by Michael Bond
My father was down in Kalamazoo for the weekend; we headed over to Chelsea, MI yesterday to see a play which had some of his friends in the cast. Afterwards, we talked about me writing this blog post as my journey back into acting. While driving to this production, I thought about the rendition of Mary Poppins that I’m working on – which begins in just a few short weeks.
So, we all came back to Kalamazoo, and my father and I talked about this blog where I could voice my excitement of getting back into theater. However, something else eclipsed my mind for the last couple of days: my temper.
A little over a week ago, we received a “FINAL NOTICE” letter on our back door (which is rarely used) from our energy provider. There were several boxes that could have been checked off, giving the reason for the “FINAL NOTICE”, but none of them were checked off. Instead, a business card with a phone number was stapled to the notice. When Sarah called, the call was directed into an automated appointment system where she could schedule construction workers to come into the house and check out our basement.
Annoyance – because I was already put onto the defensive of having a “FINAL NOTICE” posted on my door with no previous communication.
Then, a worker came a few days later to see where our sewer lines enter and leave the house. They were down there for about an hour, clanging and banging around. That’s when I get home from work, and they come up saying that our cap is old, so they have to break it. They don’t have a replacement cap, so they need to come back another day so they can complete the job.
Agitation – because they spent all of this time trying to do one task, and still need to come back and do it again. Understandably, these kinds of things happen. Added complications happen.
They finally came back, saying they’d be “right there” to Sarah. Three hours later, when they arrived, they took another hour clanging and banging in the basement. This time, they left right before I got home. They couldn’t get the cap off, so they’d just indicate where the sewer line leaves the house for the next workers. This “A to B” doesn’t make any sense to me, but I am not in construction.
Either way, they came back on a Thursday with their full gear. We needed to move our cars because their construction equipment and dredging up of the driveway would make it so we couldn’t park there. It’s fine, though. They were going to finish up by 5:30 that day, and they would move onto other sewer lines.
However, I hear a persistent and loud knock on the back door on Friday morning. They weren’t done, and they weren’t truthful about it. Already being agitated, I assumed they wouldn’t be done, and parked elsewhere because I didn’t have faith in them keeping their word. Just as persistently as the knock on the door, they insisted that the cars in the driveway needed to be moved. None of which belonged to my house, and I had no power in helping them. Still, each of the three construction workers asked me which car in the duplex parking lot was mine. After about the ninth time I was asked about something that was already clearly articulated, my agitation became apparent. One more worker then asked me if I could move the car which was parked at my neighbor’s house, I responded with a “nope” and went back into my house. There was nothing I could do for them.
Aggravation – because the dishonesty about the project continues. Still, they came in demanding that we cater to things that we have no forewarning about. To me, their excuses began to wear out, because it is a true inconvenience to keep pushing and pushing for people who don’t have any idea what the hell is going on.
Saturday came, busy with a couple’s wedding shower, my father coming down to spend the night, and the play that evening. We slept in until around nine, and were greeted by a team of construction workers taking up our parking lot again. Some cars are back there, and a massive pile of dirt is blocking the only exit to the road. I’m now trapped here on a Saturday.
Anger – because once again there’s no way of us knowing this would be a continuing project, especially on a Saturday.
I walked out there in my bath robe, acknowledged by none. Once I got the attention of one of the workers, another came over. Trying to be as understanding as I could be, I told them that this was a really invasive procedure with absolutely no forewarning. They told me that they knocked on the door for around fifteen minutes this morning. Going back to agitation, I snipe that it’s a Saturday, and some people sleep in on the days they have off. Furthermore, there was (once again) no indication that any work would be taking place on a Saturday. They said they would be finishing the project by noon.
Still angry, I go back inside. Our day starts, Sarah and I head off to her sister’s couples wedding shower, and we know it’ll be tight getting back in time before my father gets into town.
About ten minutes before we get back to the house (around 3:30 in the afternoon) I got a phone call from my father. His promptness was on (as per usual) and we were running a bit late. He told me that he’s on our porch, but asks if I knew about the construction that was going on in back. It prevented him from parking in our lot. Once again trusting what I was told, the anger began to erupt. They put a “FINAL NOTICE” on our door without any previous warning. They came into our house twice, wasting their time and our time. They said they’d be done by 5:30 on Thursday. They didn’t let us know that they’d be there on a Saturday. Then, they told us they’d be done by noon, and didn’t follow through once again.
This erupted feeling continued for the remaining ten minutes before pulling into our – no – the side street close to our house and a (short) walk up to the front of the house. It should be a simple annoyance, but their clear lack of communication made it an anger. I quickly greeted my father, looked through the gate to see if they were still there, and proceeded to unlock the door and pound through the house to showcase how badly they had pissed me off.
To anyone else but me, it was an ugly sight. Expletives were some of the first things out of my mouth, along with a few minutes of small interjections of justification from the crew, followed by me excusing the “issues” they encountered with the simple fact that they pushed this on us, framed it as a quick job, and lied about when it was going to be over. A simple thing like that – where I park my car – pushed me over the edge because of the continual misinformation that was being spewed when I was calmer.
A few minutes after, I looked back through the back door. They had left. Leaving a metal plate over the hole they had made, and parking the equipment down on the street. Just as these things always are, my words had no impact. They abandoned their posts right afterwards, maybe out of a bad feeling I put in their minds, or maybe not. Either way, nothing constructive came out of my eruption to the construction workers.
Previously on the Bond Broadcast, we have come to the point in discussion where we question our application to any given subject. Whether that be anxiety, narcissism, or envelopment in nostalgia, we ask these questions of ourselves and of each other. I also know that it has been a long time since I’ve lost my temper like that, but I know that it’s not a question I have to ask myself. It’s an answer that I must work on.