Friday, October 26, 2007

So Close, And Yet So Far

Our cabinets were delivered yesterday, hooray! The installer won't be here for a week, not hooray!

Today is Day 10 of no kitchen whatsoever, and all things considered, I think we're all handling things really well. The house is absolute chaos, and I feel like I'm constantly stepping on or over things, but the people in the house are on a fairly even keel, and that is the more important factor. I spent several days agonizing over the paint color for the walls in the kitchen before going with the original color we had agreed on, which is the way things always tend to work with me.

The color is beautiful, by the way. It's a shade of brown that is the exact color of hot chocolate with a little bit of melted whipped cream in it. I'm still not convinced that it complements the cabinets as well as it could, but Ryan's convinced, and it is perfect against the countertop we picked out. (At least, if the paint swatch and the 3 square inch sample of counter are reliable samples.)

When the boxes of cabinets were delivered yesterday, Ryan immediately tore into them and sure enough, they are beautiful too. All of the days of worrying and regretting and hoping that I didn't make a $10,000 mistake were, as usual, a complete waste of time, because it looks like it's all going to be fantastic, and I can't wait to see it all put together!

But as it turns out, I have to wait to see it all put together. It seems as though Lowe's scheduled the installer for the standard four weeks from the date of purchase that it normally takes for these cabinets to be delivered. And despite the fact that I told Jerry, the kitchen designer, that the delivery date was so soon, the word didn't get to the installation people. When I finally got ahold of Dean, the installer, he sounded surprised that my cabinets had been delivered already, even though I had talked to the scheduler two days before. Naturally, he had two kitchens lined up before mine, and had us scheduled for November 1-3.

I asked if there was any way to get it done sooner, since we were ready for him, and he said he'd call the other jobs and see if there were any delays in their orders that could affect their scheduling. He called me back this morning to say that after he looked at his schedule and made some phone calls, he could get to our job on November 1. Love that he made it sound like he did all sorts of work to get us in this early, instead of saying "I did a whole bunch of stuff yesterday and ended up not being able to make a lick of difference in your scheduling!" At least I would have given him points for honesty. This, and some other things he's said, make me question his sincerity, I feel like he's trying to spin the whole situation to make him not look like he dropped the ball in not scheduling us sooner. Which of course makes me more suspicious.

We do have one faint, distant glimmer of hope - Dave, the guy who's been doing the work on the kitchen to get it ready, said he'd look at his schedule and see if he could fit us in sooner and do the install himself. I like him, he's completely reliable (so far) and the work he's done has been top notch, but the chances that he would have an extra three days immediately available are slim to none. So we are pretty much resigned to waiting a week in limbo before we make any more progress on the kitchen.

Since we have so much downtime, we are going to try to make the kitchen area more productive. I need to paint one more coat on the ceiling, and then we'll be putting the stove back in place. Also, the fridge can go back - both of those can be moved again next week when we are ready to actually do something in that room. I'm going to put our old long folding table in the room also, so that we've got somewhere to prepare food to a certain extent. It will also help clear off the dining room table and give us a little more order.

So if anyone wants to see the new cabinets, come hang out with us in the garage. It may not be the most comfortable place to be, but I'm guessing we've currently got the fanciest darn garage in the neighborhood. And we'll keep that title for a week!

1 comment:

Drake Steel said...

You know, I'm of two minds about this situation...

Mind #1: As I've been in the service industry my entire working life, as are most USA workers, I empathise with the guy who has to install your cabinets. Doing stuff for money is the ultimate thankless job. The best you can expect is to get a thank you for a job well done, that's if there is perfection involved, anything less is a but... So the reflex action is to make your life as comfortable as possible as you aren't going to get much else back from the people you are doing this for anyway.

Mind #2: I suspect you'll be stunned at how quick this thing can be done. I remember when our house was built the various things like this were done in a very short time. I happen to like what I do on an intellectual level so the lack of respect, though troubling and painful, is something that I can overlook. I like fixing things and actually think I would do this job for nothing. Interestingly enough fixing friends computers is the epitome of that concept. You not only get a curt thank you but are then responsible for every stinking problem that can possibly be associated with that computer until it returns to the base elements that it was created from!

So with those two minds in mind, I would wonder how Betty would have handled this. You are kind of over a barrel, but I can't imagine her getting stuck in this kind of situation. The short answer is okay who does my lawyer contact about the t's and c's of this contract? But that's using a sleghammer to kill an ant, sometimes its what the job calls for but not generally.

My favorite thankless job story was once I was doing a customer a kind service by putting together a new workstation. He wanted a particular editor (this is old school) that wasn't shipped with the Operating System but he preferred to use it so I said I'd get it off the net for him and bring it in tomorrow. Well, tomorrow came and I got a call on my car phone, which like never happened, and it was mom saying that Dan had gotten in an accident and was at the hospital could I go and get him. So I called the customer, got his voicemail, left a message that I would get the software to him later in the morning. When I finally got it done he was openly disgusted with me and said that he never listened to his voicemail and I'd, basically, let him down. Welcome to field service was my thoughts.

But in the end, soon this will be over and you'll have a very good looking kitchen and some excellent blog entries to read.