Some days, people complain that I charge too much, fifty an hour, outrageous. Sometimes I think I don't charge enough.
Edgar calls me, frantic. "I want to remodel my bathroom and it'll cost five thousand dollars and I can't afford it." Edgar is a short man with thick eyeglasses, excitable, gay.
I ask, "You've had an estimate?"
"No, but a friend remodeled his bathroom and that's how much it cost."
"Actually, that's cheap for a bathroom."
I go to Edgar's house. He says he has to replace the bathtub and the tile because it's leaking.
"There." He points to the spout, dripping.
In thirty minutes I replace the washers and grind the seats. The drip is gone. I write an invoice:
$ 0.25 materials
Edgar beams. "You just saved me four thousand, nine hundred forty-nine dollars and seventy-five cents!"