Friday, March 2, 2012

Waiting for Frankie*

*aka The Window Guy

Written Wednesday:
So a couple of weeks ago, during a migraine-induced couch-fest, there was a Bang-Crash! And then there was a broken window in my living room.

"What the fuck?" I thought and got up to investigate. On the ground outside was a pink hand weight. Down the sidewalk a bit was a man walking a dog, looking at my window and clearly thinking the same thing I was. The best I could guess was that someone threw/dropped the weight out of their window (as one does), it bounced its way down through the branches of the pine tree in front of my window and made enough contact to break the outer glass on my double-paned window, but not the inner glass.

This is an important detail since it's still not fixed and it's been rainy and the lack of rain entering my home may be the only thing standing between me and a shabby rampage. Of course, I could always just stab what's left of the window in that case. It has to be replaced anyway.

On Frankie's first visit, he turned the knob of our BROKEN old-timey doorbell and chose not to knock despite the complete lack of noise caused by the doorbell. So we missed each other.

On Frankie's second visit, he knocked, came in, measured the window and said he'd be back on Wednesday when he was fixing 2 other windows in the building.

Two things about this puzzle me.

1. He's the only window guy our landlord uses. Doesn't he already know the measurements of all the windows?

2. Three broken windows at once? There's a sign in the lobby asking people to stop throwing garbage out of their windows and into the courtyard out back. Are we having a rash of people throwing objects out of windows? Is this a thing now?

The cool thing about renting is that the landlord has to pay for repairs. The extra cool thing about living in a building with a management company is that they hire professionals to do this. The downside is that everything is arranged through the management company. So if I don't hear Frankie at the door, he'll just go away. In a sane world, he'd have my phone number handy and call if I don't answer the door, but we don't live in that world.

This means I can't listen to music (might drown out the knocking), can't take a shower (because those will be the exact 5 minutes he comes, and even if he doesn't, I'll think I hear knocking) and feel like I'm taking a major risk every time I make a phone call. The silence makes everything I do feel so. fucking. somber.

During all this tense waiting, there is NO TRUCK outside. I have no reason to believe that Frankie is even in the building. But the second I jump in the shower, he'll arrive, knock on my door and leave, never to return.

Written Thursday:
I finally decided that he couldn't work because of the rain and no one was going to bother telling me, so I took a shower. I called the management company this morning, who called Frankie who said that he thought the appointment was for today (which, no, but fine)and he'll be here at 1. Which means 1 o'clock is when the silent vigil begins again. At least I was able to bathe first.

The client vigil becomes considerably less silent around 2:30 when construction noises ring out from either down the hall or down the block or both. I look out the window to see Frankie's truck and Frankie carrying what appears to be a couple of windows into the building.

Ten minutes later, Frankie knocks on my door and comes in--without a window. Because, obviously. He takes the old window out, gets the new window from the hallway, installs it and leaves TWELVE minutes after arriving.

Twelve minutes and two weeks after the initial mishap, I now have a shiny new window, so clean that I keep having to check that it's really there. And no, I will not be posting a picture because all it does is show how dirty my other windows are, and it's winter, and it's not like we get enough natural sunlight on this floor for clean windows to make a difference, and I bet your windows are dirty too, so there.

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