The joys of home repair, part 2

So I got a call from the lovely Ganella yesterday. She called at 12 noon to ask if she could come round to visit right now.

I was at work, I explained.

She pushed: “How about at 12:30pm?” It would be in her lunch break, so the least I could do is pop out in my lunch break too.

Oh fine. I agreed to meet her at 12:30pm. So I finished what I was doing and raced home, making sure I was early this time. She was three minutes late (but who’s counting, other than her). It turns out she’s German. In my mind, this explains a lot.

The meeting took about five minutes – I explained in person what I had been saying in emails for the past six months, and showed her what needed to be fixed. She said she’d organise someone to do the work, we shook hands, she left. No reference was made to the phone conversation, no apology was forthcoming. But whatever. I just want our house fixed and signed off so I can stop thinking about it.

So here’s the thing. Is it reasonable for me to be slightly annoyed that she expects to be able to pop around at a moment’s notice? What does she think I do with my days? I can’t be the only homeowner she deals with that has a JOB. I did explain to her that I had to take time off work every time someone had to come over to fix something, or when they call a meeting to discuss our work. She didn’t seem at all concerned about this, but it is really starting to irritate me!

I’ve encountered a similar attitude with most of the contractors I’ve had to deal with. They seem genuinely surprised and sometimes annoyed that I can’t be at home during the day for them to pop over. Am I missing something here? Maybe I should start suggesting we meet at their place, just so they get the point that they are at work, JUST LIKE ME.

What’s the solution? How do other people manage this problem? What do people do when they can’t just leave work at a moment’s notice to let someone into their house to do repair work?

The only solution I’ve come up with is to leave a key and hope they don’t rifle through my undies drawer while I’m not there. Once I even left a key in the letterbox and $300 on the bench and just trusted a contractor (who I’d never met) to do what we’d agreed. He was actually incredulous that I was so trusting, but I didn’t have much choice. And he did a great job, so phew.

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