Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Ah, That's Better...

...now that I'm not snorting in technicolor, and I've weaned myself off of the brief dependance on cold meds that I fed myself to muddle through whatever the hell that was (cold? Flu? Allergy, even?). I even had a lovely evening with lavendersage last night, though it seemed like one thing after another conspired against us today, not the least of which was one of the workmen that their landlady was using to fix up the building in the lame hope she could substantially over-charge for the upstairs apartment actually fell down drunk amongst the trash receptacles. Actually, I saw the guy lying down in back after lunch, which I thought was due to exhaustion. THEN I thought he was drunk (or otherwise altered). Then I was temporarily made to feel a bit ashamed for jumping to that conclusion, thanks to the info that he was possibly diabetic. I know diabetics, and actually was feeling concerned...until the SOB told Audra he was drunk.

Now that I've completely muddled this entry, let's try and sort it out. Audra and lovingstones' landlady is so damn cheap she didn't just go for a low bid contractor to get the house down, she went through a local outreach program that isn't even paying the guys doing the work. Now, outreach is NOT equivalent to "a bunch of drunks and addicts", at least not automatically -- there are a lot of reasons why people would be going through something like that. However, it's thus far taken something like a month to do a job that shouldn't have taken half a week to do, and there are obvious signs that these people are not doing things in smart ways. For example, you should make sure the windows are unstuck from previous paint jobs BEFORE you paint them, not after. Goofs like that just make more work for yourself, though they may not care, since they're not on an hourly rate... or ANY rate, really.

Being on the lower level means that there's this constant lack of real privacy during the day. Oh, and all the screen are out, so you can't really open any of the windows in the house while all this is being done. As I mentioned, this isn't a big deal for a job that (even considering their level of experience coupled with bad weather) shouldn't have taken more than two weeks, yet isn't even half finished as yet.

When I went to help Audra check on the guy, she was trying to get him to sit down (he kept trying to walk, which wasn't working very well for him) and I was trying to convey the idea that the pastor was coming to check him out ("El padre es... damnit, does anyone know how to say 'coming' in spanish?!"*). Later it occurred to me that I could have babelfished the phrase on alta-vista. Duh.) I noticed a utility knife, several power tools and other implement of potential self destruction lying about in the immediate area. None of the other workers seemed to be in charge or even knew what to do if something went wrong. When Audra and I returned indoors, I mentioned what a major risk her land-lady was taking using these guys: Even if the guy WAS just a diabetic having a bad day, it could still get real ugly real fast. Ever try to help someone with an insulin level issue? "Combative" is a word that comes to mind. I've had to get really firm with people who were like that, and that requires either a professional or someone who knows you well enough to be that firm. I think I can do it with a stranger I KNOW is diabetic, but I wouldn't have any idea how to handle someone whose first language isn't english. Nor should I have to: This guy should have had a lot better supervision.

As it was the guy told Audra he was drunk, and a whole new can of worms opened up. We went back inside to wait for the Pastor, only he apparently snagged the guys and bailed without letting us know what was going on. One theory I had was that perhaps the Pastor was using the "diabetic" angle to cover up for the guy. If so, I would have reamed the man: I know too many people who suffer much personal humiliation because of that disease's symptoms to have it cheapened like that.

If there's a "next time" they should just call the cops and let THEM sort it out. If it's a medical issue, they can get the boy medical help a lot faster. If he's drunk on the job and no one's there to call him on it, he needs to not be there. Hell, I'll make an anonymous tip of it from the corner gas station to be safe (scary point: He knows where they live!).

* The correct phrase turned out to be "El padre está viniendo". Not bad, considering my Spanish lessons date back to 1981 and I was under a lot of pressure.
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