Saturday, October 16, 2004

Too much to ask? Part II

The next time we see him, he plans to install the new box for the ceiling fixture. EQ mentions that he might have to cut a hole in the ceiling so he can run the cable perpendicular through the joists and then along them to the new location. GC will be drywalling to extend the existing soffit, so he can patch that too. Sounds reasonable enough.

At the end of the day, we check out his work so far:
  • Instead of a hole, there's an L shaped cut-out in the ceiling running from the old location to the new. Surprising, but again the CG will be doing drywalling, so... maybe they had figured this would be the easiest approach.
  • Next up, a blank cover is installed where the old fixture was... but it's not flush to the ceiling. I take a closer look and notice that the cover's bent. So I take it down, unbend it, and reinstall it. It's better, but still not quite flush.
  • Over to the lightswitches... They don't quite line up with the cover and the drywall between the new gang box and an adjacent, pre-existing one is hanging on by a thread. I take off the cover (yes, the circuit was off) and nudge one of the switches so the cover fits better.
The next day we mention the drywall and ceiling cover to GC. He fixes both with a generous application of "mud". Given that the EQ has admited to being reluctant to tackle most challenges and obviously isn't to concerned about finishing details, we decide that we'll install the new light fixtures ourselves.

We don't see EQ for several days, but when we do he's hard at it for several hours. At the end of his efforts, he calls me over to tell me of his accomplishments. He's installed boards for stapling the new wires to, and he's cleaned up a mess that "the last guy" left behind in the crawlspace including tying up a 240 line and capping off the end of a live 120 that he'd discovered after getting shocked by it.
"And this, " he proudly tells me as he snips the wire from a circuit breaker, "is the old range hood. We'll use that breaker for the dishwasher."
"There's nothing else on that circuit?" I ask.
"Uh, nope, " he replies.
Later that evening, I turn on the light in the stairway up to the office. Nothing. I check the lights and outlets in the office. No juice. I check the circuit breakers; they're all on except for the one from which EQ had just disconnected the range hood. 'Doh!

The next day, I check the crawlspace. The 240 line he'd mentioned "cleaning up"? It was from the former cooktop. The live 120 line? Much newer than the rest of the wiring and, as such, easily identified as coming from the old dishwasher. Turns out that "the last guy" is synonymous with "me". Who knew?

We mention the office situation to GC, explaining that it'd be really helpful to get this back on soon. After several more days without power to the office, we ask GC when EQ is likely to return. Turns out GC has already paid EQ and is having a hard time getting him to commit to a return date.
"He'll be here on Monday" GC finally announces.
We don't see EQ until Friday.

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