About a month ago, we got an email from our landlord letting us know that some of our electrical sockets needed to be updated and an electrician would be out later that week. He also informed us that our power would be out all day. I cringed. In the back of my mind I knew this 'casual and quick' fix that our landlord was referring to simply does not exist in the UK.
Being that Paul was in town at this time, I asked our landlord whether or not we could reschedule. I sent him a list of dates that didn't work for us and said, "Other than those, turn off our power at anytime!"
The date of service was rescheduled for later in the week. I got the house ready that morning....moved things away from the sockets in the wall, made sure the dishes were done etc. and left for work. When I got home that evening, everything seemed to be back in order. There were no gaping holes in the walls and I could turn on the lights! I thought, "WOW - the UK has proved me wrong!" That's when I found out the electrician never showed up.
We have done this dance about 5 more times.
The electrician is coming...I get the house ready...the electrician doesn't show up.
I have gotten really good at the steps to this routine.
That is why, when I got an email that the electrician would be here this past Thursday at 9:00 AM, I just disregarded it and moved on.
Wouldn't you know, there was a knock on our door at 11:30 and, our hero, Mr. Wires - the rock daddy of all things electrical, was standing on our door step with his toolbox. I had to smile. Of course he showed up on the one day I had nothing ready and was still in Jake's boxer shorts.
I ran through the house, got everything together, and was out the door to let the man work. He told me he had about 3 hours of work to do, so I headed to Keston with my computer and journal. When I got back to house 4 hours later, I walked in to find tools everywhere, plaster all over the carpet, and Mr. Wires standing in a pitch black kitchen with a battery operated headlight strapped to his head. (Shout out to one, Mrs. Jessica Jackson!)
"Sorry," he said, "I keep finding things that are wrong!"
I just stared at him with nothing to say.
He continued, "Did you know that you are missing part of your wall behind the oven? Whoever installed this thing just left a hole in the side of your house!"
Two things crossed my mind at this point: 1) Trevor and 2) That explains the spiders.
"I am gonna need to come back for a few hours tomorrow," Mr. Wires admitted.
I had to be honest with myself, I knew this was coming.
So, round two on Friday. Mr. Wires showed up and I was ready to be kicked out of our powerless house. However, the first words out of his mouth were so perfect, I must share.
He said, "I hope you didn't touch any of the new sockets last night. I forgot to tell you that they were a HUGE safety hazard."
"Well," I said, "Unless you count us turning on the TV, plugging in our computer, and using the light next to our bed as touching the new sockets, then NOPE - we are good!"
"I guess I should have remembered to tell you that," Mrs. Wires said.
I gave Mr. Wires my cell number and just asked him to call me when he was done. After about 7 hours between the park, Starbucks, and Keston, my phone rang. He let me know that I was safe to come home; however, the job was not finished yesterday. He will be back on another day next week from about 9:00-12:00 (UK translation - 11:00-6:00). YAY!
Lesson Learned: Comically enough, the 1:7 ratio still stands...to a tee! Mr. Wires told me he would need about 3 hours to complete the job and, instead, we are looking at three full days at 7 hours apiece. You do the math! Classic.