This would be funny, if it weren't tragic on so many levels....

10 years ago

As I stare at my still unfinished kitchen ( a 3 month job that has dragged on for 9 months) and yet another day has passed when workers failed to show up as promised, I started to compile a list of the excuses I have heard for the delays. And this is just one subcontractor (the cabinetmaker who works with the general contractor). No exaggeration at all and I've probably forgotten a half dozen others, not to mention all those I've heard from the plumber, the electrician and the carpenter and tiler.

1. I've got the flu.

2. My truck was broken into and all my tools stolen.

3. My son has the flu.

4. I skidded off the road and blew out two tires.

5. The general contractor hasn't given me the money to buy the materials.

6. My truck was broken into AGAIN and not only were my tools stolen but also all the hardware for your cabinets.

7. I lost the keys to the shop and the contractor, who has the spare set is on vacation.

8. An engine I was taking out of the back of my truck slipped, I caught it and now I've got a hernia.

9. The compression pants they gave me at the hospital for the hernia were too tight, now my legs are swollen and I'm back in the hospital.

10. The contractor hasn't given me enough money to buy the materials.

11. I'm sick as a dog and don't know why.

12. The workers I'm supervising on the temp job I've taken set fire to the building.

13. I'm sick as a dog and the doctors say it's a parasite I got from eating fruit the Latino workers I was supervising gave me.

14. My truck broke down.

15. I have to finish a walnut cabinet for another job to get paid to pay the rent on my shop.

16. I have to make another door for the walnut cabinet because the first one got ruined when my router bit slipped and the door was gouged.

17. I have to make ANOTHER door for the walnut cabinet because the router bit slipped again and now I know it's because the router is broken.

18. I have to go to Philadelphia to get another piece of walnut that matches.

19. The paint I wanted to use takes a special primer and I have to special order it.

20. The paint I used isn't the right color, so I need to paint them again.

21. I can't leave the bathroom.

22. The general contractor is trying to "help" me and I have to redo everything he does.

23. I didn't know you wanted the drawers dovetailed so now I have to make them again.

24. The general contractor insisted that you told him the drawers should be solid pine, not plywood (even though both you and I know that plywood is structurally sounder), so now I have to build them again.

25. The contractor didn't secure the cabinet doors and drawer fronts in the back of his van and when he stopped abruptly they skittered across the floor, were damaged and now I have to make them again.

26. I 'm in a lot of pain; I started hemorrhaging while I was driving and nearly passed out.

27. I thought I was better, but I started hemorrhaging again and did pass out.

28. I have colon cancer. for the first six, I was sympathetic and after all, it was early days.

By number 12, I thought he must be the unluckiest guy in the world.

By number 18, I wasn't sure if he was unlucky or an idiot.

By number 21, I was fed up and furious.

By number 28, I wasn't sure which was worse, the frustration or the guilt.

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