Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 21: Windows! Floor! Stuff Happening!

Today was another big big day on the construction site.

I interacted with the plumber today, for the first time.  He seems competent, and is friendly and chatty like the locals in Middle-of-Nowhere, East Tennessee tend to be.  

Let me explain what I mean.

The best version of this explanation comes not from the plumber, but from a recent trip to Hiwassee Builder's Supply, in the nearby town of Athens.  (I would like to mention that this little town of Athens is really growing on me (and I would like to further clarify that I mean that in a charming, observationally appreciative kind of way, not in an I-want-to-live-there-its-so-fabulous-growing-on-me kind of way)).

Anyway, the other day I was in town to get something or other, and Dave the Most Expert Framer Ever called me and asked me to swing by Hiwassee Builders for some flashing.  I got the info from him, and made it to Hiwassee without even needing a map.  That was a first in itself.  The friendly guy at the counter wrote me a ticket, printed it out, and sent me downstairs to the loading dock at the back, to pick up my flashing.  

Downstairs, at the loading doors, there was a slightly older guy (in his early 60s? Its really hard to tell around here. The years really treat different people differently) wearing a t-shirt and jeans, just kind of hanging around.  There was a counter off to the side but no one was behind it.  He kind of looked like he was waiting for the guy who worked there to bring out his order.

Outside the doors, which were open, there were very tall bins, in a shed building that was about 2 stories tall, with stuff in them, like lengths of metal, or long lengths of roof gutter material, or stuff like that.  And this old man starts pointing up in the rafters of the shed, and pointing out these really large wasps nests that were up there.  It was as though he'd just discovered them while he was standing there, waiting for his material.  

The wasps were rather menacing looking, but were relatively far away.  I felt a little sorry for the guy that was going to have to deal with an order for some long lengths of roof gutter material up there.

After several minutes of this chit-chat, he stopped, sort of abruptly, turned to face me, and asked, "Well, then what can I do for you?"  

I about fell over.

I have generally been of the opinion that in Los Angeles, people are relatively friendly. Especially so, if you are willing to make a little extra effort to be chatty in line at the register, or with the people around you in a bar or restaurant, or whatever.

People in L.A. don't engage in idle chatter for 10 minutes before asking you why you're there or what you need.  They either get down to business or avoid you.  But they don't chat you up for a while, and then get down to business.  That is pretty unheard of.  The plumber was like that.  Eventually he said something that tipped me off, and I pounced.  "Are you the plumber?"

"Why, yes I am!" he answered enthusiastically.

"Follow me" I said as I started for the basement, where I had some things to show him that Mr. Client wanted done there.  I think he'll do a good job.  As long as he stays focused.


Anyway, suffice it to say that a LOT of work got done today.  I'm just going to post the pictures without lots of further explanation.  Click to embiggen!