Expected?

Standard

It never ceases to amaze me how the run-up to Christmas gets crazier each year. It is as though common sense flies out of the window and people become frantic to have things done before the holiday. I have never been short of work since I became self-employed in 1997 and especially in the months of September through to December and this year is just the same. The phone doesn’t stop ringing, which is good for business of course but I do wonder why people don’t think of things well before they need them. There is no reason on earth to get work done so close to Christmas just because you want that special lighting unit installed or an extra power outlet so you can illuminate your Christmas tree but many people leave it to the last-minute before getting the work done.

Often they will be disappointed as a result of leaving things too late. I don’t like to let people down and if I can help I will do but there are limits and I am getting too old for dashing about here and there to accommodate. I do what I can but try not to take on board too much work these days. The requests I get are often too much for me to take on anyway but it doesn’t stop people asking, even those who already know me and know my age will expect me to accommodate. There are those who are simply not playing with a full deck so to speak who ask some ridiculous things of me. I went to a house recently to fit a replacement fluorescent tube for someone who couldn’t do it themselves, though I couldn’t see why not when I arrived to do it. If people really cannot do simple tasks for themselves you would think they would ask a neighbour or a friend to do it for them but sadly they don’t, sadly for them because they have to pay me to do it. Perhaps they don’t have friends or good neighbours. At another house the next day I had been asked to check a faulty pull-cord switch in a bathroom. Thinking the guy meant a ceiling switch to control the main light I took a replacement switch with me (I do carry such things in my van stock). It turned out to be a small cord-operated microswitch in a small wall-mounted light. There was a switch plate outside the bathroom fitted with two switches, one for the main ceiling light and the other for the wall light. The light switch in the wall light was faulty but in such a way as to be permanently in the on position. That meant the light could simply be switched on and off using the switch outside! It was a bit of a wasted journey in one respect but I suggested I by-pass the pull switch within the lighting unit to leave the light switchable from outside the room as the main ceiling light was. He need not have called me out to disconnect the switch when all he had to do was to cut off the cord. He was billed accordingly for my time. Another job I was asked to do was to fit power outlets to existing wiring which had been abandoned by the electrician who had done the work six months ago. Why was it left until a week or two before Christmas to get it finished? As I write this on Thursday I am attending to that work in the morning but I’ll wager the work won’t be as straightforward as I am being led to believe. For instance, is the wiring ‘live’? If it is then that would be a dangerous thing to leave as such and if it isn’t then where and how is it to be connected to the supply? There is also a light to be checked out. Hopefully I shall have been able to solve these questions and have done the work by the time you are reading this.

Shirley Anne

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