Sunday, November 07, 2004

Playing handyman

Ever since the last post, I have the tele tuned to the movie network, but I havent had much time to check anything out. I have a plethora of emails to go through, something that I safely put off for gloomy, overcast days.
I mentioned a project in a previous post. Its actually a complete basement renovation. All 1200 sq ft of a basement have to be turned into two separate apartments, with separate kitchens and toilets.
When I agreed to help out my friend, I had no idea what I was getting into. You see, I am one of those people who have no mechanical intuition whatsoever. If it involves a tool other than a screw-driver, screw it and call a friend. It has been a source of amusement and embarassment for me, for quite sometime. Needless to say, it was a terrible burden on my male ego. I used to fulfill this macho, need-for-control thing by tinkering with computers, and now, everywhere I go, I can rest assured that I will bump into someone with a computer thats acting crazy. If I fix it, I feel proud, if I can't, I just blame malware and Micro$oft.
As I was saying, I had no idea what I was getting into. Dry walls, ceramic tiles, plumbing pipes were in the farthest corners of my mind... like an Aussie alligator hunter. (Thats called a bad analogy, oh well...) In my universe, if something doesn't fit, it means you need hard disk space, not a hammer and a hack-saw.
And its been loads of fun, thanks to people who are willing to help a newbie struggle through the complex rules-of-thumb that dominate the affairs. They probably have very scientific explanations for these rules, but the urgency of getting the work done, didn't give me the chance to delve into the science behind the art.
The worst part of working as a contractor, is getting paid. Working as an independent contractor in IT, it was the same thing. I know why all those big firm contracts are in such big demand, half of it is just the security of finding the money in your bank, on the day you expect it to be there. But working with small businesses, its a pain in the butt to have someone else transfer their cash-flow problems onto your trembling shoulders.
But most of the work is done, the tiling is finished, the plumbing is finished, a few dry walls still need to go in, then the kitchen and toilet cabinets, doors and then paint. And I have no idea how long it will take to get all this done, probably a week or two... lets call in an expert on that one.