Columnists, Tyler Mahan, V5I4

Down the Drain (Part 2)

The job had gone reasonably well that morning, so after a quick lunch I got back to work. I finished the floor, quickly stood the walls, stood trusses, installed the decking, and finished both ends with trim by a few minutes before 5:30 that evening with Rick’s help. 

Rick installed the interior wall while I finished up the corner trim and made sure everything was in good order. 

I had planned to go with my family to eat supper in Norman, Oklahoma, that evening. My daughter was planning on purchasing a new bicycle with money she had been saving for quite some time, and I was really needing to leave by about 5:30.

The lady of the house came out to look at her building. She had been very businesslike that morning, and I wasn’t expecting her to be overly friendly. I did not, however, expect her to be quite as … well, difficult as she was, shall we say. 

 “This is not where I told you to put the shed this morning!” she informed me very emphatically. “I very plainly told you I wanted it right here on this side of the French drain! You knew I wanted it there.”

I was a little taken aback. It was very plainly on “this side” of the French drain. I thought I had put it where she wanted it. 

We had taken pictures and sent them to her. We had measured to make sure the push mower would fit fine between the corner of the shed and the pool. I felt like I had gone to great lengths to make sure the building was where she wanted it. 

“I’m sorry. It is on this side of the drain,” I replied. “I thought that was where you wanted it when we spoke this morning.”

I hoped a soft answer would turn away wrath. 

She answered with quite a few more comments—some pointed at me, some at her husband. I had seen him several times throughout the day and he always had an alcoholic beverage in his hand. 

The liquor cabinet was making more sense by the minute. Many of the words she said are not fit to repeat, but I’ll just say she wasn’t happy. 

I told her about my need to meet my family so my daughter could buy a new bike and told her I would be back in the morning. I asked them to talk it over to decide if they wanted me to move the shed. I had it all levelled and blocked up nicely and didn’t really want to move it, but I tried to portray a flexible attitude. 

I should tell you here about the concrete slab. It was around a pool and sloped off at different angles in different directions. The shed was placed where I was dealing with three different angles on different parts of the shed. It had been a lot harder to level than most slabs. I really wasn’t looking forward to doing it all over again. 

Rick caught me away from the couple and told me he would not be talking to the lady because he wasn’t sure he could handle it. He was ready to leave and never come back. 

We wrapped up and left. I spent a wonderful evening with my family, but all the while there was a sense of foreboding about tomorrow’s tasks. 

When I got there the next morning … oh, wait. I’m out of room. See you next time!

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