I admit it

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Young woman standing, 1923 : Inscription on ba...

Young woman standing, 1923 : Inscription on back: “Me. I hate to admit it.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There would be no working at home on Monday because I had two electrical jobs to do in the next town, well two towns actually. The first was simple to do and didn’t take long but the second was a bit more involved, I had to re-position two light switches and a power outlet. In my favour though all the work was carried out in the corner of one room. A new studded wall (a wall built of timber with sheets of plasterboard facing) had been erected which meant the electrical points were now in the wrong places. I do not know why it happens but it seems to happen all of the time, the wall gets built and then they decide to have the switches and power outlets in it! Anyone with an ounce of sense  would have the wiring installed before the plasterboard or any other facing was fixed to the wall but it never seems to enter their thoughts. That meant I had to remove a few panels in order to drill holes through the wooden frame so that I could thread the wiring to the desired position. I have often been called to install new equipment in a room which had just been decorated! So the second job took  much longer to do than would otherwise have been the case. When I arrived the first thing I had to do was to assess what work needed to be done in order to fulfill the customer’s request and check out the existing electrical circuits but the old lady living there made that task rather difficult. The work was being done for her daughter as it was her daughter’s house, though she was living there too. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise, she talked as if she only had a minute left to live and felt the need to chat about everything. I have to add here that she was partially sighted and rather deaf too. The grandson entered the scene, a fourteen-year-old who turned out to be a very level-headed young man who took much interest in what I was doing. I asked him, ‘How do you switch off your grandmother’? He laughed and said, ‘Yes she does talk a bit’. This was all said in the old lady’s presence as by this time we had formed a friendship of sorts. She actually knew she was getting in the way and even told me so but we laughed about it. Eventually though she had the courtesy to let me get on with the work and was impressed with what I had done. I had to leave the house for a half-hour in order to purchase a few materials. I was kept waiting at the counter for quite some time before a young lad was told by another guy behind the counter to get out of the office to serve me as he was busy attending to another customer. He seemed not to know much about the job he was in as if he was new to it all but it was more the snail’s pace he moved at which was the more annoying. After he had served me he asked if there was anything else he could do for me. I should have simply said no thank you and left but I wanted to know if they had any photo cell controllers of the type I wanted for my garden lamp-post project. I had printed off a specification and information sheet from the manufacturer’s website and handed it to him. He wandered off and I didn’t see him for a time when he appeared with two standard photo cells neither of which were suitable. In fact I had already told him that the one I wanted was different from the standard type but it appears he wasn’t listening. I knew I shouldn’t have asked. After I had completed the job I drove to the supplier’s other local outlet in my town, the one I usually deal with and I presented them with the information. The young guy there was much more efficient and informed me that what I wanted would have to be specially ordered because they do not keep that type in stock. I already knew that. ‘Leave it with me’, he said, ‘And I will get back to you’. I had left my contact details with him. What a difference in service. At least I could rely on him sourcing the item (though I had supplied him with the manufacturer’s specification sheet) and when it arrives I can simply go and collect it. When I got home at one-thirty I was exhausted. I will admit it but I did have a couple of excuses, one, I had not been feeling too well with ‘flu type symptoms, two, the work had been tiring (hacking out brick walls) and three, well let’s face it, I’m not as young as I used to be!

Shirley Anne

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