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Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I came into the shop today, fresh from four days off, only to find my Auto Shop business sign waving at me in gale force winds. The adhesive my painter had fastened the large sign to my building with had let go on one half. He put up the ‘guaranteed for life’ sign a year and a half ago. Little did I know when I called him, my sign’s life guarantee was up. Literally not having a moment to spare on his tap dance as to why he had no intention of coming over to fix it, I said I’ll take care of it, and hung up. After a harried search for metal anchors, bolts, masonry bit, and air drill, I propped my elongated, feeble sixteen foot ladder precariously against the loose part of the sign to keep it still. Before I could head up into the still gale force wind to start drilling, my phone rings. It’s my old buddy, the painter.

“I get the feeling you’re blaming me because the adhesive didn’t hold,” he states in that annoying tone of voice people use when trying to make things they’re responsible for, someone else’s fault.

“Don’t give it a second thought. It’s my fault. Now, I need to get off the phone before my lifetime guaranteed sign flies off my building, and either cuts someone in half or causes property damages more expensive than the four thousand dollar paint and sign job you did.”

“I did everything in my power to do what you wanted done,” he continues, acquiring the proper amount of building outrage. “You seem to think I can just drop everything and…”

“Enough,” I cut him off, peaking out at my very heavy ladder actually trying to walk off the wall with Mr. Wind’s help. “I have to go. Think what you want. That’s your problem. Bye.”

I hung up on him, wondering how I missed him explaining the choices between anchoring the sign in some other way, or having the wind blow it off after eighteen months. Thankfully, I’d under-booked my first morning back, and I had about an hour until my first appointment arrived. Climbing the ladder with Mr. Wind trying to make me into a party favor made for a little more excitement than I needed: just another reminder I wasn’t thirty anymore… or forty… or hell, fifty. Clutching the ladder while drilling holes in first the sign with a metal bit, and then three more in the wall with a masonry bit, all while allowing the bit to cool and measuring depth for the anchor, made for an invigorating exercise. Mumbling incoherent prayers for a post Christmas miracle in which I didn’t end up going splat on the sidewalk, I completed my task after only three trips back down for small things I neglected to remember. Having completed what safety dictates, I think I’ll wait for the winds to die down before anchoring the still fastened side. The Auto Repair business this morning will seem like a walk in the park now. :)

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