What do you expect?
19th Dec 2004
After years and tears of disappointment I've been coming round to the realisation that it's no use expecting anybody to do anything. If someone delivers then I'm ecstatic. I don't expect anything from anybody... ever. My advice: DO NOT RELY ON ANYBODY TO DO ANYTHING... EVEN IF YOU PAY THEM FOR IT.
Living in a consumers market I generally understand and believe that the customer is always right even when they are wrong; and I've played this card many times myself. I can be a fiesty bugger and usually get the best service if I'm paying for it. If something is amiss with my swanky meal I won't tip and I'll explain what was wrong with it.
So what the hell has happened with my new bathroom then?
After ten days, I'm at the tail-end of having my bathroom re-fitted; that's a long time without a bath or shower. It was supposed to be ready on Friday and it's Sunday now. It's costing a fortune too. Promises of delivery have been made but excuses have been delivered instead.
To make matters worse it doesn't help when my other half gets angry and upset and vents her frustration through me. She wants to be angry at the workmen but she doesn't have the courage; so I bear the brunt. In relaying her vitriol I like to keep things diplomatic in case the staff spit in my soup. I ask her what she expects.
"A good service", she snaps. "I expect the job to be finished when we are told it will be finished".
And my reply:
"That's a reasonable expectation based on today's money-oriented, service-industry level of expected standards but, you've got to remember, stuff happens so you should never expect things to run smoothly."
Practise what I preach? I'd like to but years of expectation are ingrained in me. I'm trying. The least I expect of these guys is they come in, do their job and leave without causing too much fuss... even if it takes twice as long as originally estimated. What I didn't expect was what happened on Thursday night.
I arrived home and found my radio lying in the hallway outside the bathroom. Ok, I think, the workmen wanted some background music when they were working. They probably should have had their own radio for this purpose I reasoned. Still, no harm done. Then I realised that to get this radio they must have been snooping around in my bedroom. I went into my bedroom and fuck me, what did I see? A trail of dusty footprints leading round the room directly to the laundry basket. Clumsily hanging, neither in or out, was a pair of my girlfriends soiled knickers. Not bloody or anything, just a normal day's wear. She wouldn't leave her knickers draped over the rim like that though. Someone had been in there (and I'd long lost the fascination of sniffing her underwear). It had to be the tiler.
The conclusion? If you have workmen in your house while you're out at work I'd say it would be reasonable to expect them to have a good nosy through your personal belongings.
At least it wasn't my underwear he was messing around with.