tells me they'll send Heavenly Cool out the next morning between 8 and 11, and I get an email confirmation.

The contractor, who was supposed to come by at 10:30, has sliced his fingers and has gone to ER to get stitches. The tile guy keeps working until the tile is gone from everywhere except the area around the refrigerator. And then, at 2:30, he borrows my shop vac and cleans up and goes home.

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