Friday, July 31, 2015

Stuck in Perfection Mode

"This" is why I do nothing. Because when I do decide to do "something", I have expectations. I don't think I expect perfection but maybe I do.

I hired a painter to paint the bathroom for me because there were some really big patch jobs to be done and I knew I didn't have the skill level to do them right. So I hired an "expert".

Okay, maybe he isn't an expert. Maybe he is a jack of all trades, self taught and a learn-as-he-goes kind of guy. His motto seemed to be "I do the job I would do for myself. If it is not good enough for me, it isn't good enough for my client."

Perhaps I should have toured his home first to see if our acceptance levels are compatible.

Well? I should have surmised our perfection levels were askew when I showed him various things around the house that I was wanting to repair or replace (after I found out he dabbles in a little bit of everything):
  • a crooked screen door that doesn't close properly and where you can see a ray of light from outside, at the top of the door - his response? "Well, screen doors do that."
  • exterior doors that don't feel "secure" to me because the deadbolt doesn't latch/click completely when closed? "That doesn't matter, in fact it's even better because it is less likely to break if it doesn't 'click' closed."
  • a broken piece of plastic that (I thought) was the only thing that is keeping one entire pane of glass in the screen door (he explained later, that there is a bead of silicone most likely holding it in place) "It still looks okay, I wouldn't worry about it." I'm not concerned about the appearance! I simply want that long, skinny pane of glass to stay where it belongs.
If he didn't profess to be close to perfect, I wouldn't have expected so much. But every step along the way, he told me how he was better than the last painters who were here. He showed me his tricks and although I didn't really see what he was talking about, I nodded and smiled.

The job is "technically" complete (pending my approval). The patch jobs are really, really bad. I am not good but I think I could have done just as well as he did. I'm pretty sure of it. That is why I quit painting.

I haven't paid him a penny. He brought the imperfections to my attention (or did he just respond to my staring at the glaring imperfection of it all?). He said he will redo it today if I want him to.

When I asked him what he would do if it was his house, he pointed out the stipple missing from the ceiling (he said he didn't include ceilings) and the paint chips on the painted tiles behind the sink and said, "Since there are already so many things that are wrong here and this is just a quick patch up job, I'd probably just leave it."

Not impressed.

So I will nicely ask him to do his best to fix up the patches and while he is at it maybe he could touch up the places where his paintbrush missed when he was cutting in along the vanity. 

He has installed a new light and will install new taps and towel racks. He said he would do some minor fix-ups on my existing doors. 

If he still has time on his clock, I will ask if he could sand down the bathroom vanity cupboards for me. I was going to get him to paint the cupboards for me but I am very pleased he completed one job before tackling the next. Our "fussy meters" are not in sync.

I am not good. But I can do just as good of a job. And my hourly rate is a lot cheaper.

So much for the idea of finishing that book I started reading sometime around Christmas time, during my holiday. I recently reread what I read in January to refresh my memory. I may have to reread the first half of the book one more time before I manage to sit still with it.

This nasty quest for "perfection" or simply "better than I could do myself" is cutting into my holiday time.

"As bad as I am and as good as you are, I am as good as you are as bad as I am." ~ Mom

Maybe that quote doesn't apply to electrical, plumbing, jobs that require muscle, precision and skill. But I think my painting is "good enough". Now that is something I didn't want to learn today!

Dad was pretty close to "perfect" when it came to home maintenance. I remember well, the way he handled those "patch jobs" while painting. I have no idea how he did it. It took time and many, many (many) repeat steps of patch/sand/paint; patch/sand/paint but when he was done, the job was done right. 

I don't know who has that same code of perfection these days. Perhaps "perfect" is not worth it. "Done" and "good enough" are the goal. Right? 

I suppose. Just not when you are paying someone by the hour.

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