The photo is from 1978. My son, his truck. Behind him, my truck.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cheap Remodel

Thursday, January 9, 1992

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.

"Leaking where?"

"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:

$50.00 labor
$  0.25 materials
$50.25 total.

Edgar beams.  "You just saved me four thousand, nine hundred forty-nine dollars and seventy-five cents!"

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