“What we got here is a failure to communicate”
A memorable line from the classic film, “Cool Hand Luke”, it keeps replaying in my mind as our house makeover proceeds. It seems the more technology enters into our most simple, everyday tasks, the more complicated it becomes. The more we let it replace direct interaction with one another, well, it seems like we end up with just a plain, hot mess. Today was my Waterloo.
Everyone working on our project has been great. From the flooring guys that have tackled a nearly impossible job to the electricians and carpenters, all have proceeded as smoothly as possible while trying to complete a not small project in a specific time frame. It is the coordination that is starting to drive me crazy.
We could have avoided most of this angst by just hiring a “Big Box” store to act as General Contractor. We are buying many of our materials from them. But, the labor costs of them acting as the GC is quadruple what the individual tradespeople charge. So, frugality and sensibility take precedence over ease. Up to now it has been o.k. But, the kitchen project requires the efforts of several tradespeople so the designer/cabinet maker is coordinating, more or less, that part of our project. He says he likes to communicate mostly by email and text and voice mail – as well as some face-to-face, of course. It is here that the bogeyman of technology raises his ugly head. Examples: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. The Redhead gets an email from the kitchen guy: “Electricians will be at house tomorrow”. Foolish me asks the Redhead, “what time”? She says, “I don’t know. I’ll email him back”. Hmmm.
Thursday, 7:15 a.m. I’m in the shower singing my third rendition of, “I Left my Heart in San Francisco” (I’ll learn the real words, someday). The Redhead yells into the bathroom, “The electricians are at the house and can’t get in ’cause your not there”. No kidding. Who needs to rinse off, anyway? And breakfast? Ha!
And so it went all day. Emails to the Redhead from the kitchen guy’s staff: “Plumber’s coming Friday or Monday. Need toilet and valves”. Message duly given. Foolish me asks, “How can the toilet go in when there is no drain yet”? Or walls? Or floor? Just small details, I suppose.There’s more. But, you get the idea. Technology is fine. To a point. But, can an I Pad really replace a,”My Pad”? All the numbers, names, notes and dates you could possibly want or need – all at a fingers touch!
In the meantime, can somebody just pick up a phone!