One Man’s Story – Chapter 7


At 4:00 pm, the owner promptly closed the store and we had the place to ourselves. We took down all of the protective barriers we had put in place to keep the dust confined and the guys all dispersed to complete their various projects. Me, I was saddled with painting the new sheetrock walls which was easy enough. I hate bloody painting and the guys know it and that is why they delegated it to me. It is so monotonous splashing paint on the walls but I gritted my teeth and promised myself that I would figure out something to get my own back on them.

The owner came back and told us where he wanted the counters reinstalled and Glen and Harvey worked on that. I had Matt completing the easy part of the electrical work putting on switch and outlet covers. Bill and Mike were completing the lay in ceilings installing the ceiling tiles. The place was beginning to shape up very nicely. I sent Matt to the local coffee shop to get us all coffee and something to munch on. Just because we were working into the night, it didn’t mean that we could go un-nourished.

Things were moving right along and we even helped the owner stock his shelves for him  and about 1:30 am, it looked like we had the place just about wrapped up and ready to open in the morning. I had one final walk around with the owner and he agreed that everything looked good. I told him that I would stop by the next day to check in to see that everything was OK. I asked Mike and Harvey if they would clean up all of our tools and equipment and left over paint and supplies early in the morning and arranged with the owner to be there to let them in. before he opened the store to the public.

The next day, I was at the store bright and early and took a quick look around. The project had turned out better than any of us expected and the owner was very pleased. Along with Mike and Harvey, I helped to clean up what remained of our tools and left over materials. it was this attention to detail that had given the company a good name and I intended for it to stay that way.

The following Monday we all assembled as per usual and I thanked them for putting in the extra time to get the Brown project successfully completed. They understood that good work meant more work which is why I have stuck with this particular group of workers over the last couple of years. I sent Bill along with Mike and the two helpers to a new project that we were about to start building a basement out of concrete blocks. Everything had been delivered sand, blocks and the mortar had been stored in a small shed that we had placed on the site for such things. I reminded Bill to stop by the local Builders Store to pick up reinforcing wire that we placed between every second row to hold everything together. The lads loaded the masonry saw into the truck and then hooked up the concrete mixer and headed off to the new project along with a 100 gallon water drum and buckets that we would place close to the concrete mixer. We wouldn’t be mixing any concrete just mortar to lay the blocks. We were using 12 inch blocks and they took two men to lay them they were so bloody heavy.

I was going to leave Glen behind to start work on Mrs Black’s cabinet doors as he was not needed on the foundation project. We went over the door design an I gave him a list of sizes and left him to it. I knew that he would turn out a really nicely finished product as he was an old school tradesman and took a lot of pride in his work.

I looked over my list of phone calls and appointments and arranged them in some sort of order. The calls I would try to complete before I left the office in the hope that I could set up some appointments for that day. As it turns out, luck was with me as I managed to make contact with seven different customers and make arrangements to visit them.

First on my list of calls was an older retired gentleman by the name of Daniel Cragget. he had been a school teacher in his younger days so was very well spoken. I already knew him as we belonged to the Book Club and I would run in to him from time to time. I even borrowed a couple of books from him to read. He actually had a very nice project in mind and he too agreed that it would be great winter work. As there was only him with his wife passing on a couple of years ago, he didn’t mind a little winter inconvenience in exchange for getting a little cheaper project. He wanted to change the way his fireplace looked and was going from brick to stone. I sketched a few ideas of something we could build and handed them to him to review. I wasn’t expecting an early answer and left them with him. He owned a couple of acres which was covered in rock and was very keen on using it to face up the fireplace. I told him that we would need to come to some sort of agreement as soon as possible so that we would have time to gather up the rock before the snows came.

I left Mr Cragget with his promise to call me the following week and let me know if he wanted to proceed with the project as I drove on to the second customer on my list

Link to Chapter 8

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