Incompetence? Laziness?

I don’t profess to be perfect in anything I undertake but I make a determined effort in that direction. I take pride in my work and I believe I have every right to do so, the results speak for themselves. Yes I make mistakes and have botched up one or two things in the past but I have never left them that way, I make another attempt until I get it right. I always say if a job is worth doing it is worth doing right first time, it is just as easy to do things correctly as it is to do them incorrectly. The added advantage is not having to return to put things right. I have found lately that not everyone I have employed takes the same pride in their work and I suspect have not been competent in the first place.

The Bungled & the Botched
The Bungled & the Botched (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago now I had purchased new curtains (drapes) for a room I was refurbishing and redecorating and waited eagerly for them to be fitted once my work had finished. On the appointed day the fitter arrived and began the work. I felt a little apprehensive as I didn’t think he was that competent. My feelings proved to be right for I had to intervene in what he was doing else end up with a shoddy job. It was all to do with the way the curtain rail was affixed to the wooden window surround. With a little help from myself he got the job done to my satisfaction. I should have arranged to fit them myself on reflection. More recently E’s nephew botched up the job I had employed him to do, raising part of the garage roof. It leaked because he hadn’t done it the way I had asked. I expect a builder to know what he is doing and not have to take instruction from me. I am not a builder. He had to return and do it again. When the fitters came to install the new garage door they went at it like a bull at a gate. I noticed the mistakes they were making along the way. It should have been a case of more haste less speed but it wasn’t. Their workmanship left a lot to be desired I have to say and I cringed at some of the work they had done, not enough screws where there should really have been, cables left dangling, no bushing of holes where cables passed through and so on. They weren’t electricians or engineers and it showed. They drilled access holes in the plastic body of the control unit using a drill bit only suitable for drilling wood! The bit ‘tore’ at the plastic which began to split. I wouldn’t mind but they had the proper drill bits for the job! I did some remedial work once they had departed. They were supposed to return to fit an alarm and to finish filling gaps with silicone but after a couple of weeks we had to get in touch with the company to remind them. The company sent another ‘engineer’ who fitted the alarm and filled in with silicone all where it was necessary. When he left I looked more closely at his work. I wasn’t impressed. I had installed a large wooden board to accommodate the fixing of the control equipment but this guy chose to screw the alarm unit to the brick wall above it without using wall plugs! Furthermore he had wired the unit into the main control panel passing the wires beneath the top cover housing the light. In the process he had severed the wires! I moved the alarm down to the board and fixed it there. I had to effect a repair to the wiring and cut a slot in the light cover so the wire would not be severed again. I have no idea why he had chosen to install the alarm as he did nor why he passed the wire beneath the light cover especially as there was plenty of space on the board and easier access to the wiring terminals from beneath the unit. He spoiled what was otherwise a good installation on his behalf.

Shirley Anne


Annoying incompetence

Electrical switches. Top, left to right: circu...
Electrical switches. Top, left to right: circuit breaker, mercury switch, wafer switch, DIP switch, surface mount switch, reed switch. Bottom, left to right: wall switch (U.S. style), miniature toggle switch, in-line switch, push-button switch, rocker switch, microswitch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Friday morning I did something I hadn’t done for a long time, I arose at eight o’clock. Now to many that doesn’t sound remarkable in the least but for me and during the working week, it is. I had gone to bed the night before feeling very tired and it wasn’t long before I nodded off to sleep sometime around midnight. However, I had to arise a couple of hours later to pay a visit to the toilet. It was now two in the morning and I once again fell asleep. That meant I had a further six hours solid sleep until I awoke at eight. Although I had no work for the day I wanted to get up early in case any came in but also in order to take out the waste for collection. So after I had done that and had my breakfast I sat down at my computer for a time but it wasn’t long before someone called me. I had been to a house in our village late in January in order to replace a faulty lighting switch, actually two dimmer switches on the same plate. I remember at the time I had to purchase an extension ring for the new switches to make more room behind it as it was too deep for the recessed box. Everything was pretty much straightforward and without event. The call on Friday was from the lady of the house who explained that one of the switches had become faulty and would not switch on one of the two chandeliers that was connected to it. I went there immediately to assess the problem and discovered that indeed one of the switches was faulty. It would be replaced free of charge except for my labour costs. I wouldn’t be charging my normal fee in such circumstances however as it was under guarantee. I had to return home in order to get the receipt from my files and then I went to the supplier to have the switch replaced. I hadn’t purchased it from my regular supplier for some reason but from another not too far away. As luck (?) would have it I was served by the same person who originally sold me the switch but I remembered that at that time his service wasn’t up to scratch. He had tried to sell me something completely different and had charged me for the same but I hadn’t noticed. In fact he had undercharged me by a few pounds. That didn’t matter so much to me anyway. I explained what had happened and he returned with a replacement switch and I returned to the house to fit it but guess what? It didn’t work. He had given me back the faulty one! I couldn’t believe it. At this stage I offered the lady a replacement switch I knew I had in the van but was a metal switch and not the plastic variety which had been fitted. I simply wanted to check that there was nothing wrong with the lighting units and that they could be dimmed as before. When she saw the metal switch she was happy for me to leave it connected. It was a new switch that I had removed from someone’s house as they had wanted normal on-off switches. It had only been in use for a week so it was as good as new. The lady paid me for my time and I returned again to the supplier with the faulty switch but this time I was served by another guy. I explained what had happened and I was reimbursed for original money I had paid. Now I know we all make mistakes and I am no exception but it seems that some people do it on a regular basis. It wasn’t the first time I had problems with this supplier and now I will try to avoid ever going back there.

Shirley Anne