Thursday, February 23, 2006

Vine Street House Activity

Some days you don’t feel like you have accomplished much, but you’ve been busy. Today has been a day of supervision, coordination, and support activities, but not a whole lot of ‘work.’

At the Vine Street house, we had the AC crew for the third day, the electrical crew for the second day, and the plumbers…all engaged in getting the central unit installed, wired, and plumbed. Eight crewmen scurrying around and in the house, in the attic, on the roof, making noise and dust as they accomplish each task that brings this house closer to a modern condition.

Jesse, the rock mason has been here twice. He came this morning to get a sample of the existing rock to carry with him to match as he selected the rock for our new decorative terrace wall in the back yard and the facing of the extended porch at the front of the house. The only loose rock was on the barbecue pit in the back. He took a chunk of the old stone for a sample, and said that he would repair the barbecue pit when he did the rest of the job.

He returned in the afternoon with a sample of the stone he had found. It looks great, and he plans to be here at 9:00 in the morning to start working. He may be done by the weekend!

This afternoon the locksmiths from Cothron’s met us at the O’Dell house to change the locks. It only took them about 30 minutes to get that job done, but we had the opportunity to visit with the next door neighbor who works at the highway department. He referred us to a good auctioneer who may be able to help us get rid of some of the remaining items in the house.

While the locksmith was finishing up, Joe, the boss of the AC crew, called and said they were running to catch another job while the electricians were getting the wiring re-connected. We came back to the Vine Street house just in time for Jesse’s second visit with a sample of the new stone. It’s a close match, especially considering that it’s been 47 years since these rocks were put in place.

One of the things we do for people who work for us is provide lunch. Each day that the AC crew was here, we provided a different meal. Monday was hamburgers; Tuesday was Taco Bell; and today was Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches from Texadelphia. Having that sit-down time with the crew gives us the opportunity to talk with the workers and develop a rapport that leads to a better working climate and a higher level of productivity.

One of the AC crewmember’s name was Roberto. He didn’t speak much English, but he has a fantastic sense of humor. When we told them the first day that we were buying hamburgers, and he said he wanted steak. We told him that his burger was a steak burger. Next day, we got Taco Bell lunch, and we got him a Steak Nachos Bell Grande. Wednesday’s Philly Cheese Steak was right up his alley!

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