Friday I headed north to SmallTown, in part to see my parents and in part to see a couple of people I hadn't seen in many years (that one of those people decided to skip lunch with me in favor of a golf tournament doesn't bother me at all and I'm definitely not bitter about it. Nope. But I digress.). Because things at MPOW have been completely messed up, my departure kept being delayed and then I rushed (serious traffic between the TZB and the Harrison tolls didn't help my mood, either).
Anyway, I got home and the first thing I needed to do was to use the bathroom. A discussion started about whether I could and it was decided that the toilet and sink were ok, but that I'd have to use my parent's Brand New Amazing Shower. At dinner, I asked what was wrong with my shower - I'd been regaled with tales of the 30 Year Leak (that led to removal of their shower, rotten wood paneling and other Tales of Woe, including the Great Garbage Saga) for months, but until now my shower (ok, to be accurate, the shower my sister and I shared) had not been part of the conversation.
It turns out that my parents were/are so taken with the new fixtures in their Brand New Amazing Shower that they want to put them in my shower. Now, I'm not a huge fan of the single knob hot/cold/more flow/less flow method, but I moved out over 30 years ago so I have no real say in the matter. And after owning the house for 40+ years, it's fine that they're making improvements. So... they've Made Plans.
Thing is, they loved the contractor they used for their Brand New Amazing Shower (and attending work) and assumed that the plumbing sub-contractors were of similar caliber. Dad called some time ago, and was told that there was no time and call back in six week. That was this past week. Dad called... Mutt (or Jeff, I wasn't clear which) said "tomorrow". "Tomorrow" was a no-show, so Dad calls. "3 o'clock tomorrow" is the response. No show again. Dad calls, but mysteriously can't get through. He calls Jeff (or perhaps Mutt), who is camping in the North Country and can't help.
My father is honestly shocked by this. Not "shocked... shocked!". Genuinely shocked.
I mentioned this to my friend D. (the one who did come to lunch. not that I'm upset about being stood up by L. at all), who has been renovating her house for the past year or so. She and her husband have had many issues with their contractors, so she's not shocked. I mention Briar's problems - this is more the contracting norm, right?
D. mentioned that I was forgetting one very important thing: our parents live in SmalltTown. There are no lines there. Everything is done right the first time. You don't have to drive more than five minutes to anything. Contractors are honest, hard-working professionals. It's worlds removed from MediumTown or BigCity. It's SmallTown.