Monday, March 14, 2011


I’m wrestling an 81 year-old house in to the digital age. 

And we’re both dragging our feet. 

Even though it’s called ‘wireless,’ it requires wires. And drilling through brick and plaster – and woodwork, unfortunately.

I’ve been paying for internet access for years, but the wiring and controls were on the other side of the house (I own a double and live on one side and rent the other) and I wanted to move them for a couple of reasons. I hated that if something was wrong I had to ask my tenant to deal with it or go to her house to fix it. Of course, it also felt a little shady to have to bill go to one address and the access go to the other.

Last Saturday was a crappy weather day. It is waffling between big fat raindrops and big fat sleet. The technician and I walked around the house discussing our options.  They both involved drilling. His idea was to drill through the floor of the other side of the house, run the wire under the floor, drill through the cinder block wall dividing the basements and then drill through my floor. My idea was to run the wire around the outside of the house and drill into my wall. One drill hole, verses three. And I figured that plaster is easier to patch then replacing the wood trim.

He promised that he would drill through the plaster and not the wood trim. I even offered to take the storm window out so that I could hold a yardstick out to show him the spot. Nope, he had it.

His first attempt hit the edge of the wood and cracked it! I was yelling, “STOP!” through the window. He came in to check it and went back out and drilled LOWER – through the woodwork. I thought I was going to punch him. 

But I’m a wuss.

And at this point the damage was done. What good would being angry do? He was a subcontractor for the giant cable company, so I knew that my chance of any reparation was slim. And it was my idea...and I got to pay $49 for the pleasure of having two holes in the brick and the woodwork. 

I wonder -- at what point do I stop putting up with things being ‘good enough?’ I don’t let myself off the hook that easily, why do I let others slide?

In the meantime, I’ll drown my sorrows in a rousing game of on-line Scrabble. 


Ralph said...

Oh I've been. Once had a subcontractor drywall over a heat vent and then try and tell me it wasn't there. I did make him uncover it.

Cliff said...

I'm the same way Nora, It just makes for good stories but doesn't get anything done about the screw up.
I hope the internet works. Mine doesn't. So far I'm paying for 3 different ways to sign up for the internet and dial up would be faster than all of them.