On Monday morning I was drinking my coffee and reading emails, just like I always do. I heard Charlie outside talking to someone. The dogs set up a barking fit.
And then a few hours later, I looked out the front window, and thought: That white Toyota sure does look like Mr. Maintenance Man’s.
So I walked outside and looked at it. It sure did. I knocked, then tried the door of the shed. Opened the door and looked inside. Wasn’t anyone there.
A little bit later, I saw him and went outside.
He said he didn’t like where he was working. Where he’d already moved his whole family. And as soon as he started working, they docked his hourly pay.
Made up some excuse about too many maintenance men and not enough work or something to that effect. Then why hire him?
So for two days he’s been back here. Hope he stays.
But now they’ve gone way up on his rent because he isn’t working there, which poses a great problem. And in the two and a half weeks they’ve lived there, they haven’t had a lick of hot water.
Apparently the place had previously burned. And the person who took care of fixing the gas part did not have the appropriate license to do so. So the city inspector won’t let the gas be turned back on.
What a pickle.
So I guess if he can’t figure anything else out, he’ll be here for awhile.
Suits me just fine.
I noticed he kept his coat on while he was in that shed. Me, I seldom get cold. I’m walking around in a short-sleeved t-shirt when everyone else is wearing coats and scarves. I’ve always been that way.
If you recall, I purchased two Duraflame stoves online last winter. I think because I bought two, I got each one for $130 instead of $150.
I have one working, but couldn’t get the other one to come on this year. So I told him if he could fix it, to leave it over there in the shed and he could take his coat off.
Later yesterday afternoon, he had taken the back of it off and he showed me where the wires inside had burned apart. That didn’t make me feel too awful safe with the one I’ve got. And terrible for the fact that I’d given him a bad stove.
I got on the phone and called Duraflame. Naturally I got another country. And I was already a bit cranky over having to be on the phone earlier with a doctor’s office over a bill they can’t figure out, plus the eczema has gotten worse again, so this didn’t make me any less cranky.
The guy told me a technician will call me in the next 48 hours. I told them they needed to replace that part or see if it was on recall. I probably didn’t use it more than a handful of times.
Probably made in China. Do they make anything of quality anymore? I’m beginning to wonder.
I recall when I was a kid, companies were proud of the quality of merchandise they sold. They stood by their product.
I think the concept of “quality” has gone straight downhill since then.
Darned if I don’t wonder if they’re being taken advantage of somehow.
They’re in one of those places where all bills are paid. And that usually means they run the show on all your utilities. They only let you set your heat or cooling to a certain degree and then it’s cut off. You’re stuck.
And I can tell there’s times he’s unsure of what he’s getting charged for.
Of course I get in the big middle of things and start asking questions. I learned to interview people in college and I guess I never did stop. When I was a kid, I was always asking questions. I was one curious child.
I sure get my nose out of joint when I think someone might be being taken advantage of because they’re from another country and don’t speak English very well. Or whatever the case may be.
When I was a youngster, I recall this older girl named Carol who used to torment me when I was in grade school. If I had a little sack of penny candy I’d bought with my dime during lunch hour, she’d push me over and take it away from me.
When I tried to slink my puny self off the school property, looking in every direction for where she was hiding, she’d run up and take that sack away from me. She probably was double my weight.
I don’t like to see someone bullied, being taken advantage of, or being lied to.
He told me his wife is a citizen. He has his green card. I asked him what he needed to do to become a citizen, because I figure he might get better treatment if he had that taken care of. Hopefully anyway. Maybe not. I’m not schooled on these things.
He told me you have to take this citizenship test, and he hadn’t been able to tackle it. It’s online. He can’t yet pass it.
Of course, you have to remember we have a bit of a language barrier, and sometimes what he says and what I understand him to say are two different things. So don’t quote me on it.
Well, I know next to nothing about all this. But I plunged in anyway.
He told me some of the questions that were on it. Heck, I’d have to look up many of them myself.
I said: “Well, if we can get hold of those questions, I’ll get the answers. And I’ll tutor you. And maybe you can pass that test.”
I’ve looked them up. He has to pass all sorts of test, one being how well he understands English, civics, etc. He has to know all kinds of things about the government.
From what I read, it says you get two chances. I’ll have to check into that and see if he’s taken it more than once.
He’s been back all of two days and I’ve already handed him a fried stove, and I’ve signed on to help him become a US citizen, if he’ll follow through.
He’s not having very good luck in other areas. When I came home from taking the dogs for a little ride, he was waving his car’s back door back and forth. When I got out, I heard water sloshing around.
He said he guessed all this rain went down inside the door. It wouldn’t close all the way. So he’d drilled a hole in the bottom of it and it was slowly draining out on the pavement.
Heck, you couldn’t make up the crazy stuff that happens around here if you wanted to!
Such is life.