Friday, December 08, 2006

Learning from the Masters

Many of you may know we are still living in our basement. Our main house is not completed yet so while we work away upstairs during the day, we retire downstairs, in the dungeon, at night, just like bats.

And I know it's been sometime since updating all you all. (That's what they say here in the South when you want to include absolutely everyone in your address. "All you all." That way NO one is left behind.) If you really want pictures of the place in all it's beautiful glory, check out CastleLane.

But I've been away for good reason. I've been learning from the Masters. Of course, it takes time to assimilate all their knowledge. And since I'm paying, I want to get my money's worth. Therefore my long time away. So where was I? Oh yeah, learning from the masters.

The Master Plumber came as an extra fee when I ordered the bathroom counters. I figured that even though I know how to install sink drains and water supply lines, it would be good to learn a little something from the experts. Besides, it would be done during the day while I did my day job.

(Lately I come home from work at 5:00, don my jeans and boots, and go to work upstairs. I work until 12:00 a.m., go down to the bat cave, and then at 6:00 a.m. it starts all over again.)

But I digress. So anyway, the plumber comes, takes a brief look at the counters and sends Ruth off to fetch some parts: water supply hoses, drains, plungers. You see, that's what a Master Plumber does. He doesn't concern himself with the mundane things of the job. He focuses on his Work.

She returned with a pile of stuff while he began bending into the cabinets. Of course, all Master Plumbers are built the same. They are rotund and usually there is not enough material to cover their bending motions. It’s an ugly picture for sure. I believe the additional flesh is due to all the compilation they do while others fetch their stuff.

Anyway, as it turns out, Ruth had fetched EXTRA stuff because the night before she went shopping for the plumber the first time. But evidently she didn't get the right stuff. So there was a BIG pile of pipes and hoses and an assortment of all kinds of connectors ready for the craftsman to begin his work. There was lots of extra stuff.

Sometime later he said he was finished and left with his bucket of tools. (Craftsmen are like that, thorough AND fast!) Ruth went inside the bathrooms to gather up all the extra stuff to return it for credit. But alas, nothing was left behind. You see, Masters are not slobs they clean up after themselves. At least, that's what he told Ruth. Of course, he didn't take the empty boxes from the new fixtures. He left those behind because a Master doesn't concern himself with mundane things. I may have mentioned this.

When I got home, I went in to check out his handiwork, because I wanted to see what new things there were to learn about installing water supply lines and such. I was a little surprised to discover that he had left behind some leaks. Now I know this sounds like shoddy workmanship but I’m not sure. It may just be more difficult to turn a wrench than it looks. As he told Ruth: "It's a good thing you folks didn't try to do this yourselves, this ain't easy." I guess not because I don't think water dripping onto the cabinet floor is evidence of completion.

We contacted our friendly Home Improvement Store to ask for a revisit of the Master and to inquire of our missing items. We were told this Master was to supply all the parts and we’d be reimbursed. The plumber said he didn't have any of the missing items.

Being the inquisitive fellow I am, I removed one of the supply lines to examine in more detail his handiwork only to discover that Master Plumbers never use plumber's tape. Or at least this Master doesn't. This was bewildering to say the least but being the amateur I am, I suppose it's inconceivable that I could understand the way of the Master.

There were some discussions around the "Old" missing items that he had tossed into his bucket on the way out. Later I found new tags from those "old" items stuffed into my new toilet box. Don't try to figure out the ways of the Master.

And so I continue to learn from the Masters and be mesmerized by the "Service" arm of modern America.

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't.