When you are single and living in a big city with no immediate family around, you surround yourself with friends who become your support system. They become your emergency contacts, your rides to the airport, your go-tos when something breaks down. I was a go-to recently for a friend who’d had a pipe freeze over the winter, which then proceeded to burst as she was leaving town on business. Nice. Try finding a reputable plumber from several time zones away. She finally did and got the leak fixed but then had to deal with repairing the lovely hammered holes the first of 3 guys had made. This is where I come in. I met the drywaller at the house late one morning after talking to him on the phone confirming the time. He assured me it would only take an hour to do the first part of it but he would have to come back to put the second coat of joint compound and paint the wall. 3 hours later he was still on first part of this process and I was panicking about being away from my office for so long. My friend, on yet another business trip, was furious at how long this was taking out of my day. Hey, I’ve done plenty of construction. I remember thinking something was going to be an hour job and it took me all weekend long to complete. But this guy supposedly does this for a living. And don’t the home improvement shows get it all done in a ½ an hour?
Therein lies the rub. First of all, I believed the guy when he gave me the time estimate. I should know better. Secondly, I realized I totally bought into the magic of the DIY shows that move heaven and earth in 24, sometimes 51, minutes. Stuff needs to dry, measurements take time if done right, surprises happen. Things that no amount of planning can anticipate.
Hmmm. Now what does this sound like? Seems like I’ve been running my career on the TV DIY schedule. Expecting it all to happen instantaneously. Getting not just ticked off but downright depressed when it didn’t. You know, my Mom makes an incredible spaghetti sauce that simmers and bubbles on the stove all day long. My Dad used to snitch out of it endlessly, leaving a trail of sauce all over the countertop. A high compliment indeed. I think I’ll have a career like her gravy instead of the Ragu career I’ve been expecting.