Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mr. Dewalt

This may surprise some of you, but I neither consider myself a “handy man” nor a “carpenter.” I can appreciate those who are, but I do not strive to be one (this drives my daddy C-R-A-Z-Y.) You see, my daddy (pronounced deaddy) is a handy man. I think he can make or fix anything. I cannot. Is it wrong that I don’t want to? I mean, I can do the standard “hang a picture/mirror”, “tighten a screw” (or whatever), but I can’t build a fence or deck, lay tile, put up crown molding, etc. I tell you all of this because my lack of handiness is apparently a little obvious to, not only my family, but to my co-workers as well – and that hurts a little.

We have a guy here who manages our properties. He facilitates the repairs to things, gets things painted, etc. Therefore, he is the owner of small scale power tools. I moved into a new office a few months ago and I REALLY needed to transfer my dry erase board with me (mainly because I like to draw on it during conference calls and secondly because I really like the smell of dry erase markers.) Kidding – I needed it to write out a large pricing chart…..yeah, that’s it. A pricing chart.

Anyway, two of the walls in my office are concrete. The other two (I like to refer to as the “accent walls”) are a lovely dark wood paneling circa 1977. You know, the kind that looks like “pine.” It’s so tragic. So moving on……I needed to get this dry erase board hung asap. It had been patiently waiting on the floor of my office for a couple months and driving me crazy all at the same time.

This is such a dramatic story isn’t it?

Well, because of the way my desk is configured, the board had to be mounted on one of the concrete walls. Ugh. So, I trot over to Mr. Property Manager’s office and ask if I could “check-out” (as in the Library book way) the “drill that works on concrete” – that was a direct quote.

He sorta just stared at me. I wasn’t sure if he was thinking about where this drill was or if he didn’t hear me or what. He says, “Ummmm, why do you need the Dewalt?” I said, “What’s The Dewalt?” He said “the drill you need.” So, I wasn’t thinking that we were going to be using proper brand names at this point. I’ve heard of the Dewalt brand, but you know, when you’re totally not thinking in the same pattern as someone else, you end up looking like a moron.

So I say to him, “Oh, right. Dewalt. That’s who I need.” At this point I was trying to be funny and give the drill some human quality like athletes who call their bats “Bertha” and refer to their old cars as “Betsy” or something. ***Side note – do people still do that?”*** Anyway, he says, “Who’s Walt?” I say, “no, no, no, Dewalt, the drill…….remember??” He just stares at me and I start to feel the beginning of a diarrhea cramp.

He sighs very heavily and says, “it’s back there.” So off I go to grab it except when I go into this room there are a million drills. I start to worry because I know if I choose the wrong one, he’s probably not going to let me take it. So I start frantically searching for Dewalt written on any case I can find. Eureka! I find two cases that say Dewalt. I open both and one drill iS ENORMOUS and the other is like an “around the house” type drill. Now, when I say enormous, I mean this drill looks like you could assemble a four lane bridge with it. It was so heavy too. So I take a deep breath and think that “big ‘un” here has to be the winner.

I think to myself that if I grab the drill with confidence, he won’t double check which one I have and will just send me on my way. NOT SO FAST. He verifies that I have the correct drill, which to my rejoicing, I do. Whew.

I walk back to my office to find one of our technicians sitting at my desk. This is not typical behavior. We don’t have people who just come and sit at your desk around here. Let’s call him “Harvey.” Harvey says, “so Mr. Property Manager said you checked out a drill?” WOW. Word travels fast. Here’s the thing though, if I was having an affair, I could see how word would spread, but the fact that I checked out a drill is not late-breaking news in my opinion. I said, “well, yes, I need to hang my board.” Harvey said, “I’ll do it for you.”

At first I was really excited and thought, “wow this is so nice of Harvey to literally have to sprint up an entire flight of 25 steps to get back to my office before me and do it all in enough time so that he wasn’t panting for breath……all in about 16 seconds.” But then I thought, “wait a minute……does Mr. Property Manager think that I’m not capable of using Mr. Walter…er…Dewalt (heh-heh)?” So, I stand there sort of offended as Harvey begins readying the drill. He whips out this GIGANTIC drill bit and starts plowing it into my sad little ecru-colored wall. I yell, “WAIT!!!!!!!” He stops mid-drill. “What” says Harvey. “Well, I really want it centered within this section of dead space so it doesn’t look awkward.”

This makes the second person who has stopped everything and just stared at me.
“Is that ok?” I say. “Fine” says Harvey. I mean, who wants a GROSSLY uncentered dry erase board hovering over them in their office? I know I certainly don’t. Harvey didn’t even bring a level with him which gave me another anxiety attack. I did learn a very interesting little tip from Harvey I’d like to share with all six of my readers. When drilling into an ecru-colored concrete wall (the color has nothing to do with it. I just want you all to know how sadly colored my office is.) you should do the following:

1) Tape a sheet of paper (with one piece of tape) horizontally under where you’re going to drill the hole
2) Put the drill to the wall, and before you start drilling, pick up the end of the paper you didn’t tape down and create a little u-shaped trough for all the “droppings” to fall in
3) When you’re done drilling, pull out the drill and set it down with the same hand (not letting go of the paper), then fold the paper into a nice little self-containing square and voila! No mess on the floor!!!

Anyway, I was intrigued by that little tip. I thanked Harvey and he was on his way. I took the drill back to Mr. Property Manager and he says to me, “Did you get it hung?” That little smarmy, so and so….. I said, “Yes. I did. Thank you for being so helpful today.” I walked back to my office a little sad. Then I saw some chocolate covered pecans and all was right with the world.

Do you have any interesting tips for around the house or office? If so, comment so we can all be enlightened. I’ll post on who’s tip is the most valuable (in my opinion). The prize will be…..well, recognition.