Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just wanting it right

We returned home from Seattle yesterday to this.  Yep, lovely new carpet waving like wheat across our floor.  E had noticed it Tuesday night, of course, but didn't want to worry us while we were so busy sitting around  worrying about Grampie.  The carpet looked perfect when it was finished, and I signed off on it after checking the seam and walking across it.  But just three hours later, 'amber waves of grain' high enough that E actually tripped over it when she left the house.  When I saw it, I whipped out my cell-phone like a gun from its holster, punched in the number for the decorator. I described it as waves, but she didn't quite believe me until she walked through the door.  Then it was like one of those home make-over shows, only her exclamations weren't of joy but dismay.

We measured the waves from every which way, tried to figure out what might have gone wrong (installer incompetence, for example? or am I just being catty?), then she left, vowing to have it fixed today.  However, someone farther up on the food chain called me back last night while I was checking in on Grampie, leaving a message that there was no way it could be fixed today.  And when I talked to this woman this morning, still using my polite, company voice, she carefully explained that their installers are all busy through the end of this week.  Now it's important to note that confrontation via phone is not an area of strength for me, so I erred on the side of grace.  Always do.  But we have a whole lot going on.  With more to come.  J's having another surgery tomorrow, making it a hat-trick in the last year, and this dang carpet is a safety issue.  Isn't it? 

So we took some photos, sent them off to our decorator so she could forward them on to the manager in charge of our 'case', in hopes that the visual will help them understand that we aren't merely finicky customers but have a legitimate concern. 

I've always struggled with how, as a Christian, I should express such concerns to the world. If someone cuts me steps in front of me in a check-out line or takes a parking place I was just about to pull into, I find it fairly simple to turn the other cheek. Such things as a space does not really belong to me, and does me no harm to give up for another person clearly bent on getting it.  But what about services done that haven't been done to my liking?  I suppose the operative word in that sentence is 'liking', actually.  I mean, if someone does something for us that isn't as expedient as we would hope, but the result exceeds our dreams, do we have a complaint?  We had landscaping done in front of our house in exactly this fashion.  It took about eight months longer than the contractor promised.  For months and months there was only a pile of dirt and rocks outside our door.  And it bothered us.  Bothered me much more than Beve, probably, since I was home with it all the time.  Now, though, we've had the finished product for years, and all those empty months have been condensed into nothing.  They don't matter in light of the beautiful slate patio we've enjoyed.  What lasted, I'm sorry to say, is my irritation with the man who did the work.  My inability to recommend him fully when others asked.  The work was good, the timing was lousy.  Is that fair for me to have said over and over? 

And then there's something like this carpet.  This waves-of-grain carpet that is really a safety hazard.  I've tripped over it twice in the last twenty-four hours.  We just expect floors to be flat, and walk accordingly.  And I'm worried that J will walk into this house tomorrow, trip and hurt himself right after his day surgery.  I want it fixed.  I have a right to expect it fixed, don't I?  Or is this also a right I've given up as a Christian?  We all live differently when it comes to such things.  Some believers are much tougher than I am.  Some have no trouble taking legal action, which is anathema to me.  I just want it to be right.  I desire to be kind, generous, full of grace toward those who do work for us, but I think it's fair that the work they do is good.  Isn't it?

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