Mason and I were having a busy day as has been the case for quite some time now. Working in hot ceiling spaces, on hot roofs and digging trenches by hand in the heat. We stand in the sun for long periods and work up poles where there is no shade. Then you get the pleasant jobs inside the homes where we still keep busy doing all the little jobs. Today was the trenching day and we both had sweat pouring from us well before 8.00am.
Later, about mid afternoon, we met an elderly man who approaches us from next door to where we had just done a few small jobs replacing switch plates. We were about to leave and he says “can you do a little job for me?” “It is simple but how much do you charge.” We offer our hourly rate and drop the service call fee as we are there. He states “I only want one of you for the work” and I say that two people can do it in half the time as he grumbles and goes home to show me a front eave light that is rusty and he wants it replaced. Then he shows me the second light, that he has removed I suspect, as there are two wires hanging dangerously with no tape or covering on the ends of the wires.
I say at this point that there is no earth to the fitting and it requires one, to which he barks “and how much will that cost me”. I tried to explain the simplicity of finding another earth wire in the roof area and then earthing both the lights but was met with something like I wanted to extort more money from him. I took some offense at this point and he apologised with a gruff sorry that did no look or sound sincere. I then said I would fix it and put two connectors on the exposed cables and said I was leaving now. He then asked me if I was offended to which I said “yes”.
Every one else is polite and courteous and then we get this from a stranger who seems to think we are well beneath him and not worth the money we charge. I think he actually thought he was doing us a favor. I don’t think I was wrong in walking away from this situation. I left it in a safer state than I found it too. What do you think?
We then continued on with the two other jobs we had yet to do before the end of the day and if you go to somewhere just before 99 kylie avenue then look out for the grumpy old man.