The roof and yard, that is. We're winding down on the roof. Another young man has been hired on for the final stretch which Shannon figures will be by the end of Saturday. Good news. I've told Shannon that he will get the balance of his money when the roof is up and the yard cleaned--that I am expecting company and want the yard clear and the dumpster gone before their arrival. Reasonable? I thought so.
Saturday is also payday. I give him a large amount but not the entire thing. The youngster is desperate for money so that he and his wife of 4 months can move back to Lexington, KY. He tells them that he can clean the debris, in a day, for $100. It is not happening and I tell Shannon as much. But he smells a sucker. They knock off early (for them); after all, it is payday. The young fellow says he'll be back when it gets cooler.
He shows at 5:30 p.m., wife in tow. What is it with bringing the family? Of course, I didn't know she was there until I saw her in the truck and told her to sit under the tree where she could get some air. He worked until I called a halt because of the lightening and threatening rain. I don't want anyone to get hurt here. Needless to say, it did not rain but the thunder and lightening was terrific.
Chris was back at 5:30 a.m., Sunday morning. It was raining cats and dogs. Fortunately, there were few leaks, unlike the deluge the den took earlier in the week. Chris sat and sat but the rain was not letting up. He went home and returned later in the day after the floodgates closed. Worked until 7:30, barely making a dent. Back Monday morning and here comes the rest of the crew. They took off from Jimmy Dean's to finish the roof. More importantly, to get paid. The sun is relentless. Every time I look out the window, they are under the tree. Chris is manning the wheelbarrow. Hit a snag in the clean-up, called a flat tire. He's sitting, the wife is sitting (yes, she's back), and Shannon is more concerned with getting the roof finished than having the tire fixed. He finally comes down and takes the inner tube to get fixed along with three of his tires. Returns with a patched tube. Very angry that he had to spend the money to get it patched. Even more angry that Chris knocks off at 3:30 p.m. because he and his wife have things to do in preparation for their departure on Friday. He tells Chris that he won't get the entire $100 if he, Shannon, has to help clean up the next day. I gladly give up moving boxes for them to use. These boxes are too good for the trash and the moving company charged me entirely too much for them to go to waste.
Tuesday morning dawns bright and hot. Chris shows, makes one run with the wheelbarrow and has another flat. Nothing to do but pay for a new one; the cost to come out of Shannon's money. I don't have a wheelbarrow and don't see the need to provide a new inner tube for something I don't own. Call it "the cost of doing business." He works until 3 p.m., when he concedes that it is more than he can handle. Didn't I say that on Saturday? But he has done a tremendous job, alone. Take him aside and give him a motherly talking to. I have a tendency to do that with young folks in whom I can see potential. Told him that he needs to put a higher value on his time and labor, regardless of the need for cash. That the job was too large for one person and definitely was worth more than $100. To assess a job and have alternative plans. We figured that he worked for less than $25 a day and since he wasn't going to get the full $100, it was really volunteer labor. A costly lesson.
Shannon and brother, Jerry, showed up immediately after work, thoroughly pissed that the yard was not completed. It was a lot of debris to be moved, boys and girls. Chris left about 3 hours of work to be done. They raked some debris into piles and cleaned off the patio. Angry is a mild word, especially when he learns that I'm docking the $18 for the tire. Accused Chris of "setting him back." Not so. He knew Chris couldn't get it cleaned in his time frame, or alone, from the very beginning. Adamant that no payment until the yard is cleaned; can't sit on the patio (shingles to the top of the door), can't sit on the front, dumpster can't be moved because it is now a holiday. "What time is your company coming?" Explained company arrives on Thursday and I don't want this debris sitting around. Your home and yard will be clean. Shannon promises to come back Wednesday a.m. to finish. Fine. You and I both know that is not happening but...it's his solution, not mine.
The 4th of July comes and goes. No Shannon; no phone call. Thursday, I pay to have the yard completed. I'm determined to at least have that in order when SF (special friend) arrives because there are a lot of unfinished projects going on inside. Shoo Chris off and head for the airport. You know I didn't leave at the time I intended. Gwen, you're over an hour away. I know, I know. I just wanted to get this done before I left. So it is 4:45 p.m., and I'm trying to get there for a 5:30 arrival. Not happening. Especially not using Rte. 51, which goes through every town on the map between Ripley and Memphis. Speed limits range from 40 to 55 mph and plenty of stop lights. Dare I tell you that I pulled out the cell phone to find that the battery was dead? What is with me and batteries? Got there around 6:15 p.m. 45 minutes late!! That's a bit much even for me. Where is he? The lobby is empty. I can't call. Nothing to do but float around, looking pitiful. What is this? A bunch of people on the escalator? The flight just landed!! Perfect timing. Saved, once again.